If you own a business or manage a marketing campaign for a business, you have a lot on your plate. It may be challenging to stay updated on all the evolving SEO techniques and updates to Google’s algorithm. This is why you may opt to hire a digital marketing agency.

However, what you may not realize is that not all marketing agencies are created equal. Some use disreputable or outdated techniques, which are called “Black Hat” practices, to try to improve a website’s rank. It is important to know how to identify these red flags and avoid them.

Black Hat SEO and link building include any practices that go against the search engine rules and regulations. The goal of these efforts is to “game” the system and beat the algorithms. People who employ these techniques resort to tactics that include, but are not limited to, poor content quality, paid links, cloaking, keyword stuffing, spamming blog comments, and more.

Keep reading to learn more about black hat SEO and why you should avoid using your website’s tactics.

Why do You need to Avoid Black Hat SEO?

At first look, black hat SEO efforts seem appealing. The promise of virtually instant results is tempting. However, the shortcuts often backfire – and eventually, Google will catch up with what you have done. As a result, the techniques are a waste of money and ultimately ineffective.

What is even more important is that these techniques can get you in a lot of trouble with Google, can lead to penalties, and cause your rankings in SERPs to drop dramatically. Sometimes, if the issue is considered significant enough, Google may blacklist your site.

You may wonder – is black hat SEO illegal? As long as it does not involve doing something against the law, no. However, search engines don’t like it and, as a result, have taken steps to stop it.

How to Check Your SEO Strategy

If you want to feel confident that your SEO strategy is not hurting you secretly, it is best to follow best practices that have been outlined by Google and other search engines. This is the only way to feel 100% confident that your site will not be penalized for the SEO efforts that you engage in.

If you are unsure if your digital marketing agency uses these black hat methods, you need to do some research. Take some time to get to know black hat SEO signs and why it is so dangerous (as described above). Doing this will help you figure out if you need to take action or do something different.

Avoid Penalties by Using White Hat Tactics

When it comes to your ranking in search engines and ensuring that potential customers find you, you must consider the tactics being used rather than the competition. By doing this, you can feel confident only the best and most effective methods are being used for your website. In the long run, this will help your site get more traction and visibility in search engines.