Are you tired of seeing shady and spammy SEO tactics used to manipulate search engine rankings? Have you ever been left feeling helpless and frustrated because nothing has been done to put an end to unethical practices?
If so, then you’re in luck! This blog post will show you how to report black hat SEO using Google Developers‘ “Report Spam" tool.
With this powerful and practical resource, gone are the days of being unable to counteract unethical practices.
In a few simple steps, we'll show you how easy it is to pinpoint malicious links that should be reported so they no longer hurt your website's reputation.
Let's get started and learn more about reporting black hat SEO!
What is Black Hat SEO, and why should it be reported
Black Hat SEO is an unethical search engine optimization that deliberately attempts to manipulate organic search rankings for goals such as avoiding paying for advertising, competing unfairly with competitors, or promoting content irrelevant to the search query.
Manipulative tactics like cloaking, hidden text, link schemes, and keyword stuffing can potentially have severe consequences if businesses fail to comply with Google's Webmaster Guidelines.
It is, therefore, important to report Black Hat SEO practices using Google's advanced reporting tool so that they can take action against malicious websites before it’s too late.
This proactive approach ensures a fair and unbiased approach to organic search results and encourages sustainable and long-term success.
Google Penalty for Black Hat SEO
Google has made it clear that they take a zero-tolerance approach to any attempt to manipulate search engine rankings.
To ensure websites comply with their policies, Google may issue warnings and severe penalties such as reduced visibility in organic search results or delisting from the index altogether.
How to check if Google penalized your Website or not?
The freeway is to check your Google Search Console (Previously Google Webmaster Tools) account to see if you have configured it already and select your web property as below;
And scroll down to "Security and Manual Actions" from the left menu and select "Manual Actions";
If you see below "no issues detected" on the same page then your website isn't blacklisted by Google for using black hat seo techniques;
But if you see some red flags there then you have issues like below;
If your site happens to have security issues like phishing, insecure content, or malware, then you must check the "Security issues" tab below;
Types of Black Hat SEO Techniques to look out for
Many online businesses use techniques to manipulate their position in the search engine rankings, and unfortunately, some of these practices can be deemed as Black Hat SEO.
Different Black Hat SEO Tactics
Tactics such as hidden links, keyword stuffing, cloaking, link farming or buying, and comment or forum spam are all examples of the black hat practices in SEO that can quickly get your website penalized.
Black Hat SEO is not suitable for websites. It is when people try to trick search engines. Here are three bad things to watch out for:
1. Hidden links and text
You should never try to hide links or text in your website to manipulate search engine rankings.
As you can see above, there's an element in the code itself on the hyperlink, i.e. onMouseOver, which uses to hide link and the text from the page.
2. Keyword stuffing
This is when you try to cram too many keywords into a single page or article, making it difficult for users to read.
In the above example, there's an article about Red Apples, and the content is stuffed with "red apples" so often, which looks like keyword stuffing to google which was one of the most used black hat tactics.
3. Link buying/Link Farms
This is when you purchase links (Link Farms) from other websites to boost your rankings; buying such Paid links can be very harmful to your website in the long run.
As you can see above, exchanging money for links (Paid links) or posts is one of the black hat tactics for search engines. Therefore, there may be a chance that your website may get flagged or caught by search engine algorithms for such paid links.
Doorway pages are created to manipulate search engine rankings and funnel traffic to a specific web page. They can be considered as black hat techniques in SEO since they do not provide any value for visitors and exist solely as a way to rank higher in organic search results.
In the above example, as you can see, all of these pages are doorway pages which manipulate google search results and engine algorithms to promote on the page, i.e. Prednisolone without prescription, as you can see above.
For google or any search engines, doorway pages are regarded as the one of the Black hat seo methods which marketers use for their SEO Strategy.
Article spinning is a content marketing tactic where existing articles are rewritten and then re-published.
Here in above example, we have Spinned original paragraph and the results you can see on the right.
This technique has been used to manipulate search engine rankings, as the same report can be published on multiple websites with a similar or identical copies.
