Imagine this, you’re going into an ice cream shop. You’re told on Google that this is the best ice cream in the world. In fact, you notice a ton of comments on their Google my business page, Good ratings, and a ton of options. So you and your family choose to go into this ice cream shop because of the recommendations you received. You checked the web pages, skimmed it briefly, and have decided this is for you. So you and your family roll up to this shop.
Upon getting to the address you notice a run-down warehouse, no cars in the parking lot. There is a lone stand with an individual handing out, what appears to be ice cream. You notice that what is actually there isn’t ice cream, but t-shirt sales and nothing else. You realize very quickly that what you thought you were getting was in fact false advertising, the t-shirts are not even good quality and now you’re confused. All you wanted was ice cream?! Why are there t-shirts?
What is the point?
Now, this is a silly analogy, but you get the picture. Essentially when people invest in black hat SEO, this is what they are doing. They make their website seem like the optimal choice, develop false credibility, and ignore user experience. You don’t want to buy your “ice cream
From a sketchy warehouse selling mediocre t-shirts.
It’s false advertising and leaves the user disappointed. Even though the false individual gives the impression of success based on false comments, faked reviews, they are essentially lying to the user. Here is the thing, when we forgo user experience to appease the search engine for traffic and affiliate payments, we are forgetting the whole purpose of why we are mental health professionals. USER EXPERIENCE, and helping our ideal clients. This matters and trust is the number one key to establishing any type of therapeutic relationship with a client. So why would we use shady marketing tactics to draw people in?
What is Black Hat SEO?
In short, Black Hat SEO is a great way to get banned from Google’s search engine. This can heavily damage your SEO and deplete all the efforts you have made to get to the top. Essentially, as Google and the internet have started becoming more popular, people have used certain black hat SEO techniques to make sure they are at the top of the search engine in order to increase their rankings, traffic, and affiliate income. Now there used to be fewer restrictions on the internet, and people were able to work around this to achieve the marketing goals they were looking for.
Whether it’s Bing, Google, Yahoo, or anything in between. These search engines have established clear-cut guidelines on how to use and market their search engine ethically. If you violate these guidelines, your SEO rankings will be damaged. The recovery process will be tedious and time-consuming. So it’s best not to engage in the first place.
Differences in White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO
You may have heard the term white hat SEO and thought, is this a less risky version of the black hat SEO? Actually, white hat SEO is the right way to communicate with the Google search engine. White hat or holistic SEO takes longer but is worth it in the end. This includes creating high-quality content, such as blog posts about your therapy specialties, services, and issues your ideal clients struggle with. These include at least 500-2000 words of well-written content geared toward user experience.
You can also use manual backlinking. This means that someone is ethically helping you build backlinks. This involves guest posting. This means other therapists blog on your blog and you on theirs. Additionally, you can either hire or on your own create mini-blogs for your site. These need to be high-quality blogs but can help support your keywords and services. For example, if you’re a grief therapist. Create a blog series on anticipatory grief, disinhibited grief, and grief and loss. This will help to maintain credibility on your end.
What is Google’s Guidelines to Ethically Use Their Search Engine
If we take a look at the community guidelines put forth by Google, you will see the following.
- Make pages for users, not search engines
- Don’t deceive people
- Avoid tricks intended for SEO rankings ( consider will this help my users?)
- Make content engaging, valuable, and engaging
Google also outlines what is considered to be “unethical” according to their guidelines:
Google outlines that if you violate their guidelines using black hat SEO tactics, that the company will take manual action against your site. Once the issue is resolved, then you can follow up with Google to have your site reconsidered and no longer banned. However, know that your SEO will still take a while to recover.
Black Hat SEO Techniques That Will Get
You Banned from Google
- Buying an expired well-ranking domain name, and then switching the content
- Writing the same content over and over again ( reduces traffic)
- Update content, make sure it’s not obsolete, revamp it, re-upload will increase traffic and rankings ( don’t recycle content)
- Keyword Stuffing ( Placing too many keywords or irrelevant content to page)
- Automatically Generated/Duplicate Content
- Hidden Text (Adding hidden content in order to rank)
- Doorway/Gateway Pages
- Cloaking (showing google one page and then serving another)
- Paid/Manipulative Links
- Misused Structured Data and Rich Snippets
- Misleading Redirects ( linking a page to a ranking page and then redirecting to an alternative page)
- Trading products for links ( offering a product or money for links)
- Negative SEO ( Building low-quality links to competitors websites)
- Article spinning ( adding thin content just to get ranking)
- Comment Spam ( Having comments generated on your site.)
