ADOTAS – J.C. Penney served 90 days in Google’s penalty box, but now it’s back on the first and second pages of Google search results. I wonder if it had to register as an SEO offender in the retailer neighborhood.
For those of you with short memories, J.C. Penney and its SEO marketing goons pulled off some real black-hat bullshit during the holiday season, using crap links all over the web to boost J.C. Penney top Google search results during the holiday season. It worked wonders for sales, especially because Google didn’t figure out what the retailer was up to. The New York Times did, however, and after getting caught sleeping on the watch, Google punished JCP by sending its results back to the 40s and 50s.
That changed on May 12, when JCP suddenly hopped back up the search results on hundreds of keywords its was caught manipulating. SEO Clarity notes:
“In the normal day-to-day of changing links, content updates and Google algorithm tests, fluctuations in the top 10 positions are common – eve more so in positions 11 – 100. This particular change was unique because the keyword competition shifted to accommodate JCPenney moving up without any other significant movement in competitors’ rankings. The competitors had simply ‘moved aside,’ where normally we would expect to see a major shakeup typical of a global algorithm change.”
SEO Clarity notes that JCP has reformatted the URL scheme for its entire, changing from a simple one to a complex one with multiple query parameters. Google, which is refusing to comment, has apparently released J.C. Penney from its ball and chain.
So does 90 days in the pen seem like enough of a punishment for JCP’s extreme SEO malfeasance? Back when JCP’s was first caught red-handed, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s anti-webspam team, admitted that this wasn’t the first time JCP had been up to no SEO good. So is it three strikes and you’re out in Googleland, or can JCP just come up with another black-hat scheme to boost online sales come the 2011 holidays?
Has Sheriff Google fairly delivered SEO justice here, and did it do the same for Overstock.com?