Google Penalizes JC Penney, Overstock

Google has been very busy lately.. levying penalties on JC Penney and Overstock just weeks apart and making some tweaks in their algorithm which is said to devalue certain types of pages.

I have been asked about this a couple of times and if you have not read the stories; you can simply Google them, the answers are all there.

The JC Penney incident is a clear case of acquiring a massive amount of links on low value pages. There can be many interpretations of what love value pages are but in my own words, these are pages that have nothing to do with the pages they link to, and likely offer very little information and are of very little value and usefulness to human visitors, if at all human visitors do find those pages. The truth is, a lot don’t. They are merely meant for Google’s bots to crawl and find.

The Overtsock case is also another example of a site getting a good number of links but this time, a lot of them coming from a .edu site, which are said to be more valuable in worth. Not only that, Overstock was actively soliciting for those links by offering discounts to those who did link to them. In the former example with JC Penney, they were simply buying the links. Either way, both companies were clearly actively involved in acquiring links that would benefit their rankings on Google.

Google does not want its system manipulated as it strives to deliver to its users the most accurate and deserving results. Both cases are examples of active manipulation or involvement in the link building process for the purpose of improving rankings.

So if you are actively involved in spurring our link growth or managing it, should you be worried? I say, NO.We need to be actively proactive when it comes to getting links and how people link to us.. but staying within certain limits.

You want your products, services, offers, and content to be found and it will not get found if you do not manage the process of acquiring links. So to be on the safe side here are some tips.

  1. Quality always over quantity. The best links are always those that are found on good quality pages, that offer value to readers, related to the content being linked to, that get visitors and best of all that have visitors that click through those links over to the pages that get linked to.
  2. If you find sites that have linked to you and you believe they could use better phrases to use as anchor text, contact them, thank them, then ask if they would not mind changing the link to the proper text to use. Optionally you can offer something of value in return.
  3. When buying links.. yes it is not bad to buy links or pay for ads.. this is a good way of getting traffic to your site. But you need to ensure that the links are “nofollow-ed” so that they do not pass over attribution to the page being linked to, thus affecting how Google would rank that page.

To do well on its search results page, don’t game Google.. just work with it!

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