SEO is an important and effective task that helps find content, index it and show relevant data online. While working on search engine optimization, you should never engage in shady practices to mislead search engines. Dishonest and shady practices to get visibility for your website is referred to as “Black Hat” SEO. Here are some techniques you should be avoiding:
Stuffing is overusing keywords in your content, in alt tags, in meta tags, in title tags, etc. Repeating words too often unnecessarily is not good. Search engines are smart enough to understand this and may apply filters to reduce your site ranking or may even ban your site. Examples of keyword stuffing: “Join us to learn best of yoga on yoga international day at therapy yoga centre as yoga is important for health and you can be fit by doing yoga.”, “yoga mat, yoga pants, yoga, yoga day, yoga, yoga”.
This is done by making text size too small or making the text color same as that of background color. That way visitors to the site cannot read the text but can be seen by search engine spiders. Search engines can figure out these tactics easily today, so it’s better to avoid such practice.
Linking your website to bad sites with unrelated content and which use stuffing techniques to increase their ranking is a bad idea. Always verify sites before linking. See that they are indexed by google and have good ranking and are not involved in any shady practice.
Doorway pages or Gateway pages or call it orphaned pages are specially made with the purpose of getting high rank for a particular search. Such pages have particular targeted keywords and are often not part of a website. Often visitors land up on some unrelated page.
Cloaking displays a page with different content to site visitors and a page with different content to search engines. For sole purpose of getting high ranking, cloaked page is stuffed with keywords. Your site can be penalised for manoeuvring rankings.
Duplicating content means copying and pasting content from different sources to your site. Search engines look for unique content, so this is the worst black hat practice. Search engines cannot figure out who made the original content, so make sure no other site is duplicating your content. You can check that no one is duplicating your content by performing a search using some of your text with quotation marks (") around it.
Link Farms are cluster of sites interlinked to each other with or without any relation with the purpose to get link popularity and increase Google page rank.
Black hat practices are very risky and can be caught by Search engines nowadays. If caught, your website can be fined and will lead to lower page ranking or even get banned. Avoid such malicious practices!