Because a website’s search engine results position (SERP) has a major impact on how much traffic the site receives and its sales conversion rate, when the internet became a viable sales and marketing channel, companies began to compete for their websites to be listed high in search engine results.
The industry that was built around helping websites achieve a high SERP became known as search engine optimization (SEO). In the beginning, search engines and online marketing gurus considered viable almost any SEO strategy that generated good results.
However, as search engines became more discerning in how they determined the SERP of websites, some SEO strategies earned a bad reputation, because they aimed to circumnavigate the somewhat time-consuming process of achieving a good search results position organically.
Today, these strategies comprise a discipline of SEO known as “black hat SEO”. Common examples of black hat techniques are: doorway pages, keyword stuffing, link farming, hidden text and links, and unfairly reporting competitors to search engines, just to name a few.
Why Companies Use Black Hat SEO?
Given the unscrupulous reputation of black hat SEO, why would a company consider using it as a part of a website development strategy? In most cases, the answer can be found in exactly what black hat SEO provides: a quick, temporary boost in the SERP of a website.
Most companies are interested in maintaining a high SERP over an extended period of time, and thus use organic SEO strategies that are accepted by major search engines. However, some companies are primarily interested in achieving quick results in order to draw attention to a time-sensitive product or service offering.
Because search engines have a policy of demoting the SERP of websites that use black hat techniques and are also known for banning the websites from search results, it is difficult to say how long the positive results of black hat SEO will last, but three to four weeks is an educated guess.
If a company is promoting a time-sensitive offering that lasts a month or less, using black hat techniques may be a cost effective way to achieve sales objectives, but the user must consider whether even the best results would be worth the subsequent penalties that search engines would impose.
Should Your Company Use Black Hat SEO?
Using black hat SEO techniques may seem justifiable in certain situations, but avoiding them is the best option for an obvious reason: penalties that result from using black hat SEO could seriously compromise a company’s ability to achieve future online sales objectives.
If you aren’t sure which SEO strategies your company should apply to its website to improve the SERP, schedule a free consultation with a reputable online marketing agency, such as Digital Intersection. We will help you develop and implement an SEO strategy that generates sustainable results and helps your company meet its sales objectives quarter after quarter.