What is black hat link building?

Black Hat link building tactics are techniques used to drive traffic to a website by exploiting loopholes in the website, allowing a site to rank higher than it should through search means” organic”. Search engines like Google have taken notice of these practices to outsmart the system and improve search rankings. Sites like Google have developed algorithms to penalize this type of activity, so some of this link activity isn’t as powerful as it once was.

Black hat link building is not designed to serve user experience, but simply to improve the page ranking of a site by playing on search engine optimization rules. One strategy of black hat link builders is the spammy tactic of posting comments and linking to the site on other third party sites. Generally, the link has little to do with the content of the page in which it is listed.

Another tactic of black-hat link builders is to create link farms. A link farm is a website that provides a series of links to other sites without any content of inherent value on that page. Some link farm sites appear legitimate, but are ultimately efforts to drive traffic to certain pages without producing any value on their own.

While these strategies can drive traffic to a site, the links are not organic and search engines like Google will not see the value added to these links and therefore to the page. Some of these tactics may produce short-term results and some may even go unnoticed for an extended period of time, but ultimately Google will continue to update its algorithm and eventually expose and punish these shady practices.

This was last updated in September 2015

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