Very few can resist something for free. This mantra is being used by advertising and marketing professionals for ages to sell products and services. Anytime they want to boost sales, they offer something for free! It is true in the SEO field as well. Except that the concept of ‘free’ here is in respect of time, not some product or service. SEO experts often claim to speed up the time it takes for a brand to gain traction on search engines. Brand owners cannot resist this ‘free’ bit, something that will gain them quick entry into where they want to be.
This is where they fall into a trap, albeit unknowingly. Most brand owners are not much aware of the dangers of black hat SEO, the negative side of optimization that takes the help of shortcuts and unscrupulous means to gain an unfair advantage. But this advantage is almost always a short-lived one. Before you can know or even count the benefits of this advantage, it is gone. It leaves behind a crater that is harder to fill that it was when you started on a level ground.
Black hat SEO takes routes that are banned by search engines, and deemed illegal in many countries. Some of the techniques employed by black hat SEO professionals include keyword stuffing and buying web links to improve their link building network. It is true that these means, among others, gain instant results in some areas. With more keywords stuffed in, you can get an advantage over your competitors. However, these techniques were more lethal even about 5 years back, not anymore.
Search engines like Google spend millions in building up algorithms and updates that combat the black hat SEO techniques. Sophisticated technology and tools can detect the use of black hat SEO techniques quicker than even before. What happens as a result is that your website is marked in the red zone. Repeated violations can get you penalties and a final goodbye from the search engines altogether! This is a very heavy price to pay for something that you could have achieved through better means, maybe in a longer time. But that would have got you steady results in the long run.
The only aspect that search engines care for is that you offer a good user experience through your website. That is the number one and the most important criteria of gaining and ruling SEO ranks. There are numerous white hat SEO techniques that you can use. Of course, it will require hard work on your behalf. And some patience to see this hard work take shape! If you try to cheat the system into gaining some more ground, you may end up slipping in a bad manner.
Do your keyword research, focus on your written content and optimize your website within the framework of best practices. That’s the only way to SEO nirvana.