Starting a career in affiliate business means learning a lot of new terms, formulas and definitions. Fortunately, is here to help you navigate them, and, even more importantly, help you keep away from any tactic that can bring you legal trouble or harm your reputation. So, without further ado – here is black hat affiliate marketing: the ultimate guide.

Black hat affiliate marketing: the ultimate guide – What Is Black Hat Affiliate Marketing

Black hat is the practice of using different techniques that are either illegal or don‘t comply with terms of service or policy of every party involved in an offer. Most often it entails purposely misrepresenting the product or service a person is advertising. It can range from exaggerating the positive effects to straight-up lying about the purpose and results, as well as taking money from customers never to deliver the product.

As you may imagine, people who use black hat tactics don‘t last long in the business. Simply put, manipulative tactics are no longer a way to make a profit from a mobile audience or any other audience, for that matter. In fact, most black hat enthusiasts run short term campaigns that bring in money only at the start. In other words, this method is extremely unsustainable and forces affiliates to bounce from one project to the next without any guarantee of success.

Illustration of books. One of them is titled Investment.
Will your investment return? Not likely!

Another reason black hat affiliate marketing is not the best option is the fact that creating a campaign that converts through black hat methods is becoming increasingly difficult. Long gone are the days of Nigerian princes giving people money. Secondly, only people newly introduced to the internet don‘t look for reviews before purchasing anything. Interestingly enough, people are drawn to negative reviews for anything. Hence, if an affiliate uses shady tactics you can be sure the internet will know about it very soon and avoid that business from that point forward. Nowadays the best thing you can do as a new affiliate is to consider joining a white hat affiliate network and leave black hat tactics in the past.

What are black hat tactics in affiliate marketing?

There are multiple methods falling under the black hat label. As we have stated, the most severe ones, like phishing and misrepresenting a product are quickly discovered. However, there is another type of black hat tactics, and it is closely connected to SEO. The most common black hat SEO methods include

  • Unnatural links
  • Overusing keywords
  • Spamming comments
  • Stolen content
Let’s see how black hat tactics work!

The purpose of unnatural links is to manipulate a page‘s ranking within search engine results. Affiliates do this to launch themselves among top results and obtain more clicks that way. This tactic becomes less and less effective as Google‘s trackers keep progressing.

Stuffing a page with popular keywords also meant seeming more relevant to different search engines, but this method has become obsolete and nowadays can only make your pages look like spam.

Some affiliates rely on spamming other sites‘ pages with fabricated comments to bring in more traffic from them. However, this tactic is familiar to search engines as well and can bring you more harm than good, as they will penalize you for spam.

Google and other search engines dislike and flag stolen content. This is true because they prioritize original, relevant and informative text and video first and foremost.

How to fight against black hat SEO?

Seeing others succeed while using less than honest methods is discouraging to anyone. Still, we recommend you to learn how your competitors work and then improve their methods and translate them into white hat. This way your reputation can remain intact while you build your business to last. That is to say, being able to develop long-term strategies is a lot more important than risking your reputation and legal consequences for a potential short-term profit.

Illustration of a man sitting with his computer next to a sales funnel.
Black hat tactics aren’t sustainable in the long run.

As you can see yourself, search engines are becoming more and more accurate when detecting different black hat tactics, and it is only a matter of time when all of them become a relic of the past.

Our suggestion is to take the time to learn all the proper and sustainable methods. Curating an online toolkit and getting familiar with each of its aspects is the next step. There is a plethora of great programs and services that can help you develop your campaigns to perfection. Different editors, managing and tracking programs are at your disposal, and web cookies come in handy as well.

Most importantly, you should listen to your audience and change your methods when it is necessary.