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"#1 rank for any keyword in 7 days!" . We've all come across ludicrous promises like this one from time to time when researching search engine optimization tactics and services, right? We know it's impossible to fulfill such claims while maintaining a sense of site content-integrity. So how do they do it? The answer is "black hat" tactics, and these devious practices are downright reviled by search engines. If black hat tactics are detected through search engine crawlers while indexing a page, the consequences can be extremely serious, and the search engine will sometimes bar the specific site from appearing in any search result.

Whether these tactics are done purposely or are merely a result of search engine optimization ignorance, they will severely damage a site's ranking. Here are a list of black hat tactics and their "white hat" alternatives.

  1. Keyword Stuffing: Occasionally optimizers will take advantage of the weight that search engines place on keywords in order to identify appropriate content for specific search queries. One way they can do this is through meta keyword stuffing. The field is meant for the web developer to place a few niche words which successfully emphasize the topic and content of the content on the page. However, some developers take this as an opportunity to place dozens of commonly searched terms in order to show up The meta keyword fields have been vastly misused, and consequentially, search engines place far less emphasis, if any at all, on these fields now.
  2. Dishonest Meta Description: the meta description field, like the keywords field, should concisely summarize the content of the specific page. A common black-hat spin on this description field is to misuse it as a primary space to overtly promote their brand with dishonest claims.
  3. Hidden content: Black hat SEOs will sometimes stuff keywords into content that users cannot see on the front end of the site.  There are a few different ways to do this. One includes using a comment tag . The real purpose of comment tags is for developers to place helpful hints about their coding so they can quickly identify where specific content is, for example. However, because the words in the comment tag do not show up on the front-end, some developers will stuff keywords into this tag in hopes that search engines will crawl and index this information and improve the ranking of the site. Additionally, dishonest developers can also use