What Is Blackhat Link Building? Is it Worth the Risk?

Blackhat link building is a type of backlinking where black hat SEOs will use spammy link building methods to artificially inflate the page rank and popularity of websites.

Since this is most often done in ways that violate search engine guidelines, black hat link building is viewed as a risk for your site’s reputation and many worry this can lead to penalties or total banishment from indexes.

The Difference Between Black Hat Link Building And White Hat Link Building

White hat SEOs follow all rules set out by the major search engines, including Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

This means they don’t use any blackhat tactics like keyword stuffing, redirecting links to other domains, etc.

While white hat link building takes longer than blackhat, it boosts rankings gradually while earning the trust of search engines.

The major difference between blackhat link building and white hat link building is that blackhat link building can be used to artificially inflate your page rank while white hat link building methods are more likely to bring about organic growth in your page rank.  

Are Black Hat Link Building Methods Dangerous?

There some blackhat link building methods which are more blackhat than others, but black hat link building in general is very risky.

Google has gotten better at detecting blackhat SEO tactics and penalizing sites that use them, so earning trust with white hat link building is very important when trying to rank well in Google.

One major downside to blackhat link building is that it could lead to problems with your site’s reputation.

This can result in penalties for black hat SEOs using blackhat link building to inflate sites with spammy links that violate the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Black hat link building is expensive because black hat SEOs are constantly looking for loopholes around the search engine guidelines to rank higher.

What is Cloaking?

One blackhat link building tactic many black hats use is cloaking or serving different content when someone follows a link on your site than what shows up when they reach the destination site through black hat SEO tactics like redirecting links.

This is blackhat link building because it violates the Google Webmaster Guidelines and can result in your site’s penalty.  

The New Rules To Solid SEO – Focus On Your Content

These days, content creation is king.

If you look at some of the competitive markets, you’ll see some pages with as many as 5,000-10,000 words in content!

That means people are investing more in their on-page content and developing content telling more of a complete story instead of just focusing on one or two keywords.

As black hat link building in the past relied on keyword stuffing and other blackhat tactics, you’ll have to invest in white hat link building methods if you want to compete at a high level.  

Links Are Still King – It’s Just What Your Links Say 

While blackhat link building was more focused on the number of backlinks themselves, white hat SEOs are focusing on getting links from higher-quality sites that provide more value for their readers.

This means black hats may be able to get more links than they did before, but unless they can get them from trusted domains or build up their own site’s reputation, it won’t mean much for ranking!

Are there markets that are more black hat than others?

One of the things we notice in analyzing hundreds to thousands of different niches and markets revolve around the difference in what you can get away with.

For example, a local service provider like a roofer would never need to engage in any grey hat or black hat link building because the top 10 are not super competitive.

However, industries like gaming (online poker), supplements (like legal steroids), and make money online programs are definitely more competitive.

And in order to compete, many will find themselves turning to black hat methods.

We advise you to avoid the temptation to dive into black hat methods.

Instead stay the course by following white hat rules and getting the best user experience on the planet, and growing your following.

Once you have an audience, you’ll not have to resort to shady link building tactics and can instead focus all your efforts on business building.

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