Something is fishy, but you don’t know why.
You smell something fishy but you can’t put your finger on it. We got you, and you are probably right. We see this all the time with our clients and their competitors as well as our own competitors.
It can be frustrating to put tons of time, money, and effort into best practices, yet it feels that it is futile. We get the frustration that goes with the feeling that someone is winning underhandedly.
Clues that might concern you about your competitor’s SEO strategies.
Below are some of the clues that you might have that can cause you to be concerned about your ranking. These concerns are often blanketed in Black Hat SEO tactics, which we will talk about more later.
- Your competitor is ranking much higher than you with few Google reviews, poor Google reviews or reviews that obviously look fake.
- Your competitor’s website that has terrible UX and design but they are ranking well on Google. The site structure is a mess, they use numerous colors fonts.
- Your competitor’s website that loads at the speed of molasses. The site just spins as you go from page to page, yet they are ranking well.
- They put out thin or low content that is not quality just to fill up space and use keyword stuffing, yet they are beating you in the ranks.
- Your competitor is ranking high, but you do research using software like Ahrefs or Semrush and find backlinks piling up at the speed of light and you know they are paid for and not genuine.
- They are using link farms to improve their ranking factors.
- Your competitor is building fake websites and fake website directories and putting their name on it which is helping them rank higher in search engines.
Stick with White Hat SEO Techniques.
As a business, you want to always stick with White Hat SEO techniques. There are 3 types of SEO techniques; White Hat SEO, Black Hat SEO, and Grey Hat SEO.
Both Black Hat SEO and Gray Hat SEO are not the best choices for winning the end game. They are used by many competitors as well as SEO agencies and should be avoided.
White hat SEO is a way to build your website’s visibility in search engines by creating and posting high-quality content that answers your audience’s questions, provides value, and follows search engine guidelines.
White Hat SEO alternatives (Black & Grey Hat) are not the answer to ranking as a business with integrity. A White Hat approach to SEO is a long-term strategy, and it’s worth considering the benefits of this approach.
What is Black Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO is an unethical, deceptive, and sometimes even illegal method of marketing that improves search engine rankings.
It’s considered a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines to do this, and if you’re caught, your site will be penalized.
Google does not allow Black Hat SEO techniques and will penalize you if they are used on your website. If you are found to be using a Black Hat SEO technique, you could be banned from Google altogether.
A “black hat” hacker is someone who breaks into computers and networks for malicious purposes. This term is often used by computer security professionals to describe hackers who exploit vulnerabilities without permission.
Black hat tactics are often seen as unethical or even criminal in the context of search engine optimization because they can include hacking into websites or paying Google employees to manipulate your website’s ranking within their algorithm.
If Google finds out that you’re using them then they could penalize your site which can lead to lower rankings or even being removed from their index altogether!
Black Hat SEO Strategies that your competition might be using to outrank you unethically.
Let’s get into some of the most common Black Hat SEO techniques.
Keyword stuffing: Repeating the same keyword or phrase over and over again in your content to try and increase rankings.
Article spinning: Duplicating an article from another source, rewriting it slightly, and publishing it on a different domain in hopes of increasing your Google ranking.
Link building without permission: Linking to websites you don’t own or have permission to link to is considered spam.
Cloaking: Cloaking is a sneaky practice in which a website shows different content to search engines than what users see when they visit.
Toxic Backlinks: Toxic links (sometimes called Black Hat SEO or spammy links) can damage your Google rankings in a way that ordinary people can see. So essentially, if someone adds you to their blogroll or anything like that, it’s highly likely that they’re trying to do something wrong.
Thin/Low-quality content: Low-quality content, or thin content, refers to pages on your site that are very short on substance. They may also be duplicates of existing pages on your site, submitted to low-quality directories for quick ranking, or optimized for keywords that do not match the meaning or context of the page.
What can you do to combat those unethical Black Hat SEO techniques?
We get questions like this all the time:
We have a SEO competitor beating us and we know they are using Black Hat SEO techniques and is outranking us. We did a seo competitor analysis. Their backlinks are going up to thousands over just a few days and we noticed other things that make it obvious. What can we do?
The answer is not going to be one you are going to like. We don’t like it either. The way to beat out the fishy competition is to go for the long game and ignore them.
We have all heard the saying “Cheaters never win.” In truth, we know this is not always true, but, in SEO the truth is in the long run – cheaters never win.
Google is smart and its algorithm for catching things like this is improving all the time. They might not be caught now, but in time the search engines will outsmart them.
Actionable items to do to beat out your unethical competitor.
- Don’t Panic: You got this!
- Ignore them. A healthy thing is to focus on your own strategies and ignore the cheaters. It is a waste of time to try to figure out how they are cheating.
- White Hat SEO: Stick with only White Hat techniques and build a solid SEO strategy using On-Page SEO, Off-Page SEO, Technical SEO, Content Marketing, and Local SEO.
- GMB: Optimized your GMB (Google My Business).
- Link Building: Link build on quality sites. (Do not buy links.)
- Guest Blog: Guest blog on quality sites that are in your niche.
- Website Speed: Optimize your website speed.
- Website Content: Optimize your website content and make sure it is quality and user-friendly. Think about UX and structure.
- Blog Posting: Creating a blog post with quality content that is high quality is superior. It is better to write a solid blog than throw a bunch of fluffy blogs to try to add content to your website.
You got this, do the right thing.
I hope that this article has given you some insight into how to deal with your competitor’s black hat SEO. It’s not an easy task, but it is one that can be managed by ignoring them and focusing on an amazing SEO strategy that will beat them out in the long run!