The “black hat” in movies stereotypically denotes an evil villain who concocts nefarious schemes to foil the heroes. In SEO (search engine optimization), the connotation is similar: using tactics that are frowned-upon to artificially inflate your rankings. Your business then appears on the first page of Google Search results.
For example, if you’re a pencil seller, you may post random comments on different blogs stuffed with the keyword “buy pencils,” which, when clicked, leads to your website. Or worse yet, you may hire someone from a freelancer site who automatically posts thousands of such links across the web.
As the SEO sheriff, Google will come down hard on you when it discovers your duplicity. Expedia tried such tactics and their rankings dropped by 25 percent, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. suffered a more precipitous decline of 95 percent all the way to page six of its search results. It essentially disappeared from view because less than 10 percent of users click past the first page of results.
Rely only on “white hat” techniques to boost your site’s visibility. Update your content regularly with original and useful information. Readers who like what you have to say will post links to your articles. You may even get lucky with authority sites, such as news organizations and educational institutions, who refer to your pages. Google considers these natural links to be true measures of your site’s popularity and will raise your visibility accordingly.
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