How Black Hat SEO Impacts Drug Rehab Centers

Everyone in the addiction treatment space has heard of black hat marketing and black hat SEO. Plenty of marketers engage in it, although they certainly won’t admit to their clients that they’re using black hat techniques. Unfortunately, black hat SEO for drug rehabs contributes to the bad publicity that treatment centers sometimes get in the press.

Black hat marketing exists because virtually all businesses are greatly concerned about ranking well on search engines. Some drug rehab centers look with worry at their admission rates, anxious to increase them. This makes them easy prey for black marketers who promise fast and huge increases in web traffic.

Black hat SEO for drug rehabs always offers the “quick” solution. A solution that seems too good to be true. That’s because black hat marketers are willing to be unethical. They only want to game the algorithms that search engines use. They promote a dishonest way to rank well on search engines. Sometimes, they can, in fact, deliver fast results that will please a drug rehab facility. 

They make big promises, and they can often deliver. What they don’t tell you, however, is that this deal with the devil can hurt you. When search engines like Google discover your website’s black hat techniques—and they probably will—your ranking is likely to plummet. Black hat SEO for drug rehabs represents a boomerang that will always come back to hit you in the face. 

Understanding How Black Hat SEO for Drug Rehabs Works

Google and other search engines aggressively hunt down and penalize websites using black hat SEO techniques. They don’t do this strictly because “it’s the right thing to do.” They do it because it’s very much in their self-interest. 

People go to Google to find good search results. If they don’t get them, they would stop using Google. Black hat SEO for drug rehabs usually delivers a bad experience for viewers. Consequently, Google is determined to eliminate bad visitor experiences because it’s also bad for their business. That means they go after dishonest players more and more aggressively.

But what does black hat SEO for drug rehabs look like? The following are some of the most common examples:

Keyword Stuffing

This refers most commonly to the practice of overloading content with a certain keyword or keyword phrase. The keyword may or may not be relevant to the topic of the webpage. If you’ve ever encountered keyword stuffing on websites, you know it right away because it doesn’t read well. Perhaps it was something like this: 

“Somewhere Drug Rehab Center in Somewhere is the Somewhere drug rehab center for your drug rehab needs in Somewhere. Contact Somewhere Drug Rehab Center today.”

Not exactly very readable, is it? Not terribly informative either. Now imagine whole pages that read like this! Unfortunately, there really is content like this on the web. It’s a deceptive black hat practice, and, as it turns out, it doesn’t really work. It’s not difficult for search engines to locate this kind of dishonest tactic and punish perpetrators for doing it.


This black hat SEO for drug rehabs trick involves the old switcheroo. In other words, show viewers one page of content while showing Google something else entirely. Cloaking is usually employed by dishonest SEO people trying to rank for terms that aren’t on the page in question. It’s a grand-scale deception. Search engines like Google obviously don’t like having the wool pulled over their eyes like this. As a result, they’re going to take swift action against any websites they find doing it.

To be fair, there is such a thing as white hat cloaking. In these instances, no deception or ulterior motives are intended. For example, landing on a page and seeing a partial or full-page interstitial ad covering it. At that point, you simply have to exit out of it to see the page beneath.

Sneaky Redirects

The old bait and switch. A sneaky redirect sends viewers to a different URL than the one they intended to visit. Redirects are a valuable tool for any addiction treatment web development. However, black hat marketers have taken the idea of redirects and misused it to achieve a dishonest goal.

Another type of sneaky redirect involves redirecting a high-quality page into a less relevant or authoritative page to boost its traffic. Yes, redirects can have their legitimate purposes. However, black hat SEO for drug rehabs is intended solely for manipulating search engines to get higher rankings.

Paid Links

Google and most other search engines strictly prohibit anyone from buying and selling links. This also includes awarding no-cost gifts to websites in exchange for links. Google expressly forbids these practices in their guidelines. When they see activity like this, they will penalize the perpetrators. Remember that building the reputation of your drug rehab center is of paramount importance. Don’t ever allow a black hat marketer to jeopardize it.

Black Hat SEO for Drug Rehabs Hurts the Industry As a Whole

Engaging in black hat tactics makes no sense any longer. Search engines improve their ability to identify black hat SEO tactics by the minute. If a marketing company approaches your facility with promises of insane web traffic overnight, you should run the opposite direction. When you hear promises like that, it’s a certainty that they engage in black hat SEO for drug rehabs.

It makes more sense to work with a digital marketing firm that’s firmly committed to addiction treatment marketing ethics. After witnessing so many black hat tactics in use, Dreamscape Marketing has become a champion of drug rehab marketing ethics. It’s probably a key reason we were recently recognized as one of the five top SEO agencies in the US.

Contact us today at 888-307-7304 or through the “Contact Us” on our website. Let’s discuss effective white hat SEO for drug rehabs that can drive your web traffic.