Although some unscrupulous SEO companies may be willing to do whatever it takes to get high rankings in search engines, it is highly advisable that you avoid using “black hat” or “gray hat” tactics. These are tactics that game the system, use loopholes, or otherwise make use of unethical quirks in the system. These tactics include utilizing private blog networks, scraping content, keyword stuffing, sabotaging competitors with “negative SEO,” paying for links, and cloaking your actual content. All of these tactics will eventually put you in the doghouse with the search engine company, and hurt the value and authority of your site. Therefore, all of these tactics should be avoided.
- Google is continually fine tuning their algorithms, so it is hard to employ gray-hat or black-hat techniques without getting caught.
- Some people think buying links will promote their site, but it is against Google’s and Bing’s guidelines.
- If you sabotage a competitor’s website, also known as negative SEO, you could end up banned from search engines, or you could even go to jail.
“If you are willing to risk a Google penalty for the possible payoff of quicker or better rankings, then go for it!”