The ultimate goal for every business is to be in the number one spot, or at least the first page, of Google’s search engine results pages. Black hat SEO tactics refer to aggressive SEO strategies and tactics that usually don’t obey search engine guidelines that businesses use to “trick” Google into ranking their website higher. Some examples of these tactics include keyword stuffing, invisible text or adding unrelated keywords. These types of SEO strategies are typically used by those who are looking for a quick financial return versus websites that are created as a long-term investment. Google caught on quickly and now frequently changes their algorithms to punish websites that use these types of black hat tactics. Some common consequences include having the site banned from, or buried in, the search engine results pages.
Over the years, Google has begun to put more weight behind social media sites when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). Using popular social media sites, such as Facebook, in a positive manner could help with your search engine rankings. Because of this, similar black hat techniques are starting to develop in social media. Some of these tactics include buying a following, faking virility and using fake reviews.
Reaching thousands of followers is rather easy if you are willing to pay the price. Not only would you have to pay to obtain these followers, but the ultimate price would be SEO jail. Google has turned their attention to measure the quality of your following and content rather than quantity. Whether you are creating fake Facebook profiles to interact with your business’ Facebook page, concealing deceptive content, writing fake reviews or purchasing video views, likes and followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, you will get the same result: punishment from Google.
How social media effects SEO is always evolving. Every day, Google tweaks their algorithms to filter out spammers, but they also roll out major updates every year or two that cause big shifts in the search engine rankings. In April 2012, Google launched their Penguin Update, which was designed to catch sites using improper link-building techniques, such as buying links or obtaining them through link networks designed primarily to boost Google rankings. Google’s Panda Update, which first came out in 2011 but is now considered Panda 4.0, is designed to monitor the content on websites and remove websites spamming Google by means of bad, copied or mass-produced content. Like an elephant, Google never forgets. If they find you using any of these improper techniques, they will shut you down, fine you and keep it on record.