Digital Marketing

Black Hat: Find out why you should avoid this strategy

Certain strategies may jeopardize your website’s SEO. In this article, you’ll learn about Black Hat, a set of practices that can make Google penalize your page.


01/28/2021 | By Hotmart

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Obtaining more organic traffic and gaining brand recognition on the internet are some of the main goals of those who own a digital business.

To achieve this, certain techniques can be used by entrepreneurs and marketing professionals, such as SEO, search engine optimization. If you’re committed to the process and follow ethical principles, this strategy can result in very positive and long-lasting results for your business.

The counterpoint is that SEO is a long-term technique, so the results don’t come overnight.

Black Hat SEO was created to evade search engine guidelines and find shortcuts to obtain results. This consists of an unethical and harmful way of trying to get top positions in search results.

In this post, you’ll learn about Black Hat SEO and how it works to better understand why you should avoid this strategy.

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What is Black Hat?

The term Black Hat refers to the old western movies, which showed the bad guys wearing black hats, while the good guys wore white hats.

Therefore, Black Hat is a way of developing SEO in a way that involves aggressive and unethical techniques to try to achieve results more efficiently by manipulating search engine rules.

And precisely because it doesn’t follow the good practices recommended by Google, this strategy ends up being self-destructive.

Thus, Black Hat can give an illusion of fast results, but over time, it ends up damaging your website and can even culminate in punishments, such as the non-indexing of pages.

On the other hand, as you may have already noticed, there are other aspects of the SEO strategy, such as White Hat, a practice that’s entirely in line with search engine guidelines.

Besides this one, it’s also possible to choose a middle path, the Grey Hat.

Learn more about the differences between these three aspects below!

What is the difference between White, Gray, and Black Hat?

As said earlier, White Hat SEO uses techniques that comply with Google recommendations and, therefore, focuses on delivering quality and relevance to the user.

According to the guidelines, this should be the main motivator of a content optimization strategy’s success.

This way, if users enjoy the content, they will spend more time on the page, engage more and share it, which automatically adds points to improve your ranking.

Black Hat goes in the opposite direction, disregarding users and the need for quality content,

On the other hand, Gray Hat SEO is a way of taking into account the users’ experience but applying a few less aggressive Black Hat techniques to obtain faster results.

The intention is not to use the harmful practices for a long time and often, but rather, in a subtle way, with caution so as not to suffer punishment.

Why you should avoid using Black Hat SEO 

Some of the reasons for NOT USING BLACK HAT SEO have already been mentioned, such as lack of ethics, damages to the website, and the risk of punishment.

But let’s go a little beyond. The ultimate goal of most SEO strategies is to make the brand/website/product/service reach more people so that they eventually become clients, right?

In its purest concept, marketing is about understanding the needs of customers. Mostly when we talk about digital marketing, the entire focus is on making sure the customer has a positive and satisfying experience.

Trying to sell at any cost without planning or understanding what goes on in the minds of your audience is a thing of the past; it no longer works.

People are more judicious about this, and competition is huge. They want to go to Google and find the most complete and relevant solution for their questions and problems.

Those who better understand the needs of their audience and deliver the most appropriate solutions are the ones that stand out.

And search engines also know this. With artificial intelligence and increasingly robust technologies, they can display the best and most customized results for each search performed.

Now that you know this, do you see any advantage in using Black Hat techniques?

Well, we hope your answer is no because there are really no advantages to using this kind of strategy.

What are considered Black Hat tactics?

Often, entrepreneurs end up using Black Hat strategies without even knowing that they are harmful to their business, simply because they lack any knowledge of the subject or learned from bad sources.

To prevent this from happening, we’ll show you some of the main techniques.

Doorway Pages

Doorway pages have little or no content, only containing several repetitions of head-tail keywords. They are created to fool or sidestep search engines and redirect access to another page.

Besides the excessive and disconnected repetition of keywords, these pages have the purpose of exclusively serving search engines and manipulating users, who access a page that makes no sense, and is automatically directed to another page.


This is a bit like the previous one. Cloaking consists of displaying one thing to the search engines and another one to users, using the same URL.

The goal is the same as Doorway pages, trick Google robots into thinking that there’s optimized content there, while it’s merely a camouflage, because users will see something completely different from what they searched.

Link Farm

This is the tactic of creating a structure with several websites only to redirect users to the main website. The main website then gains points with backlinks, which are worth a lot for the ranking.

The problem is that these websites that only have the purpose of redirecting links are often poor in content, full of malicious and meaningless automation, which is terrible for users.

Sneaky Redirects

Sneaky redirects are malicious pages displayed in the results that redirect users to another page with different content than what they searched for.

Keyword Stuffing

This was a very common technique when algorithms weren’t as developed as they are now and especially took into account the use of keywords. It consists precisely of the exaggerated and illogical repetition of the keyword within the content.

But this doesn’t make any sense nowadays. The algorithms are smarter, and the ranking factors have increased to encompass issues such as content semantics and online authority.

Unrelated Keywords

Unrelated keywords are literally the action of using keywords without any connection to the content, just to try to rank.

Anyone who reads such a page will instantly notice the poor quality of the content.

Spamming in comments

Spamming is a type of malicious automatic message. Therefore, spams are those comments that aren’t real, but rather messages from bots, with links that are repeated exhaustively.

They are created to generate backlinks and fool the search engines regarding page engagement, but they result in drastically negative results for the website.

Hidden content

This is a violation consisting of hiding text or links from content to manipulate search engines.

The malicious website writes the text in the same font color as the background, places it outside the screen, uses size 0 fonts, hides the text behind an image, or adds links in small characters to go unnoticed by users.

All of these practices created exclusively to deceive search engines are considered fraudulent.

Duplicate content

Duplicate content refers to content that is identical to other content on the Internet.

This is the case of deliberate plagiarism or attempts to manipulate search engines to increase the chances of obtaining more traffic. However, it often occurs unintentionally.

If this happens on your website, you can inform Google which URL is the preferred one to be crawled, with canonicals.

Paid links

This is the technique of paying other websites to promote links directing users to your pages.

There’s usually no relationship between the content and the link, and they are promoted through spamming.

Play according to the rules

It’s no wonder Google provides guidelines for webmasters. These are the recommendations of the world’s largest search engine. If you play by the rules, success is guaranteed.

With Black Hat, the idea of fast and easy results is temporary and can cause irreparable damage to your business’ reputation.

So, choose the safest path. If you want to learn more about SEO, check out 7 common SEO mistakes you need to be aware of and how to avoid them.