The Dark Side of SEO: Black Hat SEO
Search engines are not infallible. We have all, at some point in our searching lives, found a link on the web that seemed interesting or helpful but when clicked were disappointed to find that the destination page was rubbish. Not only is it frustrating but a complete waste of time.
To receive a good ranking, some web page designers use spamdexing or as we like to call it black hat seo. Spamdexing or black hat seo techniques are the use of various methods to deliberately manipulate HTML pages to artificially increase their positioning on the search engines results page.
Everyone has been a victim of spamdexing or black hat seo. From the student who is doing research for their Shakespearean essay, to the small business owner trying to produce content for their niche related site, even the minds behind the search engines are annoyed to say the least.
Spamdexing takes advantage of search engines by completely ignoring respectable forms of search engine optimization. Spamdexers use a variety of techniques to make sure their websites are displayed in the fertile first two pages of search results; in many cases the pages are irrelevant and even incomprehensible. Spamdexing includes the following techniques.
This involves the practice of overusing a word to increase the keyword frequency on a page. Most modern search engines now have the ability to analyze whether the frequency is above normal level.
Hidden or Invisible Links:
When a webmaster creates multiple sites on the same or similar topic and links them all together through invisible links. The multiple sites may or may not have unique content, in most cases they do not.
Putting text (usually keywords) where visitors will not see them to increase a pages keyword relevancy. This is commonly done by making some text the same as the background color of the page ie. White words on a white background.
Meta tag Stuffing:
Repeating keywords in the Meta tags more than once and/or using keywords that are unrelated to the sites content.
Google considers page rank through link analysis, the more web pages that link to your website the higher the ranking. Some webmasters may create multiple websites at different domain names that all link to one another. This is the worst form of back hat seo techniques.
This technique involves showing visitors and search engines different versions of a page.
Each of the above methods is a form of spamdexing or black hat seo, and will get webmasters who put them to use banned from the search engine. Google has taken an active role to combat against spamdexing. From January 25, 2005 it went after websites that specialized in Google bombing.