A colleague sent me a great article this morning on the subject. It brought me back to the story of Google v. BMW Germany, 2006. Google caught on to “black hat” techniques being employed on behalf of the defendant, and sentenced them to the “death penalty”. That is, they were completely removed from the Google search indexes.
In this case, JC Penney, a leading worldwide retailer — has been exposed. It does not appear that the consequences will be as severe on this one…with Google’s renown spam “Chief of Police” Matt Cutts stating that Google is simply taking “corrective action”. What ensued was a methodical series of demotions across a number of terms critical to the online marketing success of the company.
Whether Penney was aware of the violations that were occurring to gain them this high level of visibility is not relevant to me. I would like to believe that they were “in the dark” on it. And it is likely that they were indeed outsourcing this portion of their marketing portfolio. The true concern here is the willingness of the provider to purposefully and knowingly break all the rules to make gains. I admire people like Matt Cutts and we should all support and help strengthen in any way possible the sovereignty of relevant search results!