As a digital agency, we often highlight the benefits of SEO, but it is also our responsibility to discuss the pitfalls of SEO as a digital marketing technique when it is not used correctly, or is employed in an unethical way.
Most of the time when SEO is done badly, it is done on purpose. This is referred to as black hat SEO, and while some of these techniques may have worked in the past, Google is on to all the tricks of dodgy SEO people, and if there are any dishonest tricks that Google doesn’t know about, it won’t remain that way for long.
Here are some of the most common black hat SEO techniques, and if your digital agency is employing them, you’re much better off employing an agency like Just Perfect that is strictly white hat.
As with all black hat SEO, this involves deception. When Internet users are searching online, this technique will lead the user (and Google) into believing that a link leads to one address, when it actually leads to another.
This is when content writers will shove as many keywords into an article as possible. This is pretty easy to spot because it is impossible to write content that reads naturally and enjoyably, so you’ll know it when you see it. Keywords are important, but they must always remain relevant.
SEO practitioners would use this to add in keywords to a site. This would be words of a certain colour over a background which is the same colour. This was an incredibly lazy way to add in content as well as keywords, and when Google’s algorithm began to punish sites that did this, it was good news for Internet users, as SEO strategists needed to present good quality content. This leads to the next point in black hat SEO.
This can come in many forms, from plagiarism, to low word count. At the centre of every good search engine is the human element, and people want to see rich and original content. Bad content refers to pages that do not satisfy Internet users.
It is best to remember that Google is much like the unforgiving teacher we have all known in our lives, except much worse – it has eyes in the back of its head, and if it catches you doing something wrong, it will not only punish you, it will call for your expulsion. Once a site has been flagged as employing black hat SEO techniques, you may as well give it up and start afresh, because not even the best digital agency can save it.