Semalt Expert: Cloaking, Keyword Stuffing, Link Exchange And Other Black Hat SEO Techniques

With the world changing, people are increasingly seeking solutions to their problems online. Google is improving its algorithm daily. Many marketers are currently relying on SEO to improve their ranking. There are illegal, unethical techniques used by SEO experts. By using them, however, you risk getting your domain on Google's blacklist.

Basic SEO practices include ALT tags, title tags meta description tags and an XML sitemap for guiding search engine bots as they crawl through your content. It is also recommended to use unique title tags for each page. When you go to deep into the SEO rabbit hole, you will come across practices that may harm your SEO ranking without necessarily bringing the traffic you thought they would. These practices are known as "Blackhat techniques." Google has sophisticated Panda and Penguin algorithms that can even sniff them out. Igor Gamanenko, the Semalt Customer Success Manager, has outlined them below.


Cloaking is a technique used in black hat SEO, which consists in fooling Google by showing it different content and taking users to another web page instead of the one they were going to visit. And this is by far the most abused SEO technique. For instance, you create code that makes Google think that you are redirecting traffic to a web page containing live match updates while you are actually taking them to an e-commerce store. Google is using its algorithm to detect these malpractices. If you're caught, you can be banned from Google or get listed on the last page

Link exchanges

Link exchange is another black hat SEO practice when webmasters exchange links amongst themselves. In most cases, these are low-quality and unrelated to the content links. While it used to work in the past, it's no longer as effective. It's a fast way of getting links in a short time, but it won't improve your ranking.

Duplicating content

Copying content from other sites no longer works. Google only indexes unique and new content. All content that you copy will go to waste. So it is better to spend time creating new unique content. If you want to find out whether your WordPress blog has duplicated content, go to

Buying links

Some time back, websites used to offer thousands of clicks for a few dollars. This worked well considering that it's said links determine 80% of your rank. When Google updated its algorithm, it found all those spammy websites selling links and penalized them. It even punished those who had bought those links.

Keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing occurs when you misuse your keyword after every other sentence. It's not bad having authority in something but, repeating the keyword every now and then becomes an eyesore to your readers and hurts your SEO efforts.

Hidden text

It means including keywords at the bottom of your text in a similar color to your background. Like white text on a white page. You may fool humans, but you can't fool Google's bots. They go through your source code checking for hidden text. They may penalize you for trying to lie to them.

Link farms

Have you ever visited a web page that was full of links only? Link farms are websites that are hosted with the aim of exchanging links. Google is against this idea. You agree that staying away from them is safer than getting penalized. Don't you?

Article spinning

This is copying content from another website and using software to replicate the article. Using automated content generation software falls under this category too. While you may fool search engines, your audience won't enjoy the spammy content.

Over optimizing

They say too much of something is poisonous. Did you know that over optimizing your content for SEO works against you?

Low quality and irrelevant content

Even if you don't lose ranking from spun and low-quality content, you will lose visitors. Such content will send them away, and Google will see this.

There are many "experts" on the internet advising on various SEO techniques. Be careful on what techniques you use. As a rule of thumb, you can never go wrong with Google's webmaster tools.