SEO Blackhat

What Is Black Hat Social Media & Does It Affect SEO?
March 19, 2015 – 10:14 am

Facebook DislikeBlack hat social media is emerging quickly and spawning a new era of web spam. This affects the social media sites themselves, the users, and the businesses utilizing the site for marketing.

While many people are starting to recognize this trend, there is a dearth of information on how black hat social media influences search engine optimization (SEO). So let’s open up the topic.

What Is Black Hat Social Media?

First off, “black hat” is a phrase originally coined to refer to a type of hacker — one who “violates computer security for little reason beyond maliciousness or for personal gain.” In the search marketing world, “black hat SEO” refers to techniques and tactics that increase search engine rankings in ways that fall outside of the search engines’ guidelines or terms of service. (Conversely, “white hat SEO” refers to SEO techniques and tactics that are ethical — i.e., fall within the search engines’ guidelines.)

You won’t find many definitions for “black hat social media, ” so allow me to define it here. Black hat social media is an attempt to utilize a social media site for some kind of gain, using methods that are outside the social media website’s guidelines.

Examples Of Black Hat Social Media

So what are some examples of black hat social media, you ask? Well, allow me to list a few.

  • Buying fake Likes, YouTube Subscribers, +1s, etc. from click farms
  • Sharing hyperlinks that pose a security risk
  • Using a program to automatically follow and unfollow new accounts
  • Creating fake social media profiles to like, share, comment or gather information

These are just a few examples of black hat social media. But really, there are so many ways you can use social media to positively or negatively impact a business that are outside of the social site’s intended purpose.

Ways It Can Influence Google Search

Now we get to the heart of the matter. Can black hat social media impact SEO? Let’s take a look at several hypothetical examples, and then we can leave it up to the community to decide.

• Buying Fake Followers, Likes And Shares. According to Search Engine Land, “Social signals are emerging as ranking factors as search engines determine how to leverage our social interaction and behavior.” Most SEO professionals will agree that social signals have some impact on SEO, even if they’re not a direct ranking factor.

For example, if one were to buy likes, tweets, +1s and shares to fake an interaction with content, this could falsely inflate the content’s level of authority, especially if the profile listing this social interaction is public and crawlable by Google.

Source: searchengineland.com
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