SEO basics

What are the SEO techniques regarded as black hat?

September 30, 2015 - 2  min reading time - by Emma Labrador
Home > SEO Thoughts > What are the SEO techniques regarded as black hat?

In the search engine optimization world, black hat SEO refers to aggressive SEO techniques that only focus on search engines and do not follow Google official guidelines. On the other hand, white hat SEO involves delivering qualitative and unique content. White hat SEO offers optimized title tag, anchor text of inbound and internal links, H1 for example and much more.

Webmasters who use black hat SEO are looking for fast results in their rankings but often get caught at the end by Google. In both cases, the goal is to developp the visibility of a website. But the way they achieve it is different.

Thus, there are many techniques considered as black hat SEO. Here are some of the main ones.

Keyword stuffing

It consists in inserting a lot of keywords to over-optimized your pages in the SERPs. It is in any case confortable for readers and it will look as unnatural for Google. Keywords should be used only a few times and be various.

Invisible text

It refers to techniques hiding text to add more keywords. Most of the time, webmasters use CSS hidden DIV or font color to match with the background.

Paid links

If you buy too much links from low-quality websites, it will be regarded as black hat SEO and spamming.


If you display something to search engine spiders and something else to your readers, it will be perceived as cloaking. For instance, if a person is looking for SEO duplicate content checkers, your site will be displayed in the SERPs with the right snippet. However, when the user will click on your link, he will land on something totally different and unrelated.

Doorway pages

Doorway pages are fake pages that are presented to search engines but that people don’t see. For instance, a webmaster can spam a content with keywords to get ranked for them and then add a 301 redirect to lead the visitor to a complete different page.

Thin/ Duplicate Content

Using plagiarism is seen as black hat SEO as the content is taken from another author. Google drastically punishes duplicate content as it is not perceived as qualitative one and doesn’t offer value to readers.


It refers to blogs generated automatically and that are keywords stuffing. Those blog are totally useless and empty of actual qualitative content.

Comment Spam

Posting automatic links in blog comments to increase the number of inbound links is regarded as SEO black hat.

Link farm

Link farms are groups of websites that all hyperlink to every other sites in the group. This is regarded by Google as unnatural and as a form of index spam.

Domain Squatting

It consists in registering a domain with a well-known word in the name with the intent to profit off the association – for example using the name of a celebrity.


In the same way, register a domain name that is a common misspelled version of a popular website mislead visitors.

Article spinning

It consists in creating hundreds of different versions of an article to avoid duplicates and create more links related to that one.

To sum up, this list of shady SEO techniques refers to black hat. Apart from ethic, these operations can also lead to a bad reputation, strong penalties like exclusion from search engines or lawsuits. Even if white hat SEO takes longer to be efficient, in the long way it will provides way better results. Remember that the key is to offer the best experience possible to visitors – a metric that black hat SEO does not take into account.

Emma Labrador See all their articles
Emma was the Head of Communication & Marketing at Oncrawl for over seven years. She contributed articles about SEO and search engine updates.
Related subjects: