Should Black Hat Link Building be Avoided?

Black Hat Link Building

Table of Contents

Backlink building is perplexing, time-consuming and tricky, yet the most effective SEO strategy for marketing, as most backlinked pages appear at the top of the “Search Engine Results pages” (SERPs). Backlinks are referrals within a blog, apps, press releases, videos and social media ads that forward you to a hyperlinked website, which increases the ranking of a website.

Backlink Strategies

Backlinking is the key feature of an SEO strategy, which is vital to promote a brand or services, but it could also backfire if not handled properly. Before digging deep into the topic, basic definitions of three types of backlinking strategies are explained below.

Black Hat Link Building: It is based on malicious and spammy websites, blogs, plugins, private networks, etc., that increase the traffic to your platform for a shorter period. This link-building strategy is against Google guidelines. This strategy is against the norms of backlinking, and search engines take sever action against such websites, who use black hat links to improve their reputation and ranking.

White Hat Link Building; This link-building strategy is in accordance with Google guidelines and these links come from authentic and high domain authority (DA) and Ranking (DR) websites. These links bring long-lasting organic traffic to your site.

Grey Hat Link Building; Just like its name, this strategy lies in the grey area between black and white hat. It may involve some immoral techniques for link posting, but it does not affect your ranking by a significant margin in SERPs. In this technique, SEO specialists do not break Google guidelines by a great margin, but trick and maneuver the search engine ranking algorithms. So, this technique is not as risky as a black hat but not as safe as a white hat.

Read | How Many Backlinks per Month Are Safe for the SEO of A Website?

Black Hat Link Building Strategies

Many link-building strategies could be detrimental to products, services and websites. These strategies bring worse than good to your site. Some of these strategies are discussed below;

PBNs

Private Blog Networks (PBNs) is a strategy where a person owns multiple websites and keeps feeding the “Main site” with backlinks and referrals from self-owned websites to increase the main site’s DA and RA to appear at the top of SERPs.

This feeding process clearly violates guidelines and will ultimately result in penalization. Search engine algorithms detect such feeding sites and discount them in the ranking.

Repetitious and Spammy Blog Comments

Comments at the end of a blog post is also one of the most significant sources of bad links. Google works in both directions; it penalizes the targeted site and snubs the host site as well.  The more famous a blog is, the more the chances of these spammy comments.

You can identify these comments by scrutinizing them, as they will be irrelevant to your blog, repetitive, coming from the same person, illegitimate email addresses and websites, generic and duplicate comments from different writers and different anchor text for the same link, etc.

 Therefore, the webmaster must be vigilant and critical of the comments and keep removing these spammy and repetitious comments.

Read | How Many Backlinks Per Day Is Safe?

How Black Hat links are Built

How Black Hat links are Built?

Following are the main sources of Black Hat links.

  • PBNs
  • Repetitious and Spammy comments
  • Referrals and 301 Redirects
  • Low Quality Links
  • Dubious Guest Posts
  • Anchor Text Matching
  • Key word Stuffing
  • AI generated contents
  • Spammy Plugins

Referrals and 301 Redirects

 A 301 redirect refers all the traffic to the new website. This way, you can actually forward the old site’s DA and RA to a new site. This is, again an unethical practice, where the ranking of a new website is automatically improved without actually participating in it. Nowadays, these referrals and redirects are so smooth that a user hardly feels it. So one must use specialized tools like Ayima Redirect Path and redirect checker to find the actual site.

Google has clearly stated that such referrals and redirects are not allowed and can lead to severe action, which could bring you down in the SERPs.

Low-Quality Links

Low-quality backlinks usually come from spammy and predatory websites. These sites can generate a huge flux in a limited amount of time, but they can tarnish your website’s ranking in the longer run.

So always ask your SEO expert to avoid such links. These links usually come from pornographic or betting websites, which could also damage your products’ reputation.

Dubious Guest Posts

Guest posting or blogging is writing a post or blog on someone else’s website. It is also an easy way to get a backlink. High-ranked websites do not allow everyone to post. These are critical to their content’s quality, authenticity, originality and novelty.

In contrast, low-ranked websites not only allow plagiarized, repetitive guest posts but also un-noticed, non-scrutinized and dubious comments on these posts,  which are often full of multiple backlinks.

Again, these type of Links can be detected by the web crawlers, and it damages the business.

Anchor Text Matching

Anchor text is a word/words or phrase that has been hyperlinked to another website. Once you click that anchor text, you are immediately transferred to hyperlinked address. This is a strategy SEO experts often use to create backlinks.  

A typical example is shown in the figure below from an article published at BBC. The text, “Japan normalized diplomatic ties” is hyperlinked to another web page.

g7 summit

Algorithms of different search engines continuously check such words, and if they find the repetitious anchor text, they penalize them. The simple way to avoid this is to use different anchor text.

Keyword Stuffing

Different sites use keywords to appear at the top in SERPs. Persistently and frequentatively using the same keyword raise a red flag, and search engines tag them as malicious and unethical.

Al Generated Contents

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a household word now and keeps humming around for different reasons. It is also widely used to create content. Copywriters use different AI software to produce content and publish with their names. This type of content is easily detectable.

The funny part is “AI-based algorithm of search engines detects the content produced by using AI”.

Spammy Plugins

One often receives requests for installing a plugin for further watching/navigating a page. Most of these plugins are spammy and contain a hidden links. It is challenging to detect such plugins for an ordinary user, but search engines and crawlers can easily detect and snub them. 

These plugins are useless, as Google does not count such links in their ranking.

Read | What Is Testimonial Link Building And Its Importance?

Examples of Back Hat Link Building

There are many lawsuits against companies in Europe and the USA for manipulating SERPs to promote their business, using Black Hat Backlink building strategies.

Los Angles Times and Reuters published a story based on the lawsuit of a tour company, accusing Groupon of false backlinks, which anchored Google’s advertising system.

Los Angeles Times Groupon offered

It was claimed by the tour company that Groupon offered 50-90% off, but the link forwards to no such deals.

Similarly,  J. C.  Penney topped the SERPs for many months for many diversified items. Even the New York Times claimed that “Samonite.com” appeared in second for the “Samsonite Carry on Luggage”. Later, over 2000 backlinks were found stuffed with anchor text and keywords. By reducing their ranking, Google later penalized them for their illegitimate backlinking and keyword stuffing.

Summary

  • Malicious, spammy, unethical, illegitimate and felonious Backlinks are unavoidable.
  • One must be vigilant, watchful and hawk-eyed about their blogs, posts and comments to remove such Backlinks.
  • Footprints of these backlinks are easily trackable, So do not opt for Back Hat Backlink strategy.
  • So, always “GO” for permanent, trustworthy, and long-lasting backlinks.
Summary of Black Hat SEO

Conclusion

Google and other search engines are continuously improving their algorithms for true SERPs. So, even if you have escaped from Google’s radar for a while, it will not last long.

So sooner or later, you will be penalized, and these penalties could be very harsh and can ruin and tarnish your business. It is also worth mentioning that the recovery in such cases is indolent.

There is no shortcut for success. So, an accomplished and legitimate business is better than a short-term, illegitimate, unethical and malicious achievement.

Punchline is, “Be vigilant, watchful, attentive, cautious and observant of every backlink you receive, as the Black hat backlink can exterminate and annihilate your hard-earned business”.

Finding an authentic SEO expert who could boost your business by following Google Guidelines is hard.  Dlinx is a team of experts who provide a customized strategy for your business using only White hat backlinking.

We promote your business on legal, ethical, and high DA and RA websites. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a quote and queries.

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