You think it won’t happen to you?
Yep, that’s what JC Penney though too. So did Interflora. But they were wrong and you might be too. And let’s face it, the former is a huge brand in the USA; the latter is the same in the UK. But that doesn’t matter to search engines as both companies had their sites totally (yes, totally) removed from Google for having iffy backlinks. Years ago in the case of Penney.
JC Penney were hit first. They SEO ‘experts’ had create many dodgy backlinks with anchor text reflecting just about every product the company sold. (No-one at the SEO firm realized that this sort of practice has been against Google’s guidelines since the dark ages. Oddly). The news broke in 2011 – JC Penney was banned from Google and it took three full months for them to redeem themselves. Of course, their SEO ‘specialists’ were fired right away but the damage was done.
How much damage?
Let’s put it this way. Recently the Amazon site was down for fifteen minutes. A mere quarter of an hour. Respected news sites reported that during that time, Amazon suffered lost revenue to the tune of $66,000 … per minute. Imagine if it had been down for three months, like the JC Penney site.
At the time when their ‘experts’ were creating dodgy links, the people responsible for the search engine presence of Interflora (their UK site) were up to the same tricks. The major difference is that it took Google a couple of years to catch up with them. But catch up they did. They didn’t suffer a three month penalty, like JC Penney, but their ban – of about two weeks’ duration – no doubt hit them hard. Why were these links dodgy? Because they were advertorials (nofollow) or blog comments (nofollow) or similar links that Google has been banging on about for years.
Plus, we have to also consider that these two companies most probably paid a huge sum to their ‘experts’ for this.
Makes you think, yes?