Law Firm SEO: Overstocked feels the ‘wrath of Google’ for black hat SEO tactics
03/09/2011 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Rene Perras…… Le Buzz // Rene Perras
(Law Firm SEO News) — Yet another retailer has felt the “wrath of Google” for breaking search engine policies and regulations for search engine optimization (SEO). Overstocked.com is the second company this month to make headlines for being caught for using unscrupulous search engine ranking techniques. Earlier this month JC Penny was also penalized for using “black hat” SEO techniques, which were implemented by a marketing company the retailer hired for their Internet marketing campaign.
Google is not a force to be messed with, especially if you’re trying to be found on the Internet. If found in violation of the search engine’s policies, a website’s rankings can greatly be diminished, or even worse, be completely removed from their search engine results pages (SERPs), which is a death sentence for any company marketing on the Internet.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Overstock.com was accused of violating Google’s policies, which prohibit companies from artificially boosting their ranking in the Internet giant’s search engine. The online shopping website’s problems with Google stemmed from a promotion Overstocked offered to students and faculty, which encouraged them to post links on the college and university websites associated with an Overstock discount program.
Overstock claims the program was discontinued on February 10, which was before they were approached by Google; but the company said some university webmasters have been slow in removing the Overstock discount links.
As a result of this program, Overstock’s webpages were ranked near the top of several search results for key words like “vacuum cleaners” and “laptop computers.” But as soon as Google got wind of Overstock’s link spamming practices, their rankings were lowered to the fifth or six search result pages for many of those categories.
Google has made clear they believe these links should not factor into their search algorithm,” said Patrick Byrne, Overstock’s chief executive. “We understand Google’s position and have made the appropriate changes to remain within Google’s guidelines.”
A Google spokesman said their goal “is to deliver the most relevant information possible.” He added that “attempts to game Google’s ranking go on 24 hours a day, every single day.”
Overstock’s reprimand is just another reason why attorneys and law firms marketing on the Internet need to hire a reputable law firm marketing company that is experienced and has a proven track record in SEO marketing. Law firms should beware of any marketing company who does the following:
• Promises top search engine rankings for their website in a month.
• Fails to properly explain what an SEO campaign entails and how long it will take to achieve the desired page 1 ranking. This usually takes several months, if not a year, depending on which terms and keywords you are targeting.
• Neglects to have a continuing open and honest conversation about your marketing efforts, exactly spelling out how everything will be executed.
• Check on their other clients. If the SEO firm won’t provide the name of past clients for references, beware.
For more information on effective SEO law firm marketing, Internet marketing campaigns or any other of our attorney Internet marketing programs contact Rene Perras.
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