Black Hat search engine optimization is customarily defined as techniques that are used to get higher search rankings in an unethical manner. These black hat SEO techniques usually include one or more of the following characteristics:
- breaks search engine rules and regulations
- creates a poor user experience directly because of the black hat SEO techniques utilized on the Web site
- unethically presents content in a different visual or non-visual way to search engine spiders and search engine users.
Keyword stuffing: Packing long lists of keywords and nothing else onto your site will get you penalized eventually by search engines.
Cloaking: involves adding text that is the same color as the background, thus making it invisible to the human eye while leaving it visible to search engines. Search engines look at all text contained on a given web page and use it to determine the relevance of that page to a given search query. Therefore, cloaking is a way to misdirect search engines.
Doorway pages and redirects: Doorway pages are fake pages that are designed to cater to search algorithms, but are never actually seen by users. They are used solely for tricking search engines. As such, they are forbidden by most if not all search engines and getting caught using them will get your site penalized immediately.
Irrelevant Links: Some sites will allow businesses to buy links with whatever anchor text they want, regardless of whether it is relevant to the subject and purpose of the site itself.
Article spinning: rewriting existing articles, as opposed to merely scraping content from other sites, to avoid penalties imposed by search engines for duplicate content. This process is undertaken by hired writers or automated using a thesaurus database or a neural network.
Scraper sites, also known as Made for AdSense sites, are created using various programs designed to “scrape” search-engine results pages or other sources of content and create “content” for a website. The specific presentation of content on these sites is unique, but is merely an amalgamation of content taken from other sources, often without permission. Such websites are generally full of advertising (such as pay-per-click ads), or they redirect the user to other sites. It is even feasible for scraper sites to outrank original websites for their own information and organization names.
Link Farms: A link farm is a group of web sites that all link to every other site in the group. The whole purpose is to manipulate search engine results and if you get caught can get you dropped or banned entirely from the search engines.
Link-building software: A common form of link spam is the use of link-building software to automate the search engine optimization process.
Hidden links: Putting hyperlinks where visitors will not see them to increase link popularity. Highlighted link text can help rank a webpage higher for matching that phrase.
Sybil attack: A Sybil attack is the forging of multiple identities for malicious intent, named after the famous multiple personality disorder patient “Sybil”. A spammer may create multiple web sites at different domain names that all link to each other, such as fake blogs (known as spam blogs).
Spam blogs: Spam blogs, also known as autoblogs, are fake blogs created solely for spamming. They are similar in nature to link farms. Spam blogs are also referred to as splogs and are often disguised to look like legitimate newsworthy sites but are really just created to manipulate consumers into buying affiliate products.
Page hijacking: Page hijacking is achieved by creating a rogue copy of a popular website which shows contents similar to the original to a web crawler but redirects web surfers to unrelated or malicious websites.
Buying expired domains: Some link spammers monitor DNS records for domains that will expire soon, then buy them when they expire and replace the pages with links to their pages. See Domaining. However Google resets the link data on expired domains. Some of these techniques may be applied for creating a Google bomb, this is, to cooperate with other users to boost the ranking of a particular page for a particular query.
Cookie stuffing: placing an affiliate tracking cookie on a website visitor’s computer without their knowledge, which will then generate revenue for the person doing the cookie stuffing. This not only generates fraudulent affiliate sales, but also has the potential to overwrite other affiliates’ cookies, essentially stealing their legitimately earned commissions.
Using world-writable pages: Web sites that can be edited by users can be used by spamdexers to insert links to spam sites if the appropriate anti-spam measures are not taken.