Right around the holiday season last year, if you typed in anything from dresses, to rugs to kitchen utensils, one retailer would constantly appear at number one: JC Penney.
JC Penney even bested the manufacturer sites for specific products being searched. So, what gives? Google’s main focus is to find the most important and relevant websites and rank them based on popularity.
When Google did their research into this strange activity, they noticed what they call “black hat” optimization, which is a big no-no with Google. It’s like cheating on the internet….copying someone’s paper and using the same thing on your “paper”.
From what the article states, black hat services are not illegal, but using them will put you from #1 on a Google Search rank to number #67 if Google catches you. The opposite of “black hat” optimization is of course, “white hat” optimization which is offered thru hundreds of internet providers, Web Developers and yours truly.
As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, one of the most important ways to increase your page ranking is links from one site to another. If you can get your website link on another’s website, you’ve just created an inbound link to your website.
In essence, it’s a popularity contest for Google and how they rank pages. As long as the websites you are linking to are complimentary to your business or service, the better off you’ll be. It takes alot of networking and time to build a strong inbound link base, but in the end, it eventually pays off.
What JC Penney did was use “anchor text rich” on others’ sites to get people to click on the JC Penney website. Simply put, the link didn’t just say “Go to JC Penney for a cute black dress”, but rather, “Get awesome, sexy, black dresses here.” But, this is also called link scheming if your link takes you somewhere it didn’t pose itself to be to begin with.
So, what happened to JC Penney? At 7 pm on a Wednesday, after Google found out about this, JC Penney was still ranked at #1 with over 2,000 different types of searches. Two hours later, it was ranked at #71. So, in order to borrow a word now dug out from the dungeon and dusted off by President Barack Obama, JC Penney received a firm “shellacking” from Google.
You can read the entire article on the New York Times website.