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4 Black Hat SEO Tricks That Actually Work

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Good versus bad. Right versus wrong. Dark versus light. This is how many people still view various avenues of life; the wild world of SEO is no different. But truthfully, there are a lot of grey areas in the world. In fact, most views of right and wrong are only perceptions, as the viewpoint really depends on which side of the fence you stand on.

When it comes to black hat SEO tactics, I’m not here to debate whether these are ethical, unethical, or should even be used or not; this is merely an honest analysis of if they still work in 2016. And frankly, the answer is yes. There will always be those who are looking to game the system and, as we all know, where there’s a will there’s a way.

For those who don’t know, black hat SEO is any tactic or method intended to boost page ranking that falls outside search engine guidelines. This could mean keyword stuffing, cloaking, hidden text, and various other tricky practices.

Let’s take a look at the black hat SEO tactics that still produce results in the age of Google:

Keyword Stuffing

We’re likely all familiar with this one; jam-packing content and webpages with keywords in an awkward manner to help bolster your seat in the SERPs is frowned upon by the big G. There is, however, an “ethical” way to go about this.

The employment of user-generated tagging creates the same effect as keyword stuffing without the uncomfortable word flow or potential ramifications from Google. Allowing users to post questions that incorporate tags not only helps to organize the massive amount of user-produced content, but also creates a network of metadata that is more acceptable and palatable for a search engine to read and improves the relevance of content. Stack Exchange is one site that does this exceptionally well.

Creating Duplicate Content

What this traditionally means is you are reposting content on your site or a related site with no additions or changes to the actual copy.

The honorable way around this is to simply repurpose and repackage the content in a new way. Some ways to accomplish this would be to:

  • Create a video, slideshow, etc. of the same content to publish in other places users would look to consume the content’s information.
  • Revive previous posts with new insights, experience, or updates. Publish the new post with a link to the original and edit the bottom of the piece to include the new material. Seek out your most popular blogs and elaborate or expand the original ideas.
  • Send out the same tweet at different intervals of the day and link to older, but still useful, content. You can likely drive as much traffic as when it was initially released.

Private Blog Networks

Google uses inbound links as a ranking factor for sites. Each inbound link is considered something like a “vote”; the more “votes” pointing toward your site, the higher it will rank. At least, that’s how it is used to work before Penguin shifted the focus of links from quantity to quality. These days, loads of low-quality links will actually harm your standings, so all links are not created equal.

With private blog networks, site owners establish a network of blogs that all link to and point toward their big money-maker. With this method, Google won’t, or will at least be slow to, become privy to the push taking place.

The problem with this method, however, is that to get away with using a private blog network and actually see a rankings boost, at least 10 top-notch posts that contain real value must be generated. This in itself can be quite time consuming, let alone setting up the network itself. Additionally, each site needs to be registered under fictitious whois data, be on different registrars and accounts to dodge IP address issues, and certain programs must be used to cover your tracks.

While this method certainly does work, it takes a lot of time and effort that could be put forth toward just building your SEO value in a more straightforward way.

Negative SEO

Negative SEO is the method of not trying to increase your site’s standing directly, but to tear down the competition through essentially attacking their sites.

Negative SEO is accomplished through purchasing an abundance of spammy links (by the thousands) and pointing them all toward your competitors. Doing this will ultimately turn Google’s attention toward your adversary and penalize them accordingly. The results can be absolutely devastating.

While this strategy certainly does still work, I will admit this practice is a bit shady. While there is really no “ethical” way to take this approach, your perspective can be shifted in how you view the competition. Instead of viewing other sites as rivals, why not try to develop something of a working relationship? Try to gain links from these sites, acquire guest posts, and so forth. Additionally, much like private blog networks, it would seem that your time could be much better spent focusing on how to positively impact your own business instead of just trying to bring down others.

The bottom line here is that black hat SEO campaigns still work. But for how long? That depends on how good you are at not leaving any breadcrumbs. But seeing how much work can go into deceiving Google, it would certainly seem that you are better off just playing by the rules, and finding genuine and reliable ways to increase your site’s ranking. Do you want to be constantly looking over your should to see if Google is hot on your heels?

What are your thoughts on black hat SEO? Do you think any methods are worth implementing, or is it better to just abide by the rules?

About the author

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Tina Courtney

Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Visit My Google+ Profile

76 Comments

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  • Hi Thanks for sharing information , But still you think this won’t effect total SEO campaign, Specially the last sub topic on sharing Spam links to competitors. What I believe is we can win more via white hat SEO paths than this.

  • I have never used black hat techniques as a matter of principal and have always tried to produce useful, helpful content that has some level of fundamental value.

    But I have to say, given that I operate in the holiday/travel arena, it seems almost impossible to make any gains against the likes of Trip Adviser, Owners Direct, Booking.com etc.

    I have noticed the same trends for other commercial areas, when you search for a product to buy, for example, how often the results are nearly always Amazon, Ebay and all the other major suppliers. It just seems that the small independents are getting ignored even when they offer exactly what the search consists of.

    The point I am making is that these large Internet presences use the techniques you have highlighted by default and probably not even deliberately. Well once they have reached a certain critical mass at least. So the techniques, I am sure, do work. The possible exception being the negative SEO, which is downright underhand under any circumstances, so shame on Google if they fall for that.

    The only light at the end of the tunnel I can see is that if you use Google and have a Google+ account, the keywords used in a status update will often compete against the big guns for the same term and your Google+ post, if not your website, will be returned in a reasonable position in the search results.

    Not what most webmasters want, but a crumb of comfort in a very competitive world that no longer favours the little guy.

  • Nice post but there are certainly other Black Hat techniques that still works and which I follow religiously and it works, question is how you implement them and how far you go down the Black Hat route.

