Black hat search engine optimization strategies are techniques that are designed to increase your search engine rankings in a short period of time. Essentially you are "gaming" the system. So what’s the problem, you say? Unfortunately these strategies can get you banned from Google, Yahoo! and Bing in a relatively short period of time.
Here is a list of all the search engine optimization techniques you should stay away from:
Buying links or link schemes (ie: I will like you if you like me)
Link schemes, farms, wheels and networks
Automated search queries on Google, Bing and/or Yahoo
New pages with copies or duplicated content
Websites that use phishing or have viruses, trojans or other malware
If you use any of these tactics currently, stop! Search engine algorithms are getting increasingly savvy, and the risks don't come close to outweighing the (short term) benefits for a company that plans to be around for a long time.
A good example of a company paying the ultimate price for using black hat strategies is the delisting of JC Penney in 2011. Prior to Black Friday, they employed a slew of black hat strategies that got them immediate prime search engine rankings. Google caught wind of this and delisted JC Penney for the entire Christmas season. OUCH!
When search engine optimization is concerned, it's always best to put the time and effort into creating the best user experience for your customers and potential customers. Sure it takes longer, but you will be reaping the benefits for a long time. If you have quesions on whether the strategies you are using may delist your site, feel free to contact us.