The idea of black hat SEO is as old as the hills and is slowly but surely being ushered out of existence…and about time too. The term of course refers to pretty much any tactics used to force higher search rankings without having to necessarily make the site itself of any real worth or use to anyone. Google’s war on spam has taken huge strides over recent years and getting anywhere at all with black hat SEO now straddles the line between difficult and impossible.
Interestingly however, comparatively little attention has been given to the blossoming problem of black hat social media. In the same sense, this is where folk are essentially cheating and deceiving in order to curry the favour of readers or simply to boost traffic volumes in the first place. Just like black-hat SEO, it’s a tricky idea to pull off and get away with, but there’s a pretty strong chance that most businesses will have at least given thought to black-hat social media tactics at one time or another.
Buying Fame and Glory
For example, if you’ve ever thought about buying likes, fans or followers, this is black-hat social media we’re talking about. Unfortunately, this also happens to be one of the most pointless endeavours in the world as in this day and age it simply does not work. The key to success lies in engaging real life readers, which in turn means that all the fake readers in the world will not earn you jack. And if it’s obvious that the 10,000 likes you have all come from fake profiles, the reputation damage you’ll suffer upon being rumbled could be irreparable.
It’s tempting and you might think there’s no real victim, but leaving spammy comments just to get a link in there really is a horrible practice to say the least. Every day, millions and millions of comments of no worth or credibility are left on social media sites for no reason other than to get links posted. “Great Blog Post, Why Not Buy My XXXXXXXX?” for example – all these do is dilute the value and impact of every other comment. As such, there are plenty of victims with this kind of behaviour – everyone involves comes out looking like a spammer.
Pure and Simple Lies
Last but not least, we all know the power of social media when it comes to getting a message to go viral. As such, it’s technically as simple as making something truly shocking up, posting it to a thousand people and letting word of mouth do the rest. It might be untrue, but the fact that you get it out to 100,000 people makes the moral side of things unimportant right?
Wrong – sooner or later the hoax will be uncovered and you will be left reeling from the battering your reputation gets. Using social media as a platform upon which to spurt lies just for the sake of reaching a wider audience is the very definition of a black-hat tactic and one you will not get away with.