JC Penney Fires Back at Google
Doug Pierce’s SEO Sleuthing Featured in PC Magazine
Over the weekend the New York Times published a damning expose of how JC Penney allegedly gamed Google's page-ranking algorithm, which artificially made the retailer a top search result. On Monday, JC Penney fired back at both the New York Times and Google for misrepresenting the company.
The original story, "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.
Using a well-known trick called "black hat" optimization, JC Penney's now-fired SEO firm SearchDex apparently created 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.