- Stealing content from the web
- Auto-Generated Content
- Social media scam ( buying shares and likes)
- Rich snippet markup scam ( enhances listing on google with irrelevant content)
- Automated queries ( false traffic to the website)
- URL injection spam ( hacking a site like WP and injecting links into pages
- Domain Squatting ( holding onto a trademark domain)
What is a link scheme?
Basically, with linking, there are ethical ways to build them and very sketchy ways. We want to encourage you to avoid the following:
- Buying links
- Exchanging links
- Low-Quality Articles and Guest Posts ( needs to be high quality and relevant)
- Automation ( building a bunch of links to others links)
- Profile Links ( social media profiles that include links)
- Link Network ( paying for links to other websites)
Essentially, if at any time when gaining a link or creating a link it isn’t done to enhance user experience, but to gain quick attention, that would be considered a link scheme and should be avoided immediately. Remember we are trying to build trust and that can take some time. Don’t shortcut this to gain attention, traffic, followers, or affiliate income.
Why You Should Avoid Black Hat SEO Tactics?
- First It will affect your SEO once your Google finds out.
- Results are always temporary, and the long-term payout is more harmful.
- If you’re optimizing for the search engine, you’re ignoring the purpose which is user experience.
What Should I do if I have engaged in some of these Black Hat
This process will take time and can be done. For example, link scheming needs to be disavowed through the Google search console. Takedown and cancel automated programs and sponsors. Have your website be looked over by Google to be seen as credible again. If you have traded products for links, clean it up, undo keyword stuffing. If you have malicious content take it down. Remove pages you have done a bait and switch on. If your domain was hacked you will have to follow up with Google. This is a small portion of what you will need to do. It can be undone, but the process is tedious and will affect your SEO.
How do I report Black Hat SEO Techniques and Tactics?
File a scam report to Google. Even though reporting will not automatically result in action from Google, you’re improving algorithmic spam detection.
Need Support with Advanced and Technical SEO on Your Website?
If you have been subject to Black hat SEO tactics, our specialists can help you. An ethical SEO strategy is important to our SEO specialists. While the process can be tedious, our specialists can strategize with you long-term to gain credibility. Our skilled and passionate team of SEO specialists is here to make sure your SEO journey is tailored to your brand and identity. Simplified SEO Consulting would be excited to help you on your SEO journey. To get started with our service follow these simple steps:
- Schedule a consult with our Client Success Specialist or Consult Team
- Learn more about our wonderful team of SEO Specialists.
- Begin your ethical and holistic SEO Journey!
Other Services offered by Simplified SEO Consulting
Simplified SEO consulting offers a wide range of services that can help you begin working with your people. We offer. Done for You SEO Service packages, online courses, and SEO training opportunities. Our most popular course includes our “Top of Google” Online course, and we have 12 weeks (about 3 months) of intensive SEO for those who want to learn with a guide. For those looking for a more specialized package, we also offer an SEO strategy package. To get started, schedule a consultation with our Client Success Specialist today!
About the Author:
As an SEO specialist at Simplified, Jasmine is an SEO services consultant and helps new clients become oriented to our services. If you are ready to begin Seo service for therapists or Seo for trauma therapists, then get in touch and schedule your free consultation today!
Jasmine, an SEO Specialist, and Client Success Specialists at Simplified SEO Consulting. You may be wondering where to start with your SEO for private practice or group practices. You have come to the right place.
Jasmine Jaquess is currently working towards her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University and is currently beginning per practicum work soon. Currently, she serves as the Client Success Specialist in new client consultations with Simplified SEO Consulting and is a Mental Health SEO Specialist. She specializes in platforms such as Squarespace and Wix but has learned to love WordPress sites as well. Her favorite part of the job is writing copy for clients and helping them find their voice to communicate with clients how they can best serve them.