The Power of SEO Backlinking – Google and JC Penney
Search engine optimization is a combination of two factors – on page and off page optimization. Off page optimization is primarily backlinking. Recently, JC Penney was penalised by Google and forced a change to their algorithm all because they had thousands of backlinks from spam sites.
The original report here “The Dirty Little Secrets of Search” by David Segal details how JC Penney allegedly manipulated unpaid, organic search results to make itself the top listing for numerous generic terms like “dresses” and “area rugs.” The New York Times hired a search engine optimization firm, Blue Fountain Media in New York, to show how this was done.
Basically, the SEO company employed by JC Penney apparently used a “black hat” optimization technique by creating artificial websites that linked to JC Penney’s site. The links helped push JC Penney pages to the top of Google search results; one known aspect behind Google’s top-secret page-ranking algorithm is that the more times your website is linked, the higher up you rank in a search result.
I found this so interesting. Backlinking is a strategy in itself, but goes to show how it isn’t necessarily a good indicative figure of the value of a site for rankings for certain keywords.