5 Black Hat SEO Techniques That Can Ruin your Rankings

The top goal of digital marketing is to get your products and services in the place where they will be most noticed by your clients. This privileged spot is right at the top of the search engine ranking result’s page associated with your keywords.

Just as in any game, there will be techniques and solutions to winning that fall within the rules and guidelines of the game and those that could be considered cheating. In the game of SEO, those questionable methods and techniques are called black hat techniques. While many websites and online endeavors employ black hat SEO techniques, their use has a set of consequences that should be considered.

What Are Black Hat SEO Techniques?

Any techniques that do not follow the guidelines set out by Google for properly ranking your site, can be considered black hat. While these tend to have dramatic results in the short term, once they are discovered by internet crawlers, they carry with them scathing reprisals that are best avoided.

To keep you on the safe side of search engines and making progress toward your online goals, here are 5 Black Hat SEO techniques that can potentially ruin your search engine rankings.

1. Keyword Stuffing

You will need a good amount of keywords on your page so that your visitors and search engines know exactly what they will find when they arrive. But, placing too many keywords on your web page can be just as bad as having too few.

Some misguided webmasters will stuff their content to the gills with keywords hoping to make it more attractive to the search engines, but this high keyword content reduces the readability of your page and can incur a penalty.

2. Duplicate Content

Copying your content from other sites and posting it on your own site as if you had written this content is called “plagiarism” and will be identified very quickly by the Google Search Bot. Those that are found with duplicate content will have their rankings reduced. The best way to avoid this is to not use the entire content, just copy and paste the part you need and be sure to link back to the original source.

3. Doorway And Gateway Pages

One of the more advanced black hat tricks is kind of hard for the Google bot to detect, but when it does you can be sure the penalizations are very heavy.

Doorway or gateway pages have very little importance to the website or the user, but they are loaded with keywords and calls to action that improve rankings. Sometimes these pages succeed in getting ranked by accident.

So, even though this technique may be ok in the very short term if you have no future plans for this domain and its pages. If you are building a long-term SEO campaign you will not want to get your Domain Authority dropped and therefore it is best to avoid this technique.

4. Clickbait

Clickbait is getting more and more common online. This sneaky trick will allow you to drive a lot of misguided traffic to your website in hopes of increasing your rankings. The idea is that by using especially eye-catching titles and images the curious visitors will click on the link and be sent wherever the webmaster chooses. Of course, the page they will be directed to rarely have anything to do with the link they originally clicked.

While this may attract a fair bit of misguided traffic, the amount of time they will stay at the site will be very short as they soon find that this is not what they were looking for. This will increase the bounce rate and eventually begin hurting rankings. The best thing to do is to use clickbait as much as you can but keep it honest and factual.

5. Link Buying

Building a healthy set of top-quality backlinks is one of the best ways to boost your presence in the online rankings. This can be done with sites with a very high domain authority to gain some domain authority for yourself as well.

But, if this is not done properly, the results will not be the same. Many websites will begin purchasing links in bulk and this can have the opposite effect to the one you were hoping for.


In the end, it may seem like there are plenty of good reasons to begin using black hat SEO techniques on your website. For one the results can be enjoyed very quickly whereas white hat SEO can take much longer to bring about any worthwhile results. But in the end, black hat SEO will do much more harm than good.

Understand The Difference Between SEO And Paid Ads

When it comes to marketing a product or service online it’s easy to get confused by the alphabet soup of terms used.

There is SEM, PPC, and SEO as well as others.

SEM is search engine marketing and it is generally done using either PPC which is pay per click or paid advertising, or you can use SEO which is search engine optimization.

Although both of these strategies are used for the same end results and do share some similarities there are some significant differences that you’ll need to understand.

For that reason, we will take a look at the difference between SEO and paid ads.

SEO VS. Paid Ads

When someone is just getting started online they will ask the obvious question as to which of these strategies is best. The answer is not a straightforward “this one over the other”.

Each of these strategies has their advantages and their disadvantages. In the end, it is best to use both of them to get the unique benefits they each offer.

Pros And Cons Of SEO

When someone has developed an effective SEO strategy they will be able to enjoy a significant flow of highly targeted visitors to their site.

With Google alone having an estimated 2 trillion searches a month it is easy to see that having a page listed highly on the search results page can result in a tremendous amount of visitors coming to that page.