  • Ok post but a bit vague, need to be more detailed also needed an option to cotinue with more detailed info.
    Tell me what you think about http//www.a-zautotransport.com

  • Nice information but i still believe that blackhat seo still produces great results on ranking a site for a very long time without being penalize by google.

  • Hello dear,
    It’s really True.we’re working for Fast Result getting client and you know noone have passions.we forcefully use your given idea for website.
    Thanks
    Sagar Ganatra

  • Years ago, I had a guy call me in a panic. He had operated a small e-commerce site until an SEO expert he hired employed a bunch of black hat techniques. His business was now booming, so he signed a lease on a warehouse, stocked up on inventory and hired staff. Month’s later, Google changed their algorithm and the orders turned off like a faucet. He couldn’t afford all the overhead anymore, and went bankrupt. It’s not worth the gamble in my opinion. Black hat SEO firms are gambling with real people’s livelihoods.

    It’s rough enough that businesses have to run around pandering to Google’s algorithm decisions as they are playing with everyone’s livelihoods … Feel like a pawn in their chess game at times.

  • Hi Tina,

    Well…I believe whatever is good for your business even if its against Google’s guidelines, just do it.

    Google is here to do business and make profits, so do anyone setting up a websites online.

    If its good for my business and make my customers return for more, I just do it.

    Thanks Tina.

  • a lot of the blackhat tricks still work !

    damaging the competition is a path that i never would follow, everything is traceable these days, and you don’t want to pay for damages, lost sales etc etc

  • I was very impressed with this article, I really needed this information “Black Hat SEO Tricks That Actually Work”. It’s good versus bad.

  • Is not maybe black hat.. I mean that’s some white hat seo.. But very easy tricks with some hard work.
    Thanks

  • I want to do black hat SEO after reading this article but still i am very feared to be palatalize. By the way very nice article to understand the benefit of Black hat SEO.
    Thanks again……….

  • Well, it proved to be quite helpful and effective strategies for Black Hat SEO. I am looking forward to take some advantage of these. Thanks for providing this informative post.

  • Thanks for the great post.Yes!Black Hat technique actually works as you said.Back Hat is one of the method which is not acceptable by search engine guidelines.But,nowadays people are using the technique in order to get rank well in SERP to improve thier business ASAP.My opinion is, If you use the technique,It may leads to the penalty as this violate the google guidelines.

  • Grey hat seo could be fun. But I think it should be done once in a while. More efforts should be put into white hat seo.

  • Considering Google is always changing their algorithm, it’s not worth the risk even if you get a good SERP in the near term. The SEO process is long and tedious and Google rewards hard work obtaining natural earned backlinks.

  • Hi Tina, I do not agree with many things that you say.

    Google engineers are not stupid. They have filters to identify spam and not to punish but to disable. They long thought that competitors can be harmful.

    The only thing I agree is in the network of blogs. But it has its days numbered.

    The best thing you can do at present is white seo or marketing content, is slow but solid.

    Here I attached an article I wrote about the benefits of SEO white: seoencuba.com/seo-oscuro-de-sombrero-negro-seo-blanco-que-es-mejor/

    http://seoencuba.com/seo-oscuro-de-sombrero-negro-seo-blanco-que-es-mejor/

    Written in Spanish. I talk about the characteristics of dark SEO specialists and how dangerous they can be.

    It is unethical work the dark SEO when you have customers.

  • I knew these step will work on website ranking improvement and once update comes certainly will drop ranking factor

  • Stay away from black hat tactics. They might work for a short time, but it will catch up with you. Search engines do not like to be deceived.

    Stick to white hat tactics for on-page optimization, earn links the hard way and put the effort into marketing your business and content. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.

  • Great stuff ! Am not sure about other black hat activities however keyword stuffing is quite tricky and easy way for achieving search engine ranking.

  • These are indeed the most frequently used Black-Hat SEO techniques to improve search rankings of websites. Some of the other highly practiced black-hat seo tactics include: invisible text, doorway pages, adding unrelated keywords to the page content & page swapping. But there is a great risk in using these strategies as a website can get banned from a search engine permanently.
    So i’d rather suggest to stick with organic SEO & white hat SEO methods.

  • Interesting article, here’s my 2 cents tho. Never go full blackhat, always mix it with white or greyhat technique unless asking for deranking!

  • Interesting article, here’s my 2 cents tho. Never go full blackhat, always mix it with white or greyhat technique unless asking for deranking!

  • This is very interesting, especially the point with keyword stuffing.
    A bit less than a year ago I bought links here:seo-servicen.dk/en/
    My rank increased a lot after, and it’s been a pretty great success actually but I’m really afraid that I might get punished by Google some day when they figure my dirty little secret out, do you guys have any suggestions for what I could do to “save my ass” in case they some day make an update to their algorithm that could tell that I bought links? Also are you familiar with this link provider or any other?

  • Hi, well I have used all strategies till now the best results i got and the longest results that kept me in 1 place was only white hat interesting Content, Informative tools, free stuff, entertain them with interesting stuff and much more videos tutorials and you will see your ranking explode but thats not all you have to do, share it into your social signals and do couple of blog commenting and interview backlinks and thats all that is working for me this days.

    Thanks for your blog, BlackHat Is not good for long term so take care all.

  • Thanks for sharing information , But still you think this won’t effect total SEO campaign, Specially the last sub topic on sharing Spam links to competitors. What I believe is we can win more via white hat SEO paths than this.

  • Stay away from black hat tactics. They might work for a short time, but it will catch up with you. Search engines do not like to be deceived.

    Stick to white hat tactics for on-page optimization, earn links the hard way and put the effort into marketing your business and content. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.