The Master Marketer BLOG

Black Hat Internet Marketing: Here's what to stay away from. . .

Posted by Jeffrey Schmidt on Mon, Jun 18, 2012 @ 10 PM

We're going to take a bit of a walk on the wild side today. We'll be dabbling in dark powers and taking a look into Nietzsche's abyss. In short, we're going to be talking about black hat Internet marketing.

This is an aspect of the industry that no one really likes to talk about. However, since SEO is based on using, understanding, and leveraging the policies of Google and the other search engines, it's hardly a surprise that some techniques have been developed that are simply misleading or unethical.

And in the end, they will only hurt your marketing and your brand.

So, read on for a look at some of the tactics you absolutely do not want to see coming out of an Internet marketing group.

Black Hat SEO

Common Tricks of Black Hat Internet Marketing

  • Keyword stuffing. This is exactly what it sounds like, unreadable "content" that is little more than a spamming of keywords in a form that tries to emulate actual content enough to fool search spiders. It rarely works any more, and Google just ignores or degrades the rating of sites that do this.

  • Invisible text. This is another moldy oldie that still keeps getting trotted out. This just means creating "blank" pages of white text on a white background that's full of keywords. As above, this doesn't work for long and will quickly invoke the wrath of Google.

  • Doorway pages. This is setting up a webpage that immediately redirects to a different site, with a nofollow tag attached so that spiders don't see the switcheroo. It allows webmasters to show one set of content to Google and another to anyone clicking through, and vastly inflates pageview rankings.

  • Buying backlinks. Google really doesn't appreciate this one. They even once came down hard on online retail giant Overstock for swapping discounts for backlinks. Gaming the search results screens like this just makes searching worse for everyone and degrades the value of all links.

  • "Bait and Switch." In this case, it means loading a site with keywords that are unrelated to the actual topic at hand, plastering it with banners and popups. This is rarely seen outside of the blackest of black hat toolboxes because it really does nothing except boost ad impressions.

  • Link Pyramids.  This is another way of creating the impression of a lot of backlinks.  Black hat marketeers will buy or establish dozens of websites that exist only to link back to your site, fooling Google's spiders.

  • Ping Spam, or "Spinging."  This entails setting up software that spams ping servers with fake update information, tricking automated systems into believing content has been updated when it has not. 

The Perils of Black Hat Internet Marketing

The real problem with black hat techniques is that they do often work... briefly. SEO rookies can be taken in by flashy claims of immediate rises in their search rankings. They get their results, only to be followed a month later by Google de-listing them, destroying their brand. We won't comment on those who actually do this intentionally, as they are pretty much universally scammers.

If you use these techniques, all you get are illusory benefits and a website full of terrible content that no one will want to visit. This path might be quicker, easier, and more seductive, but it will ultimately backfire.

That's it for today's blog, but there's still more to come.  Stay tuned for our next installment, where we focus on a new kind of black hat marketing trick that has recently arisen on the content marketing scene, namely "autospinning."

Until then, remember:  Don't risk your brand. Keep in the light.

Call DeepSky Marketing to find out how you can create profitable marketing strategies for your company. DeepSky Marketing is a company that provides businesses with profitable marketing systems and verifiable return on investment (ROI). To schedule a brief no-cost consultation call 707 823-3888.

Posted by Jeffrey Schmidt

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