September 11, 2023

What is Black Hat SEO?

If you’re new to the world of SEO, you’ve probably heard the term “Black Hat SEO.” In this article, we will discuss the concept of Black Hat SEO, what SEO practices are known as Black Hat, and how using them might affect the health of your website.

So, what is Black hat SEO?  Black hat SEO uses unethical techniques in an attempt to generate more traffic. Examples of Black hat SEO methods include keyword stuffing, buying backlinks, and hiding content. Instead of earning a position on a search engine by implementing correct SEO strategies, Black Hat SEO makes use of improper methods. It is essentially being impatient and not putting in the effort to get where you want to be.

To find out more about Black hat SEO and how it can harm your campaign, continue reading.

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What is Black Hat SEO? Is it Bad for Your Campaign?

In the words of HubSpot, Black hat SEO is “highly controversial tactics used to manipulate search rankings of a given web page and are generally in violation of search engine guidelines”.

So, yes, Black hat SEO is bad for your campaign. This is because these tactics are generally heavily penalised by search engines such as Google. The penalty can negatively impact your domain authority score, which can have a significant effect on your ranking, as it deems you to be a less trustworthy site.

What is Black Hat SEO?

Why Black Hat SEO Could Harm Your Website’s Performance

Though Black hat SEO tactics seem tempting, they are not worth the risk. As previously mentioned, these methods can harm your authority score, but they can also harm your overall website performance and UX (user experience). This may result in a significant loss of keyword performance and organic traffic which will ultimately impact your bottom line.

Examples of Black Hat SEO Techniques

Black hat SEO tactics are essentially an attempt to avoid doing work that requires time and effort. Outlined below are three of the most common black hat SEO strategies that can severely damage your website’s credibility or even get you blacklisted.

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is the practice of adding certain terms to your text in order to control where the page ranks in search results pages. This method offers little to no value and creates a bad experience for users.

Buying Backlinks

Backlinks add to your authority score; the more you have, the higher your score and the more trustworthy your website is seen by search engines. Buying backlinks provides a brief boost, but as with every other Black hat SEO tactic, it is not worth the risk. 

Purchasing backlinks will almost certainly result in low-quality links, which may then cause a penalty. Earning backlinks demonstrates that others trust your information and consider you credible in your sector. It will not benefit your website in the long-term.

Hiding Specific Content

Hiding content involves making text and links the same colour as the background or font size 0  so that users cannot see them. However, search engines can still read this information in the code. 

In addition to frustrating users, it could result in a loss of customers if they are unable to find the content they are looking for. In extreme cases, it can even result in your website being removed by Google as it might be perceived as spam.

Common tactics for hiding content include:

What is White Hat SEO?

As WordStream explains, “White hat SEO refers to any practice that improves your search rankings on a search engine results page (SERP) while maintaining the integrity of your website and staying within the search engines’ terms of service. These tactics stay within the bounds as defined by Google.

Marketing Charts reports that 48% of users begin their browning journey on a search engine. Therefore, it is clear that investing and practising White hat SEO techniques has massive potential.

What is White Hat SEO?

Will White Hat SEO Improve Website Performance?

Yes, White hat SEO will improve your website performance. In reality, the only way to rank well is to use white hat SEO techniques. This is because White hat SEO uses ethical approaches that demonstrate your dedication to being authentic in your industry.

Examples of White Hat SEO Techniques

There are endless benefits to using White hat SEO techniques. Implementing them correctly and making sure they meet a high-quality standard, however, is crucial. These are three of the most important white hat SEO techniques you should be aware of. 

Creating high-quality content

When written for a specific audience, high-quality content attracts them to your website and motivates them to interact with it. A user is more likely to continue to browse a website if they find the content useful, hopefully leading to a conversion. 

Not only that, but search engines like Google will identify that your content is of high quality. This helps to  increase your keyword rankings and will encourage other sites to organically link to your content (backlinks).

