SEO Warning – Google Punishes JC Penny for Black Hat SEO

A NYTimes piece recently came out talking about how JC Penny broke the rules. They bought/rented links to their money site and used other Google-disallowed techniques for ranking their site’s pages. They ranked very well for a wide variety of phrases ranging from comforters to curtains until someone (probably a competitor) pointed out that it was worth looking in to.

Take a look at the article here:–the-dirty-little-secrets-of-search

Here are the points of note I got out of the article:

  • Don’t use black hat techniques like buying links, making gateway pages, or cloaking.
  • It helps if you pay Google millions a month in AdWord spend.
  • Google is able to manually control SERP results and update their algorithms on the fly. Note that the change wasn’t instant but happened over a week.
  • If Google were to punish for offsite grey hat SEO like link building it would be easy to kill a competitor’s site. They won’t do this.

So be careful out there. Walk the line carefully and keep an eye on your SEO program!