As long as SEO has been around, there have been a “white hat” and”black hat” techniques.

White hat SEO is using techniques approved by Google, and doing search engine optimization the “right” way.

Black hat SEO is about bending the rules and working around Google for a search engine boost.

These rule breaking techniques have always been popular among some, but they are often not worth the effort. If you’ve considered incorporating these techniques into your SEO strategy – or had an SEO consultant suggest using them for your site – we’re here to say it’s a bad idea. These are the three SEO tactics you should avoid if you really want to improve your rankings.

Spun or Keyword-Stuffed Content

Creating high-quality content can get expensive and take a lot of work, which is why people often look for shortcuts.

Blatantly taking other people’s content and “spinning articles” to create dozens of versions of the same article is not going to boost your ranking. Nor will filling the blog with extra keywords beyond a point of readability.

These spammy techniques may have worked before, but Google is on to them. They have more advanced technology on scraping sites, and can tell when grammar or language is off.

By using duplicate or keyword-stuffed articles, you’ll get a penalty from Google right away, and risk losing any existing customers who get turned off by your spammy blogs.

Negative SEO

In the wild west of the internet, companies have been found to hack their competitor’s websites with negative SEO. This can involve sending illegitimate links to their site, buying bad links, scraping the competitor’s content and duplicating it on other sites, or driving bot traffic. These tactics are, of course, illegal, but also eligible for a penalty by Google.

This technique is very risky, and there’s no guarantee it will work. If you have to question the morality of your SEO techniques, it’s likely not something Google will approve of either.

Buying Links

There are many companies out there who claim to buy you “legit” links back to your site. Getting links from other high-ranking websites will certainly improve your ranking and could boost traffic – but not if their spammy.

If you get caught buying links, you’ll get a penalty from Google. And it can be difficult to delete these links once they are set up. Plus, the cost of buying these spammy links is often just as much as a legitimate content marketing plan.

Hidden Text & Links

Just because a user can’t see your spammy text or links, doesn’t mean Google can’t. Don’t try any these keyword-hiding tricks:

-White text on a white background

-Tiny text

-Text hidden behind images

-Unrelated links hidden among your text


When it comes to SEO, if a technique feels sketchy, it probably is. By following the rules from the beginning, you will get rewarded by Google. These shortcuts can leave you with a penalty, irreversible damage strewn across the internet, which can be difficult to overcome. Saying yes to these quick fixes could leave you worse off than when you started. If you’re looking for legitimate SEO strategy contact us for a quote.