With more and more companies realizing the importance of a digital presence, the competition to rank on Google has become wild and brutal.
While most of them operate ethically and adhere to Google’s guidelines, we can’t deny the fact that there will always be exceptions.
Some companies and SEO vendors prefer to take the easy way out by breaking or bending the rules of search engines. It is known as a black hat tactic in the SEO (in) community.
So when you come across websites that use black hat SEO tactics, you can:
Ignore and let them take valuable ranking positions (sometimes at the expense of your ranking), or take charge of a cleaner internet space and
If you choose the latter option, we’ll show you how to report sites using Black hat SEO to Google.
You can also read our latest article about Apple Com SEO Issues Traffic And Optimization Tips Nuogum and share your valuable feedback with us.
But let’s dive into some basics first.
How to report black hat SEO?
SEO tactics that violate search engine’s guidelines to manipulate search results are referred to as Black hat SEO. Here, the idea is to exploit the loopholes of the search engine algorithms.
All major search engines have published guidelines on what practices to follow and avoid. For example, here are the Google Webmaster Guidelines.
Along with the practices that should be followed, they have clearly stated the techniques (discussed in a later section) that should be avoided.
Why You Must Steer Clear of Black Hat SEO Techniques?
Here are the reasons you should avoid using black hat SEO tactics:
No long-term results
Black hat tactics may work for you in the short term and give you some quick wins. Nevertheless, it is not a viable option for the long run.
This is because Google may take some time to determine if your site uses such methods. So in the beginning, you can successfully tackle the algorithms and get a high rank. But eventually, when Google figures out your tactics, both your ranking and traffic will drop.
By violating the guidelines, you always run the risk of being penalized by Google. The penalty could be lower rankings for your site or complete deletion from the Google search index.
Bad user experience
User experience (UX) is a top priority for Google. Using black hat search engine optimization techniques will reduce the user experience on your site. So users may quickly leave your site, which is a sign of negative Google UX. This can negatively affect rankings, traffic, leads, and conversions.
If you are not sure if your SEO strategies are in line with Google’s guidelines, you can hire external SEO services to audit your site and make it white hat SEO compliant.
What Are the Black Hat SEO Techniques That Are Frequently Utilized?
Before we learn how to report black hat SEO cases to Google, first, let’s understand some of the most popular black hat SEO techniques.
These are web pages designed to steal personal information from users. They are intentionally designed to look like the pages of other popular, trusted websites so that users can trust them and give up their information.
Exact Matching Domain (EMD)
EMD stands for keeping the domain name exactly like the keywords you intend to rank for. Examples include choosing domain names such as healthinsurance.com or roofingservices.com.
Copy a competitor’s domain name
Some black hat practitioners also use deceptive tactics such as buying a domain name identical to a well-known competitor. Their goal is to rank for branded keywords and steal traffic from competitors.
However, it can be more challenging than rewarding because you could face trademark infringement claims and pay heavy fines for it.
These are sites or pages that are created to rank specific search queries and direct users to the same destination. For example, having multiple domains or pages targeting areas where your business does not operate, but you only want to direct traffic from those areas to the target page.
This happens when you provide content or URLs to search engines that are different from what you show to users, or vice versa. It is a deceptive tactic intended to manipulate the ranking.
When you try to stuff your content with keywords that you want to rank for, this is called keyword stuffing. It used to work a decade ago, but not anymore. Google’s algorithms are now more advanced.
Building a solid backyard cookie is a marathon, not a sprint. This is why many SEOs are taking the easy route and buying to improve the authority and ranking of their sites. Google considers this a part of the link schemes and your site may be penalized for participating.
There is nothing wrong with using redirects with the right intentions such as preparing for site migration, page not existing, content embedding, etc. But if it’s a sneaky redirect that takes users to a different page than the one shown in the search results, it’s a black hat tactic.
For example, when using white text on a white background or using a zero font size, users can’t see the text but search engines can. SEOs and webmasters use this technique to load pages with excessive keywords in order to rank. But it does more harm than good to SEO.
Auto-generated content / Spinned Article
Creating quality content takes time and effort. Hence, some black hat SEO practitioners use software that creates many unique pieces of content by spinning the original article. They mostly use these pieces of content to post on low quality sites to get backlinks from.
However, backlinks gained from such sites rarely pass any link that can help boost your ranking.
This technology is not only black hat but also unethical and malicious. Here, the practitioner’s attempts to tidy up his position are not aimed at. Instead, they try to sabotage competitors’ websites with negative SEO attacks.
For example, bombarding competing sites with spam backlinks and/or paid negative reviews, or even severe attacks such as site hacking. With this in mind, consider checking to make sure your site does not contain spammy backlinks.
While not unethical, having an exact match domain makes your site more vulnerable to Google penalties. This is mainly because it increases the incidence of backlinks with exact matching anchor text and keyword stuffing on landing pages.