Making sure your website is optimised for mobile

According to Daily Blogging, mobile devices take up 63% of organic search visits and 58.16% of global web traffic originates from mobile devices. So, ensuring your website is easy to navigate on a mobile is essential.

Improving the speed of your website

Forbes confirmed that 40% of users will leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. This stresses the importance of page loading speed and demonstrates how important it is for UX. 

Quality SEO Services at Wildcat Digital

At Wildcat Digital, we pride ourselves on helping businesses punch above their weight online. We use ethical practices to ensure your brand’s online presence thrives, whether through our SEO services or our PPC campaigns.

Wildcat Digital is an award-winning agency that helps businesses of all sizes improve their online presence. To get in touch, fill out our online form today.

Post by

Emily Fletcher

Will Hitchmough

Founder

Our founder, Will Hitchmough, worked at a number of high profile Sheffield Digital Agencies before founding Wildcat Digital in 2018. He brings an extensive knowledge of all things related to SEO, PPC and Paid Social, as well as an expert knowledge of digital strategy.

Digital Marketing can be a minefield for many businesses, with many agencies ready to take your money without knowing how to deliver results. I founded Wildcat Digital to deliver digital success to businesses with smaller budgets in a transparent way.

Chloe Robinson

Content Strategist Team Lead

With a degree in Marketing and a background in more traditional, offline marketing, Chloe joined Wildcat in 2021 after deciding to move into the digital marketing industry. She joined us as a Content Specialist and quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a Content Strategist and later an SEO Team Leader.

Outside of work, Chloe is an avid creative. If she’s not knitting, you’ll likely find her behind a sewing machine or in the kitchen trying (and often failing!) to make sourdough.

Paul Pennington

SEO Account Director

Paul has a strong background in SEO, having previously founded and ran a successful eCommerce business, as well as running a personal blog that achieves an average of 17K users per month. Paul’s knowledge of SEO is extensive, with a strong emphasis on client handling and technical SEO.

Outside of work, Paul enjoys spending time with his family and staying active with weight lifting and combat sports.

Nadea van der Merwe

Head of Operations

Nadea joined Wildcat in 2021 and has since overhauled the way we work. She has a background in various administrative, operations and HR roles, which gave her the experience and skills needed to lead and organise a growing business. 

Outside of work, Nadea loves anything that keeps her active, but she especially enjoys hiking, camping and mountain biking.

Molly Sturgeon

SEO Account Manager

With a background in sales, Molly is a natural Account Manager, brilliantly handling any issues that come her way. Having joined us as a Digital Marketing Executive, and working part-time through her final year of University, Molly is a shining example of how hard work pays off. She is now an SEO Account Manager with a particular interest in Content and Client Management. 

In her spare time, Molly loves to get out in nature, hiking and exploring the Peak District. She also loves cooking and likes to unwind with a bit of yoga.

Libby Oldale

Senior PPC Account Manager

Libby joined Wildcat in 2021 as our first PPC hire. With a degree in Digital Media Production, a Master’s in Digital Media Management and previous experience in Social Media Management, Libby hit the ground running and has since climbed the ranks to Senior PPC Account Manager and has a particular interest in the eCommerce sector.

Outside of work, Libby likes gaming, and cooking and likes to keep active by lifting weights.

Jasmine Savery

SEO Team Leader

Jasmine joined Wildcat in 2022 with a strong background in SEO and Account Management. At the time, she was finishing up a Level 4 Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and has since worked her way up to SEO Team Leader. Jasmine excels at content writing and promotion, and particularly enjoys finding creative ways to join the dots on multi-channel campaigns.

In her spare time, Jasmine volunteers at a charity, helping combat loneliness & social isolation experienced by older neighbours. Outside of Wildcat, she owns a catering company, Savery Grazing, creating delicious grazing tables & platters for a range of events. She also loves skiing and exploring the Peak District.

Braden Godley

Senior PPC Executive

Prior to joining Wildcat, Braden founded and ran his own Social Media Management agency where he gained valuable skills in growing brands’ online presence, which has since proven invaluable in his role at Wildcat. 

