J.C. Penny & SPAM: Outed by NYTimes!
The whole SEO community has been talking about the latest expose by the New York Times on J. C. Penny and their flagrant use of “black hat” tactics to climb the serp rankings in time for the just-past Xmas buying season….and this stinks, eh!
First the article itself was published over at the NYTimes and you can read it here… ably written and well stated by the author David Segal, it points out that J.C. Penny, the huge US based department store with 1100 locations and almost $18 billion dollars in sales, used black hat tactics to climb the google rankings for everything from “dresses” to “bedding” to “area rugs” and more…much much more it appears!
A good read of this article will point out much of what we – and truly all SEO practitioners know. That “black hat SEO” campaigns are by their very intent and procedures, not the way to “go” for an online firm. Rather tho, than reiterate what David has so well written…I would add that as the article wraps up, it is noted that yes, Google was notified; they claimed to already have found some evidence of this black hat campaign and they then instituted penaltys for same. The author goes on after that google update to re-check the serps once agian and yes, J. C. Penny appears to have lost all of it’s ill-gotten gains. DO read this article….please….as it’s about the best look by a major media firm on what goes on when you employ a set of “black hat” tactics. Oh. The actual “answer” from J. C. Penny itself, as to the fact that they were “unaware” that this campaign was going on sounds very very fishy to not only me — but to the rest of the SEO community too! It does appear tho that they did fire their SEO firm….but that’s to be expected I’d guess….this is poignant notice that yes, the biggest SEO campaigns and their huge budgets sometimes fall prey to get-rich-quick results and that’s not a good thing at all. All in all, worrisome to those of us practicing “white hat” Canadian SEO, eh!
So, why’d I post about this? Well, simply put….to let our readers know that this kind of “black hat” SEO campaign get’s “found” even at the very top of the SEO food-chain.
And to put some of the rest of the SEO community’s opinions and comments on same here too, for you all to look at remind yourself that “black hat” is not the way to go….pick a reputable, reliable “white hat” firm each and every time….
And here is what some of the other SEO practitioners had to say about this too….
- Ex-Googler Vanessa Fox offered up a great backstory and comments and URLs too on this whole matter here….
- Doug Pierce here said more and offered up other empirical evidence on simlar “dirty little secrets….”
- Jill Whelan, a true SEO expert offered up more on other Google search engine anchor text spam issues too….
- Andrew Shotland over at Localseoguide offers up a short multiple choice query on this here…I picked (a.) of course….
- And finally Alan Bleiweiss finishes off this debate with solid SEO advice on J. C. Pennys other SEO issues…and there’s a few, eh!
Lastly, what do you think? Is there any space in the SEO landscape for these kind of “black hat” tactics….would love to know what our readers think, eh!Google