Are there days when you wish you can just grab Google by the throat to get its attention? One way to do it is to use black hat techniques. These are aggressive means to game the search engines into giving sites higher search rankings. Obviously Google doesn’t like this. Although you might succeed at catching the attention of search engines, you will eventually end up getting booted out of the index.

A number of webmasters still practice these tactics. Anyone who gets caught using them though can suffer severe penalties. If you really want to get on top of those search results, it’s in your best interests not to use any shady methods. There is a wide range of black hat tactics that are currently being used. Here are a few of them you should avoid.


This is generally defined as a strategy that serves two different versions of a web page. Some forms of cloaking are not bad. Geo targeting for example is considered acceptable although some sources treat this as a separate topic altogether from cloaking. Geo targeting involves serving two different relevant pages to two different geographic locations. This is acceptable as long as the Google robots from the same IP addresses are given the same content as the users.

What is deemed clearly unacceptable in the eyes of search engines is cloaking used with the intention of deceiving them. An example of a bad cloaking practice is when the first version of a web page served to search engines is well optimized for on topic keywords but the second version served to users is an aggressive sales spiel.

Selling Links

Many site owners pay good money to have their links posted on reputable web pages. Up front, this seems like a form of advertising. There are however some forms of link selling that are considered black hat SEO techniques. A well known example of what search engines see as black hat link selling is paid posts. Bloggers get paid by site owners for writing short posts that contain links to their sites. A couple of years back, Google started lowering the page ranks of blogs that were identified as link sellers. This was to prevent low quality sites from ranking high because of paid posts.

Hidden Text And Links

This strategy first became popular ten years ago and is still currently in use. This involves placing text or links in pages that are of the same color. Users can’t see these but search engine robots can. This is yet again another way to stuff more keywords in pages for search engine’s to pick up.

Sneaky Javascript Redirects

There are legitimate forms of redirecting pages. This technique may be useful for example when a website is about to move to take on a different domain name. What Google doesn’t like is redirecting to completely irrelevant pages. Users get tricked into clicking seemingly relevant search results, but end up getting served unrelated information. A basic example would be searching for Maria Sharapova photos and getting a page that details the latest whiz bang secret to losing 20 lbs. in two days. Google aims to provide the best experience to users by providing the kind of relevant content users look for. Since redirects go against this, sites that practice it get penalized.

100% Frames

This method involves pulling data and content from other websites and displaying them in frames. This makes the actual content unreadable by engine robots. This is essentially a way to hide and mask content.

So you think you can still pull a fast one on Google? As they say, it’s only bad if you get caught but you don’t really want to take the risk. You don’t have to use black hat techniques. These SEO FAQs show that here in Melbourne SEO Services we can get your site to rank well using only white hat, legitimate techniques.

Want to get the best current white hat techniques to push your site to the top? Get a copy of the Melbourne SEO Services workshop.

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