The question above is kind of a difficult one to answer and I’ll explain why in a moment. However, for the short term, let me say that black hat SEO tools are definitely still effective. If they weren’t effective, people would stop using them. However, at the same time that these tools are effective, they also have their limitations and they can in fact backfire on you. Here’s what you need to know:
Black Hat SEO
Those who are more experienced can skip this part of the blog post. However, for the newbies among us or for those who just want a brief refresher course, black hat SEO is a method of doing search engine optimization which violates Google’s rules. You can’t go to jail for doing it since it’s not illegal. However, if Google catches you, they can delist your website which would mean losing a great deal of traffic.
An old and no longer useful example of black hat SEO is keyword stuffing. This was done in the early days of the Internet, when Meta tags were still commonly used for search engines. Porn sites would stuff their Meta tags with unrelated keywords in order to rank in the search engines for keywords which had no connection to them.
Google and others quickly discovered this and today, almost no one relies on Meta tag keywords for indexing websites anymore. There are hundreds of other techniques, some of which still work to some extent, but this isn’t the place to go into them. Instead, let’s get back to the question at hand.
Just What Constitutes a Black Hat SEO Tool?
This is why I say it’s difficult to answer the question of whether black SEO tools are still effective. I’ve written in this space about programs such as Rank Builder, SENuke X and Magic Submitter. All three tools definitely could fall into the category of black hat SEO tools. They allow you to put links in all kinds of places all over the web with much greater ease than could possibly be achieved through manual means.
The thing is, just because these tools can be used for black hat SEO purposes doesn’t necessarily make them black hat SEO tools. Even tools like Xrumer and Scrapebox have their uses for legitimate purposes, even though both are commonly used as black hat SEO tools. So the question really should be, do black hat SEO techniques still work?
Using a Black Hat Tool Means Treading Carefully
The answer is, yes, black hat SEO techniques do work. However, and this is the important part, you need to use them with great care and not overdo it. A brand new website which instantly has 10,000 links for example is going to be obvious as a Google TOS violator.
Even if your competitors decided to try to Google Bowl you, the fact is that if you have a brand new website (and I mean you go from zero links to 10,000 links in a day or two), it’s going to look very suspicious to Google (on the theory that you’re not enough of a threat to Google Bowl to begin with).
On the Other Hand
On the other hand, if you use these black hat SEO tools in white hat and gray hat ways (by the way, technically, all forms of SEO are gray hat since Google doesn’t ever really want you building links on your own), then it’s generally not a problem at all to use these tools to boost your SEO efforts. So, feel free to check them out. But use them wisely and don’t rush to create a massive presence. Do it sparingly, just as any good SEO professional would and you should be fine.