Black Hat Social Media And Google

Social media conceptYou could say the SEO industry has a slightly tarnished reputation, following a mass trend of black hat strategies designed to trick Google into ranking pages higher. Such approaches were highly effective for many years, but a Google backlash has punished sites with a black hat history – a bitter pill for website owners who have paid an SEOs or agencies for the trouble.

However, black hat is not just an SEO trend, proven by the flock of marketers that have jumped over to social media to manipulate a higher page rank. Social plays a huge role in SEO and traffic referral so – true to form – black hatters have pulled every gimmick they know to get the maximum results. However, just like SEO, black hat social media techniques could soon backfire on businesses – and website owners would have to pay the price again.

What is back hat social media?

Black hat social media generally consists of buying fake followers, likes and shares; creating and optimising fake accounts; fake reviews and basically anything else fabricated. Just like its SEO predecessor, if you’re not genuine with your social media efforts, then you’ve probably crossed the black hat line.

Why Google hates black hat social media

Google has spent a lot of time, money and effort in the last few years trying to rid its results pages of spammy websites and SEO malpractice. Whether you think the search provider has actually improved results in the process is another question, but the fact remains that Google has taken a zero-tolerance approach to techniques designed to manipulate its search algorithm.

Which means black hat social media is living on borrowed time. Google can already punish your search ranking if you’re found to use fake reviews or a library of fake social media accounts – and things will only get worse with future updates. Social media is expected to play an even larger role in page ranking, as Google attempts to measure trust and authority, which means you can guarantee a stronger stance on black hat social media in the future.

Preparing for Google updates before they hit

One of our toughest tasks as SEOs and marketers is protecting websites from Google algorithms – and prevention is always the best cure. Naturally, we can’t predict exactly what Google has in mind or how it will go about stamping out black hat social media, which calls for a different approach to online marketing.

It’s time to move away from this “get what you can now” culture, where marketers try every little trick to grab a quick advantage. Instead, we need to create sustainable strategies that not only drive businesses, but protect them from future updates – and that means playing by the rules.

Marketers are only shooting themselves – or worse their clients – in the foot if their marketing strategies rely on black hat tactics – whether it’s SEO, social media or anything else. Which requires are smarter, more honest approach to marketing, rather than the opportunistic route we have seen get punished so much lately.