3 Risky Black Hat SEO Tactics: Still Using Accidentally?
Even if you rely heavily on YouTube videos to learn SEO tactics, there’s a good chance you’ve learned things that directly contradict webmaster guidelines.
This also does not imply that all YouTube tutorials are a waste of time. In fact, YouTube is a great place to pick up SEO tips and tricks.
Some highly reputable YouTube channels like Ahref, Semrush, Brian Dean, Nathan Gotch, Moz, Yoast and many more are consistently providing useful information and tutorials on topics related to SEO.
But things start to happen when someone you are following on YouTube is not up to date on the webmaster guidelines!
As a result, they frequently post tutorials on topics that don’t work anymore. In fact, following them may cost you a lot for your SEO career to go ahead.
How many times have you heard from these YouTubers saying that backlinks from Quora, Behance or tons of guest posts from Medium are considered to be good sources of Backlinks?
Do you get these backlinks naturally or do you create them yourself? To find out why I am asking this question, please keep reading
Anyway, before we move on, let me ask you these three questions to see if you can relate to them.
- Are you looking to hire a Fiverr seller for backlink services?
- Did anyone recommend you buy links from sites that sell links?
- Did you find any web content that sounded unnatural when you read it?
Let’s try to answer these questions in the coming sections. You will realize what you are doing or planning to do may be related to black hat SEO tactics.
Hiring Fiverr Sellers to Build Backlinks (Think Twice Before You Hire)
Most Fiverr gigs you’ll see provide backlinks from high DA and PA websites! That sounds great, right? In fact, who doesn’t want a link from a site with high Domain Authority (DA) or Page Authority (PA)?
But the question is, should you buy those backlink services from Fiverr?
The answer is pretty straightforward:
Google considers a backlink as a vote of confidence from a quality and relevant web page. So you are putting your website at significant risk for manual or algorithmic action from Google by creating or receiving unnatural backlinks.
In my case, I have stayed away from all kinds of black hat SEO tactics as my personal brand solely depends on white-hat SEO strategies. Visit my home page to learn more.
In 2012, Google launched its anti-spam algorithm, initially known as the Webspam Algorithm Update. Later, they refer to it as the Penguin algorithm update.
And what is so significant about this update?
Well, the primary goal of the Penguin algorithm update is to fight websites that use artificial links to manipulate their search rankings and get more traffic.
Google has updated several versions of this update since then. Here’s a Comprehensive Guide to The Penguin update.
So what exactly does “artificial links” mean then?
Simply put, any links you create on another site without earning them are considered unnatural links.
To help you identify such links, here is a list of backlink sources that Google directly considers artificial.
You should never create or hire anyone to create these links for your site.
- Profile Backlinks (in large quantity)
- Social Bookmarking
- Web 2.0 Links
- Low-Quality Web Directories
- Blog Commenting
- Forum Posting
- Press Releases
- Too Many Guest Posts
- Paid Links
- Poor Article Directories
- Private Blog Network (PBN)/Link Wheel/Link Pyramid
- Footer & Sidebar Backlinks
- Widget Backlinks
And the list goes on!
At this point, I highly recommend that you Google more about these links to get a better understanding of what I’m talking about.
In 2021, a person named Murari Lal asked Google’s Search Advocate, Mr. John Mueller, on Twitter about some of these links, and this is what John Mueller himself replied.
He specifically referred to these link-building practices as the gross violation of webmaster guidelines!
Google will ignore or punish your website for receiving these unnatural links. In the worst-case scenario, Google could altogether remove your website from its index.
Coming back to the Fiverr example, Fiverr has a slew of “backlinks” and “off-page SEO” gigs you can buy, and most of them offer some variation on what’s already listed above.
If you’re having trouble determining whether the links they’re building for your site are natural or artificial, simply send a message to some sellers and ask them specifically what kind of backlink services they offer; you’ll get the answer from their response.
Now, I’m not against Fiverr in any way. In truth, it’s a great online marketplace that caters to both freelancers and customers. Interestingly, I am also a freelancer and have an account on Fiverr. You can, however, learn more about my white hat SEO service by following the link. Fiverr can be a great place to outsource your SEO projects, but when it comes to link building, you only need to be cautious.
Keep in mind that Google uses artificial intelligence to detect spam. It can detect spam even at the crawling stage.
In 2020, Google revealed that it hunts out over 40 billion spammy web pages every day. You can find out more about it in this Search Spam post from Google Search Central.
So what conclusions can you draw from this? If you want backlink services from Fiverr sellers, you can go for it as long as the links don’t violate Google’s webmaster guidelines. Your Fiverr SEO expert should promote your content in a way that allows it to naturally obtain relevant and high-quality backlinks.
Buying Links from Sites That Sell Links
People still buy backlinks from places like Facebook groups and various blackhat SEO forums. Why? Because earning backlinks naturally from relevant, high-quality sites is challenging in many ways.
Many people take on a third-party role by contacting sites willing to sell links. These third-party folks will get your desired links from your niches based on your requirements.
These people have a list of contacts from various niche websites and can assist you in purchasing links from them.
The issue with this strategy is that many sites that sell links also increase their DA/PA by creating artificial links. As a result, it appears good in SEO tools because their AI calculates site authority based on the number of unique referring domains pointing to the sites.
Just because tools show a site’s domain rating to be very high does not mean it is a high authority site in Google’s eyes.
So, while some of you may initially think those sites meet your criteria and thus you can buy links from them, here’s the catch: these sites are mostly created to sell links to people like you, so they flood their pages with excessive external links.
Providing do-follow backlinks to so many web pages is an indication that these sites sell links. Google frequently penalizes these websites, and this penalty is later passed on to all other sites that have links from those websites.
You’ve probably come across web content that seems weird and out of place despite being grammatically correct. Just take a look at this example.
Funny right? just like a toddler who has run out of words and keeps repeating the same thing.
The goal of this black-hat SEO tactic is to trick Google into ranking for a specific keyword. Generally, we come across content with keyword stuffing just like in the above example, but it can be a list of phone numbers, and city names also. Click here to find out what Google has to say further about keyword stuffing.
You can get rid of this hilarious but dangerous practice by understanding the user search intent behind a keyword and how search engines work.
Your SEO standards will definitely improve if you keep an eye on webmaster guidelines and read more about algorithm updates.