Because the visitor is actively searching for the topic that led to their finding your site they are as targeted as you can get.

People use search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo as well as others because they are searching for information or solutions about whatever problem or concern that they have at that moment.

Over two-thirds of those searchers will click on organic results that they find on the search result page. This means that those who have developed an effective SEO strategy, which results in having pages found in the search engines for specific keywords, will get regular and steady visitors to their site that are specifically interested in what the page is about.

One of the biggest advantages to having an effective SEO strategy is the fact that it establishes you as an authority in the particular area for which you have a site and for the product or service that you are offering.

This goes a long way in building trust and that in turn makes it more likely that those interested will purchase a product or service or take some other action that you want on your site.

One of the biggest cons to using SEO is that there’s no way to get around the fact that it will take time. It simply isn’t possible any longer to get instant SEO results. At the very minimum it will take days or weeks and in most cases, it will take months in order to develop an effective campaign.

Although SEO is often referred to as free traffic it isn’t.

Typically it will take an investment in order to achieve substantial results.

Because it takes time to develop this type of strategy it will mean that you will have to wait before getting a return on your investment.

Pros And Cons Of Using Paid Ads

One of the biggest pros of using paid ads is the fact that you can get something going immediately.

When a company or person is starting out online the best and only way to get instant results is by using paid ads.

Currently, paid ads dominate the top of the search engine result pages. Since most people click on the results that are closest to the top it means that many of them will click on your ad if it is there.

These type of campaigns are specifically designed to generate the most targeted visitors. You decide specifically what keywords and keyword phrases are used to find your ads.

This means that those people who click on those ads are people who are specifically looking for what you have to offer. It just doesn’t get any more targeted than that.

The biggest con of paid ads is the fact that they are only available as long as you are willing and able to pay for them. Unlike an SEO campaign that develops over time and can last, the paid ads are there only when you’re paying for them.

It is for this very reason that the use of SEO together with paid ads will ultimately achieve the optimal result.

SEO Pros And Cons Of Organic Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is often also called SEO.

However you write it out, organic SEO is the process of trying to get your website listed as high as possible in the unpaid search results of search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Many online users never even look at the second page of search results, and some don’t even look at the bottom half of the first page.

The higher your website’s link is, the more traffic you get. For that matter, it’s targeted traffic interested in your content, products, and services, which should mean easy conversions.

Organic search engine optimization is a combination of building backlinks pointing to your site, creating quality content, and doing various on-page things that help you rank higher.

Keep reading to learn the three primary pros and cons of organic search engine optimization.

Pro: The Results Last

If you’ve used paid advertising in the past, especially PPC or pay-per-click, then you probably loved the immediacy of the results.

However, once you stopped funding your campaign, your traffic likely dried up.

SEO won’t do that.

The efforts you put into organic search engine optimization will pay off dividends for months and even years to come.

Con: Takes Time

On the flip side, those results might take anywhere from six weeks to six months before they start showing up in the metrics that you or your digital marketing team follow as a way of measuring your progress in your SEO campaign.

You’ll have to commit to investing resources into your SEO work consistently with a long game in mind.

Patience will be necessary.

Pro: You Can Dominate A Niche

If you’re able to find a niche that has search volume but not real resources or answers yet, then you can dominate it and beat everyone to the punch.

Netflix saw a niche for streaming content long before anyone else did, and while there are a dozen other services now giving them a fight, Netflix is still around and going strong when Blockbuster isn’t.

The trick is finding those niches. There’s a niche for nearly everything, but not all of them have search traffic.

Con: Your Niche Might Already Be Crowded

For that matter, you might find plenty of niches that have great search volume, but they also already have a lot of players in them.

If there are a dozen other businesses ranked ahead of you and still doing their own SEO all the time, catching up to them is going to be really hard, much less trying to pass any of them.

Keyword creativity and research are always going to be essential because even if you find an empty niche you beat everyone too, you won’t be alone for long.

Constant vision is required.

Remember, Netflix once dominated DVDs by mail, then went streaming, and then swerved again towards exclusive and original content.

The SEO battles never end, especially with search engine algorithm changes happening at any time.

Pro: Cost Efficient

Still, for all the constant need for resources and work being put into organic SEO campaigns, the returns on your investment are undeniable. With perhaps the sole exception of free word-of-mouth advertising, no other marketing medium offers the levels of ROI that organic SEO does.

You spend a bit of money tweaking your website, getting backlinks pointing to your site, putting up social media posts, and updating your site with great content.

In return, you rise up the rankings of Google, and the millions that trust Google will, in turn, trust your site because it’s featured so high in the rankings.

Converting your visitors into business shouldn’t be that hard.

Con: The Need For Specialists

Having said all this, you’ll need specialists who can handle all of this.

That might mean one person doing social media management, another person creating your content, a technical guru tweaking your site, and someone else fishing for backlinks.

If you’re a small business, learning these on your own might eat up your time, and if you don’t have staff you can allocate this to, then you might need to contract the work out to a digital marketing agency like www.DecryptedSeo.Agency. If you choose someone else, make sure you vet them so you don’t get scammed by someone doing black hat SEO.

Now that you’ve read this article, you know the three primary pros and cons of organic search engine optimization.

Weigh all these factors in your analysis and deliberations as you decide whether or not you want to pursue this, or just how much.

Some Top Tips For On-page SEO

When you are the proud owner of a website, there are several things you have to implement and maintain. More specifically, you have to optimize the site and keep it as visible for search engines as possible.

Failing to effectively optimize the site will only lead to disappointment, seeing as there won’t be any traffic coming your way. And if you don’t retain your high ranking once you get it, the traffic won’t be there for very long.

In this article, you are going to be introduced to some top tips for on-page SEO. That means all of these optimization tips will take place directly on your website itself.

Assess The Website

If you already have a website up and running, but you are not getting the results you want, start with a detailed assessment. In other words, don’t just look at what you think is important.

For example, you may think “who cares about broken links on the site? If the post is old and not receiving traffic, why worry?”

Well, search engines pick up on these broken links. And the more you have scattered around, the more search engines regard the site as being spammy.

The result?

Your website gets thrown to the back of the line. The lesson here is to check everything, even the small details.

In-Depth Content And Keywords

Websites exist to provide either information, entertainment, or some kind of shopping experience. It’s important that you establish which categories fit your site and then gear your content in the same direction.

For example, in-depth and unique information can be valuable if you are trying to sell a service or product. But also, it will help you gain more respect with search engines.

At the same time, researching relevant keywords has to be prioritized. Given that this is the primary connection between your site and online users, they should be selected with care and consideration.

More importantly, you want the keywords and content to be clearly connected.

Quick Loading Speeds

If you haven’t realized by now, everything in the modern world is about speed. Faster streaming, faster downloads, and faster websites. If your website isn’t up to speed, in a manner of speaking, it will significantly influence the odds of reaching high rankings.

Of course, it’s not impossible with reasonable speed, but the quicker the better.

So check whether you have any unnecessary ads, popups, plugins, or other elements of disturbance putting a strain on the speed. If they don’t need to be there, get rid of them.

Responsive Design/Theme

It can’t be said enough how important the responsiveness of the design/theme is to the optimization aspects.

For instance, search engines are going to check how the site adapts to different mobile devices. Seeing as some users prefer mobile devices instead of laptops, there is bound to be a difference in how they experience your website.

Invest in a responsive design or theme that should be able to accommodate users with all types of devices, and so, provide you with all the opportunities to reach a better spot in the search rankings.

A Focus On User-Engagement

If there is one piece of advice you really need to take away from this article is to take your cues from search engines.

They are solely focused on providing the best user experience. And while it helps that they aren’t actively selling their services, they aim to keep users engaged for as long as possible.

You should be thinking the same thing.

You want users to stick around for longer, which is why you speed up the site and provide in-depth content.

But if there are more elements you can add with a constructive result, like videos, infographics, and pictures, then go ahead and test it. Because increased user engagement means more search engine visibility.

Algorithm Updates

Lastly, keep up-to-date with algorithm changes from search engines. Then make sure your site either adheres to these changes or make sure the changes are made to the site. Either way, this step is very important if you want to sustain a high ranking and not suffer the consequences of constant changes by the powers that be.

Alternatively, you can hire a professional to help you with all this and so much more. Because if you want to really get competitive, you require advanced on-page SEO tactics.