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Black hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are aggressive strategies that flout SEO regulations to grant a website a high search ranking. There are various reasons why websites decide to use black hat SEO tactics. Firstly, the particular kind of website may contain content that is not suitable for viewers and hence the use unscrupulous techniques to direct traffic to the sites. Secondly, black hat SEOs are meant to give a website unnecessary advantage over a competitor. Two or more websites may be offering similar content hence to direct as many users to view their content, the owners use black hat SEO. Thirdly, hackers may use black hat SEO to capture unsuspecting customers and siphon information from them. The stolen information may be used to obtain Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), passwords, login details, and other confidential information relating to online accounts owned by the customers. Fourthly, website owners may use black hat SEO to direct traffic to a different website where a user did not intend to visit. The second website is accessed through a link provided on a genuine website where the user unknowingly clicks on it.
Google uses various ways to deter websites from using black hat SEO techniques. The use of search and ranking algorithms helps Google detect websites that show particular content during search operation but direct users to a different webpage. Also, the algorithms discourage exchange of low-quality website links. The introduction of Google Penguin Update prevents websites from engaging in spamming (Swirsky et al., 2018). The software detects websites that purchase links for the purpose of getting paid. Besides, Google uses bots to identify websites that have source code with hidden text. Further, the Google's Panda Update is used to find websites that use spam methods to publish content. Example of black hat SEO techniques includes content duplication and blog spamming.
The two search technologies that impact businesses include crawling and indexing. The crawling technology is used to identify the changes that have been made on an established website over a period of time. Through crawling, it is possible to identify dead links and new pages that have been added to a website. The technology uses a program referred to as crawler, bot, or spider which follows a certain algorithm (Shenoy & Prabhu, 2016). In indexing, a search engine processes numerous words on different web pages and organizes them to ascertain their relevance when compared to certain web pages. Through indexing, the search engine organizes search results depending on relevance.
There are various metrics used by Pay Per Click (PPC) to gauge the effectiveness of online campaigns. They include Clickthrough Rate (CTR) and Search Impression Share. CTR indicates the quality of an ad that has been used to propagate the intended message. Clickthrough Rate also shows the relevance of searched words and ad content provided to the user. A high CTR indicates a high-quality score hence a relatively low cost per click (CPC). The Search Impression Share shows the time allocated to an ad on a website. The Impression Share (IS) will give an indicator to a business when its advertisement time is being lost to a competitor (Swirsky et al., 2018). The interpretation of the Impression Share is that some considerable amount of time is being lost, and its utilization can enhance the marketability of the website. Moreover, Impression Share indicates how much money should be used for ads to ensure effectiveness in campaigns.
Shenoy, A., & Prabhu, A. (2016). Introduction to SEO. In Introducing SEO (pp. 1-8). Apress, Berkeley, CA.
Swirsky, E. S., Michaels, C., Stuefen, S., & Halasz, M. (2018). Hanging the digital shingle: Dental ethics and search engine optimization. The Journal of the American Dental Association, 149(2), 81-85.
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