If you're reading this, then you're looking for ways to optimise your Google business profile and improve your rankings. Sneaky but fast ways to boost your revenue, increase credibility and show up in front of your target customers.

Morgan Freeman saying, "you sneaky thing you"

If you have a business listing on Google, you want to make sure it's working for you. You can optimise your profile but it can feel like a mammoth task, especially if you're busy focusing on other areas of your business. Whilst black hat Google My Business SEO hacks use loopholes to try and manipulate your search engine ranking, the question is, is there a better, safer (and more ethical) way?

Get the scoop on how to boost your visibility without facing a penalty.

What is black hat Google My Business?

Black hat Google My Business optimisation often includes cheap, quick and dirty tactics designed to trick Google into rewarding you with favorable rankings, by making it appear as if your listing is more trustworthy, relevant or prominant than it actually is. Black hat SEO tactics go against Google's search engine guidelines, are considered unethical and may put your listing or site at risk of manual action. We don't recommend black hat SEO; you may see a flash in the pan, but the long term effects aren't worth the risk.

Black hat techniques are anything from:

  • Cloaking: a trick where Google's crawler is shown Website A, but any real user is redirected to Website B, much like hijacking.
  • Keyword stuffing: a poor-performing, old-school SEO trick where keywords are 'stuffed' into elements of the webpage that aren't visible to humans (like white text on a white background). This is a totally innefective technique in 2022, but some poor webmasters still try it, even though it's clearly against Google's guidelines.
  • Private blog networks: the use of link farms or PBNs to artificially increase the number of backlinks to your website. PBNs are a series of secret, junk blogs, all propped up on their own black-hat methods and chained together. They're typically managed by one webmaster who manages the network, may sell 'posts' and offer to link to you.
"I see your tricks"

SEO optimisation

Search engines prioritise enriched business listings and enriched content. This means that you have up-to-date, compelling business listings and content that's not only created with keywords, backlinks and a decent word count but content that's well-written, engaging and something people actually want to read.

What makes good content? I hear you cry. Well, the content you're currently viewing isn't a bad base to start from. If we do say so ourselves.

But, we have a whole guide on that here.

How do you rank higher on the Google Map Pack?

Google has said it looks at three, key ranking factors for local businesses:

  • Proximity
  • Relevance
  • Prominence

And these ranking factors can be influenced by:

  • Keeping your logo, photos and imagery up to date
  • Updating your opening times
  • Responding to questions on your business profile
  • No duplicate listings
  • Correct location
  • Reviews (more on these later)
  • A business description that sells your business and shows off what services or products you sell
  • Great content that is posted regularly

Depending on the search, organic search results (like your website) can come second to your Google My Business listing displayed in the map pack, so it's worth investing in!

Black hat Google My Business trick to rank higher (faster)

This trick is so good that it feels like a black hat Google My Business trick, except it's not unethical and won't land you with penalties.

GMB listings are there to guide a Google user to find the best business. Your business can show up based on general location, especially if you're the only business in that area offering your services. But, unless you live in a small town with a population of 4,000, that's not going to work for everyone.

The best way to show up first is to use reviews to your advantage on Google Maps - these are tied to your Google My Business profile and displayed on the first page of Google, in the "Map Pack". That's it. If you have 20 Google reviews and your top competitor has 2, you may appear above them; they might not even appear on that first page at all!

Mr Burns - "excellent"

All you have to do is be consistent with your review management, and use a reputation management tool like Cloutly to gain more positive reviews than ever.

Cloutly helps you:

  1. Request reviews with video email (double the success rate of standard tools)
  2. Collect video testimonials from your customers so you have epic marketing materials to work with
  3. Get notifications as soon as a new review arrives (we integrate with most CRMs) so you'll be able to respond in no time
  4. Showcase your reviews on your website, whilst rising to the top of Google search

Other ethical tricks ('cos we're nice)

Now, these aren't necessarily 'hacks', but they work. And, you won't be penalised for them, you'll be rewarded on the search engines.

  • Keywords that people will be searching for now, in the past and in the future
  • A content plan to post regularly
  • Keyword research tools
  • Content organiser tools

With a content plan, keyword research and epic review management, you can wave goodbye to all the black hat SEO hacks you don't need.

What is the Google My Business dashboard?

Get to know your Google My Business dashboard. It's there to help you.

You can use it for:

  • Managing your privacy settings
  • Tracking engagement and site statistics
  • Protect against spam fraud
  • Enhance the quality of your listing
  • Data analysis to show site statistics to understand your business performance, including details about managing you listing with reviews and answering questions

Should you avoid black hat SEO techniques?

We're not about to tell you to do anything unethical or something that will go against Google guidelines, so yes. Avoid black hat SEO tricks especially as there are plenty of ways to optimise your business listings and your performance on the search engine.

Use Cloutly today to supercharge your reviews; request video reviews to up your marketing game and shine bright like a diamond on Google.