Black Hat SEO Techniques That Still Work
In order to be on top of your game as an SEO, one thing you must have the discipline to do regularly is monitor search engine algorithms. If you find soft spots in the various search engine ranking systems, you can adjust on-page SEO techniques you have employed on client websites to achieve quick improvement. Exploiting soft spots in search engine algorithms is not unusual. To be in a position to do that, you must operate near and (at times) over the boundaries you already know. Unfortunately, you take the risk of being penalized by search engines.
Friends In Low Places
One good way to stay abreast of the darker side techniques is to maintain close relationships with SEO experts who don’t shy away from Black Hat SEO methods. They often seem like the same guys my mother didn’t like me hanging out with when I was in high school. But staying on top of less ethical approaches is necessary, just to see what does and doesn’t work. Interestingly, many old Black Hat SEO methods keep working.
Here’s a look at some of the dark side Search Engine Optimization or SEO techniques.
Changing Search Engine Results On Your Competition
Influencing the SERPnofollow ranking of your competition is hard. However, influencing which page on their domain rank is much easier. If the wrong page ranks, they’re likely to miss a conversion.
This is a trick derived from a specific search engine reputation management (SERM) tactic. Instead of pushing a negative result down, you can replace it by a neutral/positive page on the same domain. This way you don’t have to match all the domain related factors before focusing on relevance and page importance. The new result replaces the old one, thus removing a negative result from the top 10. You can influence which page ranks.
To exploit this on a competitor:
Find an alternative page on their domain with some search term focus.
Find PageRank (link value without particular relevance) anywhere on the Internet.
Link from the page with PageRank or redirect it to the page you want to have ranking.
If enough link value is passed, the second page outranks the original one.
Thus, a page that your competition doesn’t want being buoyed is, at the expense of the page they need high ranks.
Re-using Link Value for a Different Sentiment
The way you get websites to link to you can be different from the way you use it to rank. As long as these links aren’t removed, you can even spread an opposite message.
Research focused on the death toll caused by some drug found to be harmful is probably much more linkable than a website selling it. Even mainstream media might link to this. Once the newsworthiness of the research is over, all these links will have ended up in news archives and many links will never be removed. Re-using the link value then becomes easy.
If the new message focuses on the same search term, it will take over the original ranking. Your “Buy This Drug Now” page probably makes you more money than the old research.
To use this to your advantage:
Create a linkable message with the theme of the desired search term. Being against something popular or proving a popular statement is very linkable.
Make sure the links will remain after you change the message.
Change the message on the old URL or use a 301 redirect to re-use the link value.
Be A Snitch To Rat On Your Competitors
This is the most common type of black hat SEO. Many SEOs report every paid link they can find to search engines. Ask yourself, do they do it to help Google, or is it in their own best interest?
There are many things your competition does, either purposefully or accidentally, that might be seen like spam. If they benefit from it and if it can even get them a penalty, you can choose to point this out to Google.
The most important tip for submitting a spam report: “Make sure you don’t violate any rules yourself!” Because you submit a spam reportnofollow from your Google Webmaster Central account, they could know who you are.
Black Hat Options Arise All The Time
Most old black hat tactics keep working and new ones are continuously being added. When search engines like Google fill one hole, they open another.
It is fun to be on the forefront of this battle, but most websites shouldn’t consider doing it. If you’re not experienced enough to oversee the possible consequences, don’t get into black hat. We certainly shy away from the dark side.