Black Hat SEO is a way of improving your website in order for it to be found easier by search engines, but all this by using unethical measures. It most certainly brings positive results, but as quick as your website’s rating will rise while using this method, the quicker it will fall when you are detected. Most techniques used by Black Hat SEO used to be legitimate, but once some folks took too much advantage of them, they are now no longer accepted by the SEO community. Fact is that Black Hat SEO is only a short term solution to a long term problem and obviously not the right one. It can take years for your business to recover if you get the worst of all penalties.
One of the most common Black Hat SEO techniques is keyword stuffing, which means packing long lists of key words on your website. Once discovered, search engines will penalize you for this. Another technique is putting text in the same color as the background making it this way invisible, and trying to catch search engine spiders this way. Doorway pages are also a common technique. Such pages will never be seen by the actual user of the site, but are fake sites which are trying to fool the search engine spider to rate the site higher.
That not even the big corporations are immune to the possibility of being excluded by search engines, shows what happened lately to BMW, which had its entire BMW.de site banned for using doorway pages and this was not all: Google engineer Matt Cutts criticized publicly on his blog the site and offered it as a negative example to the entire SEO community. Black Hat SEO users operate by the principle that the end justifies the means and are prepared to be caught and when they are, they just move on to another site. However, this is not a means of leading a business.
Other Black Hat SEO measures are for example cloaking, which means detecting search engine spiders when visiting your site and modifying its content specifically for the spiders in order to improve rankings, blog comment spamming, guestbook spamming, splogging (creating blogs and publishing there content stolen from other sites).
Most people distinguish two types of SEO, namely the Black Hat SEO (the evil one) and White Hat SEO (the honorable one), but Yahoo’s Tim Converse found more shades of SEO. He named Dark Inky Black Hat SEO the one installing spyware, which is illegal. He named Charcoal Hat SEO the one that optimizes unrelated pages for all types of queries but remains in legal terms. Dark Gray Hat SEO is the one splogging and Slate Gray Hat SEO is the one creating link-farms and such.
A SEO who reads the webmaster’s guidelines and then tries all the evil it can get away with is Gray Hat SEO, whereas a SEO that creates lots of original content, but meant online for search engines is a Light Gray Hat SEO. Off-White Hat SEO is the one making sure to contain many backlinks from friends and White Hat SEO put up the content people are actually searching for.
The most honorable of all SEO is the Luminescent Pearly White Hat SEO, which does everything what the White SEO does, but also makes sure for their pages not to appear to irrelevant queries.