Generally speaking, black hat SEO is an umbrella term used to define practices which improve performance in organic search results in ways that misuses search engine algorithms. If you’re not careful, using black hat SEO tactics can get your site punished on results pages and even banned from search engines altogether.

Yet, there are still websites out there that consciously decide to try out black hat SEO tactics despite possibly dire consequences. Why? Well, simply put, black hat SEO can still yield quick result despite Google and other search engines trying their hardest to prevent such strategies. Sure, quality white hat SEO is what most people want, but getting there quicker and by any means possible is still too intriguing for some.

If you’re not sure if a tactic you’re considering falls under the black hat SEO banner, just ask yourself a simple question: Am I doing this to provide value to my site’s visitors, or am I doing this to do better in the search results? If the answer is the latter, you should probably stay clear of that particular SEO tactic.

Taking a Look at the Most Common Black Hat SEO Tactics

While there’s not a definitive list of all the black hat SEO strategies, there are some tactics out there that are generally perceived as such. These are the most notable ones:

  • Hidden text and links – Intentionally making certain text or links invisible to visitors with the intent of providing keywords for search engines.
  • Gateway pages (or doorway pages) – Web pages designed to rank highly for particular queries yet exist solely to direct visitors to another page on the same site.
  • Article spinning – Using tools to automatically regenerate existing content in a (somewhat) paraphrased way.
  • Keyword stuffing – Excessively optimizing a piece of content for a given keyword(s).
  • Link farming – Creating a network of sites for no reason other than to link to each other and earn higher rankings.
  • Buying links – Paying high-DR websites to link to yours in order to attain Domain Authority and push your page through the rankings.
  • Low-quality guest posting – Writing a guest post on another site purely for the sake of linking to your own without regard for the value delivered to readers.
  • Reporting competitors – Dishonestly reporting a competitor website in hopes that their punishment will boost your rankings.
  • Promoting a website with fake accounts – Using proxies with fake IPs to participate on social media and forums in order to promote a service or a product.

While this list is by no means exhaustive, it should give you a clear idea of what’s considered to be a black hat tactic – an SEO strategy that misuses search engines and tries to trick them into believing a website is growing because of organic reasons.

Aligning With Current Trends is the Best Way to Go

Unfortunately, SEO rules change every day, so what was a legal white hat tactic just a few months ago may now be considered black hat SEO. No matter what you’re trying to optimize for search engines, your best bet is to rely on SEO tactics that are currently considered as white hat.

The following infographic presents you with a total of 72 stats that perfectly illustrate the current state of the SEO world. Use them to tailor your own tactic in a way that both yields results and aligns with current SEO rules.

72 Stats To Understand SEO in 2018