Last updated by TechPrate on September 19th, 2021 at 09:35 pm
While you are sticking to the White Hat SEO practices, your competitors are still outranking you. Why? Because they have been using dirty SEO practices. “Black Hat SEO,” “SEO Spam” or “Dirty SEO” are the practices that many websites use these days to rank high in Google.
So, it’s necessary for you to identify whether your competitor is using these unethical techniques to beat you and come to the top of the Google search. Here’s how you can identify the signs of black hat SEO techniques on your competitor’s website.
1. Keyword Stuffing
It is the keyword that defines what your whole content is going to talk about. When you use it appropriately in your content, it improves your ranking. However, many websites use the keywords in their content for an inordinate number of times. This is one of the most common black hat SEO techniques that is applied to rank higher in Google search.
Identifying Keyword Stuffing…
To identify this dirty SEO technique in your competitor’s website, go through its content. If you see a keyword or phrase that seems completely out of context or is unnaturally phrased, then this is surely keyword stuffing. However, sometimes it’s not easy to identify keyword stuffing in a website because Google regularly changes its guidelines to use a keyword in the content. So, in that case, checking for the places like the title, introduction, and meta description can help you spot keyword stuffing.
2. Paid links
The link popularity on your website in one of the important factors on the basis of which Google ranks you to the top of the search. When websites with a better domain authority link to your website, Google considers you to be more authoritative. However, many websites buy such links with money or goods to get to the top, but Google generally shuts down paid links.
Determining if Your Competitor’s Website is Buying Links…
To pick out the paid links in your competitor’s website, you won’t need any SEO tool. All you have to do is look at the words that are hyperlinked. If these words seem to have no connection to the link, then they’re most likely paid links.
You should also pay attention to the number of links on a page. If it has a lot of randomly linked text, then there are chances that they are bought.
3. Article Spinning
Paraphrasing is one of the most common practices that is used to avoid duplicate content. But when Google got strict towards the paraphrased content, then people invented article spinning or content automation.
There are many tools available out there using which you can change already published text by adjusting most of the words. The synonyms and the change in the syntax may make the content look different but the idea in it is still the same.
Finding Out the Traces of Automated Content…
The automated content is not easy to identify. However, with substantial efforts, you can judge whether the content present on your competitor’s website is original or duplicate. If the website that has used low-quality spinner, then the content would look like a jumbled mess.
But sometimes the websites use high-quality tools that are capable of producing creative content. To identify the plagiarism in such cases, you should search whether similar content is available on some other website.
Once in a while, you must have come across the links that have a solution to your queries but when you click on them, they redirect you to websites that don’t seem relevant at all. Such websites are known as cloaked websites which are accidentally listed on top by Google. This is one of the most common black hat SEO techniques that many websites use in recent times, and chances are that your competitor may be using it too.
Spotting Cloaking in the Competitor’s Website…
It is simple to point out whether the website of your competitor is using cloaking to get to the top of the Google search. If it appears as the perfect search result on Google but when you visit it, you find yourself in unexpected locations, then it is surely a cloaked site. Many websites used cloaking to trick search engines to rank them to the top, but it generally happens for the short term since it is against the Google guidelines for SEO.
5. Domain Squatting
Out of all the black hat SEO practices, this one is the shadiest of all. It is done to trick people to redirect to some other website instead of the genuine one. For example, you want to visit Yahoo.com but you reach to some other. Why? Because you accidentally typed in Yahooo.com.
The extra ‘o’ that you mistakenly type takes you to some other website. This is called domain squatting. Many websites even use this to steal passwords of the users, spread viruses, and for other such shady purposes.
Is Your Competitor Doing Domain Squatting?…
It’s easy! Check the domain name of your competitor’s website and if it’s similar to yours or any other trademark, then it is domain squatting. If you feel that somebody is tricking the users of your website, then you can file a Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP) complaint. Such websites can’t survive for long as search engines usually delist anyone caught trying to do domain squatting.
Apart from these black hat SEO techniques, fake clickbait, comment spamming, page swapping, social media network spam, link exchanges, private blog networks, and hacking are practices that many websites do to rank high in the Google search. A few SEO tools and a little attention to detail can help you identify if your competitors are using any dirty SEO hack to beat you!