Monday, February 14, 2011, AM | Leave Comment
J.C. Penney was caught red-handed in the process of doing it. I guess that is what’s known as in real time. But when it’s in real time and you are caught doing it, that’s the worst that can happen to anyone. You can’t deny “nothing.” However, their doing it remained unnoticed by Google for months. Penney was not stealing from itself. It was stealing from its competitors.
I was once caught while doing it and it was at the point of no return. “Don’t do it. You would go blind”, I was told. It was the talk of the town for many years. Well, my eyesight is not what it used to be but I didn’t go blind either.
J.C. Penney didn’t go blind or maybe it did. I think when Google noticed Penney doing it when others complain about it, that’s when the search engine almost pulled the plug on the good old Penney. It started to reverse what Penney had done. It didn’t go completely blind but it’s close. It must go through the Search Engine Optimization process like everyone else so that it creates some integrity among its competitors.
New York Times noticed it. It asked Doug Pierce of Blue Fountain Media in New York to find out the secret why Penney was at the very top in Search Engine Return Pages for many keywords that may not even be considered in Penney’s territory.
The one secret, investigators repeatedly pointed to why Penney was always at the top of SERPs, turned out to be links from other sites to Penney. As I understand it, Google prefers to see back-links when they are competitively placed at other sites. The search engine looks at the links favorably especially when you leave some intelligent comments and actually take part in the conversation of the subject matter of the post.
What the Times Investigator found…
According to New York Times article, some of the 2,015 pages are on sites related, at least nominally, to clothing. But most are not. The phrase “black dresses” and a Penney link were tacked to the bottom of a site called nuclear.engineeringaddict.com. “Evening dresses” appeared on a site called casino-focus.com. “Cocktail dresses” showed up on bulgariapropertyportal.com. ”Casual dresses” was on a site called elistofbanks.com. “Semi-formal dresses” was pasted, rather incongruously, on usclettermen.org.
In a Nutshell
J.C. Penney didn’t do anything against the Constitution of the United States. So it’s out free. But they did something worse. They went against the constitution of Google. And that’s a No No. In the eyes of Google, a website then becomes a persona non grata. It literally means “an unwelcome person.” Simply put, you exist but you don’t.