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Is It Ever Appropriate to Use Black Hat SEO on a Law Firm Website?

If you have been researching how to optimize your own law firm’s website, you have probably run into the terms “white hat” and “black hat” (perhaps as well as “gray hat”) when researching how to do your own search engine optimization (SEO). White hat SEO means using techniques that do not violate Google’s SEO guidelines; in other words, successful white hat SEO just means making a website that is useful to the target audience of your website (in your case, current and prospective clients of your law firm) and by adding the best SEO tags (that Google’s bots see, but visitors to the site do not).

Black hat SEO, by contrast, aims to deceive visitors and search engines; when Google finds out that a certain black hat SEO technique is in widespread use, it updates its algorithms to penalize sites that use the black hat technique by making their rankings lower instead of higher. According to Joshua Hardwick of Ahrefs, businesses are still using some decades old black hat SEO techniques, even in 2021. Instead of resorting to these desperate and ineffective practices, you should make your law firm’s website shine by regularly adding unimpeachable legal blog content.

The Black Hat Approach to Keywords

Keywords are one of the oldest elements of SEO. Before search engines were as sophisticated as they are today, they relied almost exclusively on keywords to determine which web pages were most relevant to a search query. Keywords are still important, but today the focus should be on quality over quantity. Long tail keywords and key phrases that match voice queries have Google’s attention now; keyword stuffing (where you say “Council Bluffs DUI lawyer” 20 times in a 500-word blog post) will only deter readers and search engines.

The Black Hat Approach to Links

It’s always great when people want to share your content and link to your site, but the only legitimate way to do that is to create a website that is so informative that people want to recommend it to others. Paying people to link to your site (buying backlinks) is a black hat SEO technique that does not work. Likewise, posting irrelevant comments on other people’s blogs just to get links back to your site is also a waste of time because the website administrators will just put “no follow” tags on your links.

Spinning Content for Guest Blog Posts

You can recognize spun content (blog posts that are lazily and clumsily paraphrased from other posts) when you see it; you always navigate away from it quickly and so does everyone else. You would not want it on your own site, so do not send it to your colleagues in the form of guest posts.

The Only Hat You Need to Wear Is Your Lawyer Hat

The best solution is to leave the SEO, with all the hat wearing it involves, to the professionals. The legal content writers at Law Blog Writers will create custom-written law firm blog content that stays on the right side of Google’s algorithms.


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