What is Black Hat SEO?

Black Hat SEO is an “unethical” search engine optimization technique that is used by some people to obtain quick results in organic search (SEO).  The techniques used would include keyword stuffing, the use of invisible text, link farms, link agreements and a series of “back door” methods to obtain a high rank in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).  Most of these techniques used would translate into to lower quality websites ending up at the top of search results.

In today’s internet search environment, search engine companies such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo place a high SEO value on quality user experience.   The poor user experience created by Black Hat SEO is of great concern to search engine companies. As most of their revenue is linked to a customer’s satisfaction with their search results.  If a person uses Google to search for quality medical supplies and the results consist of “spammy content” websites trying to sell low-grade products.

The user will eventually try a different search engine such as Yahoo or Bing to acquire better search results.  As there are no switching costs when changing search engines, very recently, search engine companies have been fighting the use of Black Hat SEO techniques by creating new search algorithms as Panda and Penguin that scrutinize website in greater detail. The search engines would then heavily penalized websites using Black Hat SEO tactics.

Penalties could range from delisting of web pages to loss of page rank to a total ban of the entire website from the search engine.   It is important to note that sometimes over aggressive SEO tactics cross the line and use Black Hat SEO methods.  In such cases, Search Engines will allow them to correct their mistakes and resubmit their website to be indexed again.

Should I use Black Hat SEO?

The use of Black Hat SEO should never be used to gain better SERPs.  It is better to take the time to work on a solid SEO strategy that will be rewarded by Google, Yahoo, and Bing with a high ranking position in SERPs. All three Search Engine companies have tools and articles available for web masters to use as SEO guidelines.

It is recommended that readers take a look at our FREE SEO Tools section and also our blog articles to learn more about search engine optimization techniques.  Unless you intend to run a “fly by night” business you should away think of building a long term SEO plan that will protect your hard work well into the future.  

Why do people use Black Hat SEO?

Some people today still rely on Black Hat SEO methods to achieve high page ranking.  They use these techniques as a fast and cheap method to overtake their competitors.   While their tactics may have worked in the short term, in the long term Black Hat SEO will almost always fail, as search engine companies are constantly changing their search algorithms to weed out Black Hat SEO.  Very recently Google introduced their new search engine algorithm called Hummingbird.

The Hummingbird algorithm is so powerful that it will be practically impossible to continue to use Black Hat techniques.   Why do webmasters still use Black Hat SEO? Many websites that are selling fade type products will use Black Hat SEO techniques because they have no intention to keep the website up for a long period of time.  They may only be focused on a period of a few months, where they can sell their products.  Then after they make their profits, they move on to the next hot selling product.

In their case, it would actually make sense to do whatever it takes to attract as many visitors as possible as fast as they can. The methods they use may be cost effective and fast.  When they get caught and penalized, they can always create another site very quickly, or switch to selling a new product or service.


If you have created a website with long term goals in mind, stay away from Black Hat SEO, as you will eventually get caught and penalized.  It’s better to focus on quality SEO that also provides your visitors with a better user experience.  In the past many SEO specialists would have to adopts Black Hat methods to survive.  As there was no other way to get in the top rankings.

Today the tables have changed as it’s getting close to impossible for Black Hat users to “rig the system”.  With the introduction of Hummingbird, it looks like White Hat SEO is the only game in town!