It’s based on taking shortcuts. You game the system to try to get faster results for the keyword phrases you want to target.
Early in SEO history, black hat was common and easy. The first strategy was keyword stuffing. If you wanted to rank for the term “chiropractors in Buffalo” you’d repeat that phrase all over your website. It made for awful reading but – at first – it worked.
Then Google got smarter.
Next, marketers learned that inbound links to their domains improved their rankings. Black hat set-up sites so that marketers could buy a large volume of links and quickly improve rankings. In a week you could have thousands of links based on the text “best chiropractors Texas” and rank for that keyword phrase.
But Google got smarter. It learned how to detect those fake links and punish the websites that used them.
Next, black hatters said let’s focus on content. We’ll produce vast amounts of nonsensical content quickly so Google will think we’re adding lots of important content to our site (it can’t tell that what we write barely makes sense).
But it got smarter. It learned to understand what content was consumed by real people – and what wasn’t.
And today? There isn’t really much of a “black hat” strategy left. Short-cuts have no shelf-life.
Google has a team (who knows how big) of very smart people who overcame black hat. You ain’t gonna outsmart them.
The path then, is clear. For a chiropractic website, the best SEO strategy is to build a series of pages (on your site, on other chiropractic websites, social media, etc.) that gives people valid, unique, useful information. Not boilerplate stuff repeated from other chiropractic sites or that you stole from medical journals. Useful info about your practice, how you use chiropractic, changes in procedures…the same stuff you’d like to find if you searched for information about chiropractic online.
Then, when you have the content, apply a strategy to get it viewed and shared. Now apply your SEO thinking, work with a marketing consultant, use all your resources while playing by the rules.
It’s pretty straightforward (though hardly easy). You have to work with what Google wants rather than against it. Black hat can’t win this game anymore.