What are the Reasons for Reporting Black Hat Spam?
Think about it from a business perspective: if your primary channel for customer acquisition is organic traffic, you must also help Google improve the quality of its search results.
In addition, if a site using black hat methods is ranked in search results, your users—which also includes your target audience—may not be getting the best quality information. This is because these sites may end up ranking higher than those with higher quality content.
Furthermore, as a business owner, you must promote fair competition. So, by reporting black hat spam to Google, you can help Google create a level playing field for all webmasters where no particular site can have an unfair competitive advantage.
At the same time, keep in mind that this feature should not be abused to flag competitors who are following Google guidelines (or white hat SEO techniques) and that you are not able to outperform them. It is as good as the negative SEO attack we discussed earlier.
What is the Process of Reporting Black Hat SEO to Google?
Now that we’ve discussed all about reporting of black hat SEO techniques to google, it’s time to find out how.
Besides, let’s also understand what Google thinks about spam reporting, in their own words:
If you find information in Google search results that you believe is appearing due to spam, paid links, malware, or other issues that may violate our Webmaster Guidelines, follow the appropriate link to report the issue. Although Google does not use these reports to take direct action against violations, however, these reports still play an important role in helping us understand how to improve the spam detection systems that protect search results.
To know more about this just follow the below steps:
Step 1: Complete Understanding of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines
Before you report black hat SEO to Google you must understand the webmaster guidelines first.
You must understand:
- Evaluate and analyze SEO practices
- Understand the difference between black hat and white hat SEO strategies
- Determine the Types of Black Hat Spam You Can Report to Google
Before reporting spam to Google, it is important to understand the differences mentioned above. Otherwise, your actions may backfire.
Once you have a clear understanding of the different types of SEO practices and come across websites that employ tactics that can undoubtedly be categorized as Black Hat SEO, you can proceed with the steps outlined below.
Step 2: Creating a List of Domains Practicing Black Hat SEO
Let’s say you come across websites that engage in unethical SEO practices and manipulate search engine results. They can be specific web pages or entire websites.
Make a list of these URLs in a spreadsheet and move to step 3.
Step 3: Locating the Appropriate Spam Reporting Form
Google has classified spam activities into four different categories and has also provided different reporting forms for each category. Thus, you need to select the right category to report a particular case and submit the form accordingly.
Paid Links Spam
In accordance with Google’s guidelines, links within content must be placed in an editorial form and must only be intended to provide readers with additional relevant information. But many SEOs and webmasters buy and sell backlinks to replace PageRank.
Google calls them link schemes and they can reduce the quality of your search results.
Websites that are using black hat strategies such as hidden text, doorway pages, cloaking, and sneaky redirects will fall into the spam category. They use it to rank better in Google search results.
However, it degrades content quality and users’ search experience. That’s why Google wants you to report it here.
If you encounter a page that is designed to be used as a camouflage for another website with the purpose of stealing users’ information, it may be a phishing scam. Report it here!
If you found a website that looks to be infected with malware or appears to be spreading unwanted or malicious software.
Step 4: Supplying Information Regarding Employed Black Hat Tactics
After identifying the appropriate category for reporting spam and clicking the corresponding form, a page will appear where you can enter the specifics of the spam activities.
For instance, you clicked the Spammy Content form. The page would look like this.
Although there are two optional fields, you must provide specific details to Google to highlight exact issues.
STEP 5: Submitting the Form
Once all the details are filled in, submit the form. You will see an acknowledgment screen confirming that spam has been reported successfully.
Note, however, that Google does not provide feedback on how successful the report was or what actions they took. So do not wait for such a response.
Also, don’t be discouraged if you don’t see visible changes in your search results, as it may take some time for Google to review your spam reports. It may take days, weeks, and sometimes months before you see a difference.
Now that you know the reasons and ways to report black hat SEO to Google, use this reporting feature wisely.
Remember, it is a spam reporting tool, not a weapon to use against your competitors.
You can rank your site highly, attract quality visitors, and convert them into paying customers – all with White hat SEO techniques. Although it may take time, it is the right thing to do.
So make sure you stick to Google’s SEO guidelines by reviewing your SEO strategies periodically.
At the same time, you can contact us to review and analyze your SEO strategy. Our SEO experts can help you achieve your desired results using white hat SEO methods.
Meet Shivam Kumar, a skilled SEO expert with over six years of experience. He is a dedicated freelancer who aims to help real businesses and entrepreneurs achieve their goals by ranking their websites on the first page of Google.
Shivam is passionate about learning and constantly pushes himself to expand his knowledge in the ever-evolving digital marketing industry. He believes that digital marketing provides endless opportunities for people to explore their limits and present the best of their abilities.
If you’re looking for professional and reliable SEO services, don’t hesitate to contact Shivam at email@example.com. You can also visit his website at https://proseoexpert.net for more information.