Google vs J.C. Penney – Testimony to Milestone’s key SEO principles
A recent NY Times article discussed the black hat SEO activities conducted by retailer J.C. Penney, their short-term reward, and the enduring consequences. For couple months during and before the holidays J.C. Penney was ranking number 1 organic ally in various search terms from dresses to rugs to bedding. Investigation by NY Times and Blue Fountain Media discovered that J.C. Penney’s strong performance were the result of what the industry calls black hat SEO. Expectedly, Google took punitive action against J.C. Penny’s website and it was panelized and devalued from rank #1 in certain keyword searches to rank #70 or below.
Google draws a very clear line between what it considers cheating (black hat) or legitimate (white hat) SEO efforts; in this case, what J.C. Penney did was engage in a link farm service that simply buys high quantities of links to point to J.C. Penney’s website, regardless of whether or not the website giving the link has any relevancy to J.C. Penney at all.
If pure quantity alone is not the best approach, then how should we increase the website’s link popularity? Milestone Insight: There are 4 key principles to increasing website’s link popularity.
- Link Relevancy – we want a link from a website that is relevant to our own, for example: as a hotel, we would want links coming in from hotel directories, attractions, nearby government office’s relocation assistance page, and etc.
- Link Quality – Not only do we want relevant links, but we also want quality links. The quality if the link is based on the authority of the host site, and since quality flows from one website to another through links, having quality links is building your own website’s authority.
- Anchor Text – anchor text is the clickable part of the link, we uses anchor text to take full advantage of the keyword ranking.
- Link Quantity – and finally, we want more links, but not just any links. It needs to be relevant, quality links, and with optimized anchor text.
In conclusion, we need to remember that even though search engine and algorithm has evolve so much over the years, the core principles and guideline still very much set in stone and we as marketer, should not stray from. Paid low quality links coming from non-relevant content does not help. Cheating Google’s system can reap in short-term rewards, but the enduring consequences will out weight the gain.
Contributed by: Chad Tsang, eStrategist, Milestone Internet Marketing