Duplicate content is a significant website issue, as it can severely impact search engine ranking which leads to poor quality content which is also against Google webmaster guidelines.
Duplicate content is any content that appears more than once on the internet, and it's wise to take steps to ensure originality.
Social media manipulation
Social media has become an essential part of digital marketing, and some companies have been known to manipulate interactions on social networks to boost their online presence.
This can be a black hat SEO, as it often involves buying followers or using automated bots to increase engagement.
Sneaky redirects are a cruel way of sending visitors from one website to another, often with the intent of manipulating search engine rankings.
As you can see in above example, an URL is ranking on search engine, say, example.com using some black hat seo techniques, but when user clicks on it, it lands on unrelated URL which leads to manipulate Google search results.
Page hijacking is when someone copies the content of a web page and uses it to create a similar website.
In above example of one of the Black hat seo practices and tactic and techniques leads to Google page hijacking by creating multiple or fake pages to hijack SERPs by keyword stuffing or some other Black Hat SEO Tactics to manipulate search engine algorithms.
This can manipulate search engine rankings, as the copied page will often appear higher in organic search than the original.
Rich snippet markups abuse
Rich snippet markups are a great way to make your website stand out in organic search, but some companies have been known to use them to manipulate rankings.
In above example, You can see that one site is selling Instagram followers using some famous influencers picture aside (Using Schema Structured data) which is one of the most abused black hat SEO tactics which is against search engine guidelines, not only for Google but also for other search engines.
This type of abuse is considered black hat SEO and should be avoided.
Cloaking is when a website shows one version of its content to search engine crawlers, and another version to human visitors.
Search Engine Crawler or bots usually send their bots to gather information about the page which was requested for indexing on their pages but Black hat SEO Practitioners uses cloaking to show different content to Crawlers and real users, This has been seen on affiliate sites which is regarded as spam websites according to search engine rules.
Cloaking is also one of the unethical SEO tactics that can be use to steal users personal information by showing different versions of websites.
This tactic is often used to show different content depending on the user’s location or device type but can be seen as black hat SEO if used for malicious purposes.
Spamming blog comments and forums
Spamming blog comments and forums with links to your website is a black hat technique that should be avoided.
Here is the comments dashboard from one of our website that gets daily spam comments which usually have spammy backlinks of their own site which they for link building which is black hat spam.
Many SEO Practitioners use this spammy backlinks building strategy which is pure spam in the eyes of Google which we have discussed in detail here.
Not only does it create a bad user experience, but it can also lead to penalization from search engines.
Using bots or automated software to generate fake traffic and manipulate search engine rankings is a form of black hat SEO that should be avoided.
Ultimately, Black Hat SEO techniques are often used in order to gain quick success online.
However, these practices can get your website banned or penalized by search engines, so avoiding them is best. Instead, focus on creating great content that will be beneficial to users and improve your website’s organic rankings.
Businesses must take extra care when creating content and following guidelines from search engines to ensure their rankings are not affected by these unethical strategies.
Additionally, users now have access to tools like Google's Report Spam system for reporting suspicious links or content in order to be proactive about stopping any potential 'black hat' activities.
How to Report Black Hat SEO Backlinks (Paid Links)
In this section, we will learn how to report black hat seo backlinks, We will discuss the steps you can take to register any suspicious backlinks and protect your website from ‘Black Hat’ SEO techniques.
Step1: Audit your or your competitor's website for backlinks
First, we need to find spammy backlinks, and for the same, you need to audit your website for such backlinks.
Signup for Semrush account, and search for your competitor's domain in the domain overview from the left;
Enter your competitor's domain and click on "Search".
Next, when the report gets loaded, select backlink's tab from the options as below;
Step2: Find Suspicious Backlinks
Now when the report gets loaded, you need to select "Active" Backlinks from the drop-down list;
Now start collecting suspicious links or spammy links from the list, audit the whole backlink profile and start adding to your list.
When your list is ready, it's time to report black hat SEO links to Google.
