What Is Black Hat SEO & Is It Illegal?

There are many misconceptions about black hat SEO. Over the decade we’ve been in business, we’ve found that many SEO websites either don’t understand black hat SEO or they avoid the topic entirely. Whether this is out of fear of a penalty from Google or because they see it as “morally corrupt” we cannot say. Some site seven go as far as spreading misinformation about black hat SEO!

However, we’ve always believed in talking openly about black hat SEO as it’s a truly fascinating industry filled with people who don’t play by the rules. Rather, they read between the lines and look for advantages

What Is Black Hat SEO?

Black hat SEO is a set of tactics used to manipulate a website’s ranking position in a search engine, usually Google. These tactics are constantly evolving, but one thing they all have in common is that they violate the guidelines in Google’s Search Essentials.

Some examples of black hat SEO tactics include, but are not limited to:

  • Building private blog networks.
  • Displaying different pages to search engine crawlers and users in the same URL. Also known as cloaking.
  • Creating content using automation.
  • Stuffing keywords on a webpage in an attempt to rank higher for a specific keyword.

You get the picture.

Is Black Hat SEO Important?

This is a question we’ve seen come up before. We wouldn’t say black hat is important per se, but we would say that at its core, it’s important in the sense that really puts the limits of a search engine’s algorithm to the test.

Does Black Hat SEO Still Work?

Yes! Whilst some black hat SEO no longer work (e.g., that old trick where someone would add a bunch of keywords in black font against a black background in the footer of their page).

Is Black Hat SEO Illegal?

There are no laws against black hat SEO specifically. This doesn’t mean there aren’t some tactics that could violate a law somewhere in the world, though. If you’re worried about a black hat SEO tactic violating the law, check your local laws to see if it’s mentioned anywhere by searching for your country, state, or province name alongside the name of the tactic.

Who Does Black Hat SEO?

We’re going to say something controversial here, but many webmasters do black hat SEO whether they admit it or not. Big name websites sell links,

Many black hat SEO experts we’ve spoken to and worked with (and there have been many) are people who look for loopholes in systems

Let’s get one thing straight here: there is no fairness in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and there is no fairness in SEO. Everyone has different advantages and disadvantages on the internet.