Outside of work, Braden is a big football fan, regularly travelling to Pride Park to support Derby County. He also enjoys watching and playing snooker, hiking in the Peak District, and attending air and car shows.

Jon Herdman

SEO Executive

After spending ten years managing businesses, restaurants, cafes and event spaces across Sheffield, Jon decided to change careers and joined Wildcat as an SEO Executive in 2022. He especially enjoys the client management side of the job, helping them to understand digital marketing and ways in which they can build their business’s presence online. 

Outside of work, Jon likes to keep fit with running, badminton and football, and also loves music. 

Rachel Davies

SEO Executive

Rachel joined us as a graduate, having recently graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in English Literature. Since joining, Rachel has proven herself to be a Content Queen, and particularly enjoys getting stuck into projects that allow her to explore her creative side. 

Outside of work, Rachel enjoys a wide range of hobbies, including rugby, singing, reading, and spending time with her family and three labradors.

Carl Atterbury

PPC Team Leader

Carl joined Wildcat in 2023 with a wealth of experience in PPC. He has experience working with a wide range of clients, industries and budgets, from small local businesses all the way to international e-commerce businesses. Carl has a particular interest in strategic planning and forecasting. He is passionate about data analysis and creating sustainable long-term cross-channel strategies.

In his spare time, Carl enjoys keeping fit by lifting weights, bouldering and running. He’s also a keen musician, having played the double bass and bass guitar for 20 years.

Dariusz Baczyk

Team Lead & Technical SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Computer Science and SEO experience dating back to 2017, Dariusz has a wide range of SEO skills and knowledge. His specialist knowledge of Technical SEO has firmly landed him the title of Wildcat’s Technical Wizard, and he has recently taken on the responsibility of Team Leader for the Panthers Team.

In his spare time, Dariusz loves hiking, experimenting and trying new coffees and loves learning new things. He is currently learning more about CRO and AI and how this could benefit our clients.

Jamie Stowe

SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Film and TV production, and a varied career history, Jamie made the move to marketing with a Masters degree in Digital Media Management. He has since worked in SEO at Agencies across Sheffield, before joining Wildcat and working his way up to SEO Account Manager. Jamie has a particular interest in backlinks and Digital PR and has recently gained a client a valuable backlink from Forbes!

In his spare time, Jamie is an avid foodie and loves trying new restaurants and cuisines. He also loves to travel and spent a year travelling to Australia after university.

Andy Blanchard

SEO Executive

Andy joined Wildcat in 2023 after starting his digital marketing career in-house for a local Sheffield company. Since joining, he has developed a strong interest in Technical SEO and has strong skills in Account Management. 

Outside of work, Andy loves music and plays in a couple of bands. He also enjoys rock climbing, cycling, photography and good food.

Siena Russell

Client Success Coordinator

Siena joined us in 2023 with a background in sales and digital marketing. She leads on client relationships across the company, ensuring that our customers are happy throughout their journey with us, from their initial consultation through to onboarding and beyond. 

Outside of work, Siena enjoys travelling and getting stuck into the local culture. She likes to make the most of her experiences and particularly enjoys watching sunrises and sunsets from beautiful locations around the world.

Thea Chapman

Senior SEO Executive

Thea has a wealth of experience in SEO, having previously worked for other Digital Marketing Agencies in Sheffield. She has a particular interest and skills in Technical SEO, but is more than willing to get stuck in and give anything a go. 

Outside of work, Thea spends most of her time with her children, but also loves reading, photography and gardening. 

Tom Brookes

PPC Executive

Before joining Wildcat, Tom worked across different industries, building skills in sales and customer service. He later developed a passion for digital marketing whilst working on personal marketing projects and freelance ventures, and gained numerous certifications in PPC and Social Media. 

Outside of work, Tom enjoys staying active by going to the gym and hiking. He also loves travelling and motorbiking.

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