17 Black Hat Seo Tactics You Need To Stop Using in 2018

White hat SEO uses ethical means to optimize a site rankings whereas black hat SEO uses unethical, deceptive and spammy techniques to rank quickly on search results. Sometimes in order to get quick rankings for keywords, marketers end up using black hat SEO techniques. Spammy methods should be avoided as your site could end up getting penalty from search engines.

1) Keyword Stuffing

In this we use too many keywords in content of a webpage to manipulate the rankings.

Its use It is used to improve ranking of website by repeated use of keywords within webpage content.

How it affects – Google may penalize your website, if you intentionally repeat keywords just to rank better for keywords.

2) Cloaking

In this spammers show different page to the to user and a different one to search engines. In this the page which ranks on SERPs upon being clicked is redirected to a entirely different page and end user may have a bad user experience.

Its use It is used to fool search engines to get more traffic to a website.

How it affects – Google may completely bann your website, if you use this spammy technique , so its better to refrain from this technique.

3) Dooraway Pages

Doorway pages are low quality page with thin content filled with stuffed keywords, that are made just to rank for particular one or two keywords. And once the keywords starts ranking on SERP, upon being clicked the users are redirected to an unrelated webpage.

Its Use – They provide little value for visitors and provides benefits to companies by providing more results from same domain on SERPs.

How it Affects – Google started to take action on sites with dooraway pages to improve the experience of visitors. Sites using such methods may see drop in their SERP rankings.

4) Hidden Text

It is a technique used to hide keyword rich text from users and search engines by making the text color as white or by making text color same as the background color.

Its use It is used to improve ranking of website by repeated use of keywords within webpage content.

How it affects – Google may penalize your website, if you use this spammy technique.

5) Paid Links

Buying a link from a high domain authority sites eventually improves the ranking of the buyers websites. Google frowns upon such practices as it can easily manipulate the rankings, so such paid links should be avoided as it can lead to a penalty. Example- Buying link from a directory submission site.

Its use – It is used to improve ranking of website by increasing the number of outbound links(backlinks).

How it affects – If you have a lot of paid links, it is a serious violation of search engine guidelines. If Google catches you your rankings might fall dramatically and even website can be banned.

6) Over-optimized anchor text

After the release of the penguin update a lot websites were affected. Using a keyword in the linking anchor text repeatedly, in order to rank for that particular keyword is a bad practice. Over-optimization of anchor text should be avoided both for internal links and external links, try to make as natural as possible.

Its use – It is used to improve ranking for a particular keyword.

How it affects – Targeting mostly keywords to improve ranking for a keyword is a serious violation of webmaster guidelines post Penguin era and if caught complete website will be banned by Google and it will not show up in search results.

7) Spam Commenting

It involves leaving a line of messages with your websites link, in order to get a backlink. These links are useless as they are nofollow and does not have any SEO value.

Its use – It is very easy way to get links from relevant or irrelevant websites.

How it affects – Doing lots of Blog commenting can invite a penalty from Google.

8) Spam Blogs

These are blogs with low quality content.

Its Use– It is used to promote affiliate links and products and to ads.

How it affects– Google recently launched the Fred update, the search engine will penalize the spam blogs which are created merely for monetization and earn money.

9) Copying Content

In this people steal content from different sites and publish it on their own website, making it look like unique and fresh content.

Its use – Lazy and careless marketers copy some part content from other websites when they don’t want to put effort in creating their own original content.

How it Affects –  It results in content duplication and may lead to panda penalty from Google.

10) Content Spinning

There are many automated online tools which helps you to rewrite/ spin a already published content, making it look like new content which is later published by marketers on their site. Such content has very low user value and full with grammar and errors. It is a spammy method still in practice today.

Its Use – It is easy method to get new content but lacks quality and uniqueness.

How it Affects – Since spun content has too many grammar errors, and mostly uses synonyms to change content Google can identify it and your site could be affected by panda algorithm.

11) Link Exchanging

It is mutual exchanging of a link between 2 websites. It is also called as reciprocal links. Its like you give me a link and in return I will give you a link.

Its use – It is used to increase number of relevant backlinks.

How it Affects – With this method you might get a backlink by mutual link exchange, but exchanging of links for ranking benefits is considered as spam by search engines and it might induce a penalty.

12) Cross-Linking or Web Ring

 In this a group of website link with each other to improve their ranking.

Its use – It is used to increase ranking by getting backlinks from relevant sites. It may also be used to provide one way backlinks to other sites which are not in group.

How it Affects – If the linking sites are hosted on the same IP then it is clearly a spam, and its better to avoid such tactic. But if small number of sites are linking to each other from different IP to limited extent then it is acceptable will improve your rankings.

13) Link Farms

There are sites which do not have quality content on it and does not provide any value to users, they are simply made to provide backlinks to hundreds of other websites and help them to improve their rankings. In this a site gets links from a network of low quality sites. So linking to such spammy sites is a black hat seo technique. Lets understand in a different way, if you are giving outbound links to hundreds of other websites(eg- blog commenting) then your site will be called a link farm.

Its use – Since search engines consider backlinks as one of ranking factors, this technique was introduced to manipulate the search engines by getting backlinks from different domains and hence improve the rankings of the linking website.

 How it Affects – The backlinks obtained from link farms are from low quality sites.

14) Referer Traffic Spam 

Such technique involves sending traffic to a website via fake referrer URLs.

It’s use- It makes the search engine think that a website is getting a lot of visitors. It is sometimes used to fool customers that they are getting a lot of traffic.

How it affects– Getting traffic sounds good, but the reality is that these are useless traffic from bots and automated software’s, and such traffic hardly lasts for 1-2 seconds resulting in high bounce rates. Most of referrer URLs are later on banned by google.

15) Footer Links

It is the act of using keywords in footer links.

Its use- It is used to improve ranking for certain keywords.

How it affects– You can still use keywords in the footer links if you think it will be useful for users to navigate, but don’t overdo it otherwise it may trigger spam signal. Don’t use external links in footers(looks spammy) because it is meant for users to navigate within a website.

16) Typosquatting

It is choosing a domain URL for your own promotion, that contains the competitors brand name in misspelled form.

Its Use – This tactic is used to get a portion of traffic from an already popular brand. This happens when a user misspells a brand name or URL name and ends up on your misspelled site.

17) Social Media Spam

In this a website link is shared on irrelevant posts, groups, pages or shared privately to unknown persons either manually or using some automated tools.

Its Use – With the rise of traffic on social media site, some spammers have started to exploit it for SEO gain, in an attempt to get a portion of social media traffic on their site.

How it Affects – You can do it to some extent, no issues but overdoing it may raise spam signal and can lead to penalty from Google.


Blackhat seo techniques should be avoided by at all cost since it can lead to your website getting banned completely or your ranking may drop dramatically. Copying content can lead to copyright infringement issues and can lead to lawsuit. Blackhat tactics may give you results initially, but later on you will eventually get penalized. So always try to follow search engine guidelines and use white hat seo techniques for better results in long term.



I am a Digital Marketing Expert who helps Small business grow online. I create brands by improving sales and conversions through Online Marketing channels like SEO, Social Media, Adwords & Content Marketing. During free time, i write blogs and share my knowledge with others.

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