Step3: Report Black Hat SEO Links to Google
Now, it's time to hammer your competitor with Google Penalty by submitting spammy links of your competitor to them.
The first thing you need to do is go to Google's Report Black hat Spam page here and select the "Paid link Spam" option as below.
Now a new page will open as below, which requires you to input some information along with evidence;
Website Selling Links - Input the website that sells links (where your competitor's links are).
Website Buying Links - Input the website that buys links (Your competitor's website).
Additional Details - Here you need to add screenshots and all details you know about the websites that involves in "Paid Link Spam" for their site's ranking.
This way of reporting black hat SEO spam links will let their page gets off Google's search results in no time.
How to Report Black Hat Spam Content
If you want to know how to report black hat SEO content or you can say spam content then follow this section.
Webmasters and marketing professionals use search engine optimization (SEO) to help their sites gain higher rankings in search engine results.
However, sometimes, a website may resort to using black hat SEO tactics, such as creating backlinks intended to manipulate Google rankings and deceive search engine users.
If you notice this activity happening on your website or any other website you interact with, it's essential to take action and report this illegal practice.
Step1: Audit your Competitor's Content
If you have already audited your competitor's content then move to step2 below, but before jumping onto the second step, let's see what classifies as Spammy Content in the eyes of Google.
Google Classifies following content as spammy;
Now, if you're sure it belongs to the above categories, follow the second step.
Step2: Reporting Black Hat SEO Spammy Content
A new interface will open, and you will see the following options;
First, You need to enter the address of the page that is misbehaving or performing a black hat tactic, as we explained above.
Next, you need to enter a keyword for the specific page which is ranking; the competitor may be doing keyword stuffing which is also one of the black hat SEO strategies,
Next, You need add all the relevant information in detail such that Google's investigation team will try to analyze the content and hammer them with a penalty.
Tips on how to use the tool efficiently
To effectively report links for black hat SEO using the Google Developers guidelines for writing spam, a few tips should be kept in mind.
When reporting a link, include as much relevant information as possible and provide as many details as possible in the comments section.
Users should also minimize the number of reports they submit so that each link has adequate detail.
Additionally, if links are being reported from more than one domain name, they should all be sent in one report. Finally, it is important to stay updated on relevant changes made by Google so that you can use the tool correctly and efficiently.
Benefits of using the tool and following up on reports
Using the tool to report black hat SEO and following up on the pieces can be beneficial to keeping your website or service free of spammy links.
From the viewpoint of a webmaster, it is essential to ensure that their customers can access all legitimate information without having to sift through malicious or unwanted software content.
In addition, webmasters can avoid malicious activities going unnoticed by tracking their reports and cleaning up spammy links related to their websites.
As a whole, using this tool helps keep websites secure and safe for users to access.
Frequently Asked Questions
We Hope we have answered all your queries, but still we manage to list frequently Asked questions you may want to know about as below.
What is different between Black Hat SEO, White hat SEO and Grey Hat SEO?
Black Hat SEO, White Hat SEO and Grey Hat SEO are all different search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
Black hat SEO is a form of one of the unethical SEO Practices as it involves unethical tactics that may be frowned upon by search engines. In contrast, white hat SEO techniques follow guidelines set out by search engines. Grey hat SEO techniques combine white and black hat strategies for quicker results.
What are the consequences of bad SEO?
Bad SEO techniques can result in penalties or even blacklisting by search engines, which can have serious negative implications for a website’s ability to generate traffic.
Black Hat SEO tactics may be able to give quick results, but they often end up with websites being penalized due to the unethical nature of their practices.
Does black hat SEO work?
Black Hat SEO is not legal, and the tactics often violate search engine guidelines. It can result in a website being penalized or even delisted from search engines, dramatically dropping traffic and visibility. If caught by Google, Yahoo or Bing, the penalties can range from reduced visibility to complete removal of your website from major search engines index pages.
Is it legal to be a black hat hacker?
No, black hat SEO is not legal. The tactics involved often violate search engine guidelines and can result in penalties or delisting from search engines, which can have serious negative implications for a website’s ability to generate traffic.
