Traffic No-Nos: Black Hat SEO

A fair number of people would stop at nothing to make their website popular, up to and including visiting numerous internet cafes and visiting the site from as many different IP addresses as possible. While that is an extreme example – it does happen, though – there are other things that people will do under the impression that it will get their Google hits skyrocketing – only to find out in the fullness of time that this really is not the case. So what are these traffic mistakes – and why should you avoid them?

Among the most common things that the uninitiated try in order to up their traffic, black hat SEO is a fairly new one, but has already come to the attention of the search engines, who have marked it out as a bad idea and something that will get you falling down the list of rankings quicker than you can say “persona non grata”. Black hat SEO – the name comes from the old-style Westerns in which the “good guys” wore white hats and the bad guys wore black – is a style of SEO that tries to trick Google and other search engines.

How do you trick Google? Well, the theory goes that you can place articles which are artificially stuffed with keywords on a site, so that it looks like keyword relevance is high. In some cases, the site will then redirect you to another page which has the actual content on it. This, along with other black hat tricks like “hiding” text by writing it in the same color as the website’s background (and just writing lists of keywords), will not work – Google know every trick in the book, and will downrank people who use them.

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