Black Hat SEO Tactics
In order to be on top of your game as a Search Engine Optimization specialist, you must have the discipline to regularly monitor search engine algorithms for changes. Search Engine Rankings may change with changes in algorithms and opportunities may arise which require new Search Engine Optimization techniques. When those opportunities present themselves, you can adjust on-page SEO techniques you have employed on client websites to exploit the opportunities to achieve quick improvement. Exploiting soft spots in search engine algorithms is not unusual; many SEO companies do it. To be in a position to do that, you must operate near and, at times, over the boundaries set by Google and other search engines. Doing this, however, means bearing the risk of being penalized by search engines.
One good way to stay abreast of the dark side techniques is to maintain relationships with search engine optimization experts who aren’t as shy about employing Black Hat SEO tactics. The Black Hat guys often remind me of the guys my mother didn’t like me hanging out with in high school. But staying on top of less ethical approaches is necessary, just to see what does and doesn’t work. Interestingly, many old tried and true Black Hat SEO tactics keep working. Here’s a look at some Black Hat SEO tactics that still work.
Changing Search Engine Results On Your Competition
Influencing the ranking of your competition is hard. However, influencing which specific page on their domain that ranks is much easier. If a page that your competitor does not intend ranks highly, they’re likely to miss a conversion.
This is a trick derived from an old search engine reputation management (SERM) tactic. Instead of pushing a negative result down, you can replace it by a neutral/positive page on the same domain. This way you don’t have to match all the domain related factors before focusing on relevance and page importance. The new result replaces the old one, thus removing a negative result from the top 10. You can influence which page ranks. To exploit this on a competitor:
- Find an alternative page on their domain with some search term focus.
- Find PageRank (link value without particular relevance) anywhere on the Internet.
- Link from the page with PageRank or redirect it to the page you want to have ranking.
- If enough link value is passed, the second page outranks the original one.
- Thus, a page that your competition doesn’t want being buoyed is, at the expense of the page they need high ranks.
Re-using Link Value for a Different Sentiment
The way you get websites to link to you can be different from the way you use it to rank. As long as these links aren’t removed, you can even spread an opposite message. Research focused on the death toll caused by some drug found to be harmful is probably much more linkable than a website selling it. Even mainstream media might link to this. Once the newsworthiness of the research is over, all these links will have ended up in news archives and many links will never be removed. Re-using the link value then becomes easy.
If the new message focuses on the same search term, it will take over the original ranking. Your “Buy This Drug Now” page probably makes you more money than the old research. To use this to your advantage:
- Create a linkable message with the theme of the desired search term. Being against something popular or proving a popular statement is very linkable.
- Make sure the links will remain after you change the message.
- Change the message on the old URL or use a 301 redirect to re-use the link value.
Be A Snitch To Rat On Your Competitors
This is the most common type of Black Hat SEO tactics. Many SEOs report every paid link they can find to search engines. Ask yourself, do they do it to help Google, or is it in their own best interest? There are many things your competition does, either purposefully or accidentally, that might be seen like spam. If they benefit from it and if it can even get them a penalty, you can choose to point this out to Google. The most important tip for submitting a spam report: “Make sure you don’t violate any rules yourself!” Because you submit a spam report from your Google Webmaster Central account, they could know who you are.
Black Hat Options Arise All The Time
Black Hat SEO tactics seem to keep working, and new Black Hat SEO tactics spring up all the time. When Google or other search engines put their finger in one hole, another always seems to pop open. Being on the forefront of this good v evil battle is fun, but most websites shouldn’t consider doing it. If you’re not experienced enough to oversee (and live with) the possible consequences, don’t consider using Black Hat SEO tactics. We certainly shy away from them.