Things that actually qualifies as Black Hat SEO.

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Things that actually qualifies as Black Hat SEO.

Dear Freelancers,
I've never had any particular interest in SEO, and especially nothing Black Hat. However, I found an interesting article about the subject and I thought I'd share it with you.

You can find it here: What Is Black Hat SEO?

Below you'll find a list of things that are considered to be black hat.

Content Automation
Doorway Pages
Hidden Text or Links
Keyword Stuffing
Reporting a Competitor (or Negative SEO)
Sneaky Redirects
Link Schemes
Guest Posting Networks
Link Manipulation (including buying links)
Article Spinning
Link Farms, Link Wheels or Link Networks
Rich Snippet Markup Spam
Automated Queries to Google
Creating pages, subdomains, or domains with duplicate content
Pages with malicious behavior, such as phishing, viruses, trojans, and other malware

Note that all of these are quoted from the above stated source.

However, what made me curious was the mentioning of "Cloaking".

Literally hundreds or perhaps even thousands of internet marketers are cloaking their affiliate links for instance. So what I wonder is, would or could that actually hurt your rankings and is it really Black Hat?

Best Regards,


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Hi Andre I'm not so sure about cloaking, I use Pretty Link and very often I also use bitly too but I don't think I use that in a black hat way.

I use Pretty Link because:

  • It makes my links prettier
  • It makes my links easier to remember - for me and for others
  • I can track clicks on my affiliate links which means I can test which links work better by setting up more than one pretty link for an affiliate url or other url

Then I use bitly links as a link shortener, not as a cloaker. This is especially useful for Twitter that has a limit!

However I think what they are referring to as cloaking is not the same as what I do, I would think a lot of people cloak their links for other reasons like spamming.

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You're probably right Lynne. It must be something else they are referring to, as people are cloaking their urls multiple times per day. But it might be a difference in cloaking and shortening which I'm not aware of. Thank you for your reply Things that actually qualifies as Black Hat SEO.

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Thoes who cloak thier affilaite link re actually doing it to prevent internet hackers and fraudsters from manipulating it to thier own advantage so that they will be earning the commission. And the affiliate links are usually from the sellers website page not thier own web page as they are only marketing the product as a middleman so as to get the commision attached to it. So there is no harm whatsover on thier part. The cloaking is considered as blackhat if the owner is trying to disguise it away from google crawlers so that google will not detect it.

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Thank you chetaseo, I appreciate it. What you've stated above seems very logical and you're probably correct on this, but aren't cloaking and shortening basically the same thing in general? - I mean, shouldn't the list above be more in-depth so people truly understands the meaning of this, in case it's NOT about actually using a shortener? - What's your thoughts on this?

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Well as far as I know, cloaking as an SEO practice has stopped working a few years ago, I mean it was popular for a while and people actually manage to rank with their cloaked affiliate links but now Google definitely apply a penalty.
Here is a story I found about affiliate links and cloaking link plus a Google penalty and how the guy got his websites back from penalty:

As far as other black hat techniques they are all "grey hat" as far as Google doesn't yet penalise you for implementing them, as soon as Google does start penalizing such techniques, in my mind it becomes black hat and you should definitely not apply it.

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Is this really considered black hat? Because I think at least sometimes, it actually makes sense:
"Creating pages, subdomains, or domains with duplicate content"

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I knew about some of these black hat seo practices. However, my question is will black hat seo actually help your website (even for a short time)? If it does not help, why people are doing black hat? Doing White hat seo is not very hard, but then why are people resorting to black hat. Some say black hat SEO helps a website initially, is this true?

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From that list mentioned above, keyword stuffing is the only one that is very clear to me. It is the excessive occurrence of keywords on a web page that you have scattered in the content and in the tags as well. With article spinning, I guess it is getting popular because it is a cheaper way of creating content for the site because it seems that website owners do not want to pay writers for an original content.

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