It is advisable to avoid black hat tactics at all cost as they are likely to do more harm than good in long term for your entire websites too.
What is aggressive SEO?
Aggressive SEO, sometimes referred to as black hat SEO or spamdexing, is the practice of using unethical tactics to manipulate search engine rankings in order to gain a competitive advantage.
These tactics often involve keyword stuffing, link buying, cloaking, and other methods that violate search engine guidelines.
Should negative SEO be made illegal?
Yes, negative SEO should be avoided at all costs. Negative SEO involves using unethical tactics such as link bombing and duplicate content to negatively impact another website’s rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Negative SEO can result in penalties or even being blacklisted from search engines, severely affecting your website's rankings.
Does copying content hurt SEO?
Yes, copying content does hurt SEO. Copying content from other websites and using it on your website can result in penalties from search engines and a drop in rankings.
It is important to remember that plagiarism is unethical and illegal, so it's best to create original content for your website.
Can backlinks hurt SEO?
The ongoing debate about whether backlinks can hurt SEO or not has raised many eyebrows in the digital marketing community.
On one hand, quality backlinks from reputable websites are a vital element for ranking higher on search engines; however, on the flip side, they can also potentially harm your website's SEO if not managed properly.
When low-quality or spammy backlinks are accumulated and associated with a website, it sends a negative signal to search engines, such as Google, which may result in the website losing its credibility and ultimately ranking lower.
Thus, website owners and SEO professionals must remain vigilant while building backlinks and regularly analyze their backlink profile, weeding out any harmful links to maintain their website's integrity and reputation, ensuring optimal SEO performance.
Do Broken images affect SEO?
Broken images can significantly impact a website's Search Engine Optimization (SEO) performance, potentially harming its visibility on search engine results pages.
When an image link is broken, it not only diminishes user experience by displaying an unappealing error icon or empty frame but also sends a negative signal to search engines like Google.
Such search engines consider the presence of broken images as an indication of poor site maintenance or lack of relevant and quality content.
Furthermore, broken images can reduce the effectiveness of keywords associated with those images, making it difficult for a website to rank higher for targeted search queries.
Consequently, it is essential for webmasters and marketers to routinely check for broken images and fix them promptly to ensure a positive user experience and maintain healthy SEO rankings.
Can too many links hurt SEO?
The relationship between the number of links on a webpage and its impact on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can sometimes be complex.
While having an ample number of high-quality, relevant, and authentic links can boost a website's ranking and increase its visibility, too many links could raise concerns, adversely affecting SEO.
One primary reason is search engines like Google could regard an excessive number of outgoing or inbound links as an indication of spammy, low-quality, or manipulative content, resulting in penalties, lowered rankings, or even removal from search results altogether.
Therefore, website owners and digital marketers must strike the right balance in their linking strategies, ensuring that the focus remains on meaningful, informative connections that genuinely benefit users and enhance their browsing experience rather than simply attempting to expand their link portfolio without thoughtful consideration.
Do Google ads hurt SEO?
Google ads do not adversely affect SEO. In fact, Google Ads can be seen as a supplement to organic search engine optimization efforts and can help to boost search rankings and website visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).
In Conclusion, reporting and tracking black hat SEO techniques is essential to ensure a site's rankings stay genuine and accurate.
While there are many types of black hat SEO tactics, those related to link manipulation should be given the most attention. With the help of Google's Report Spam tool, users can quickly identify and report suspicious backlinks to maintain their website's integrity.
By following up on reports with additional details, such as IP address and timestamps if necessary, it gives Google more information to act upon, in turn potentially leading to more efficient results and quicker action from Google.
Ultimately taking this proactive approach when dealing with online spam is beneficial for your website and for providing a better user experience throughout the web.
Raman is a digital marketing expert with over 8 years of experience. He has a deep understanding of various digital marketing strategies, including affiliate marketing. His expertise lies in technical SEO, where he leverages his skills to optimize websites for search engines and drive organic traffic. Raman is passionate about staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and sharing his knowledge to help businesses succeed in the online world.