Google penalizes JCPenney for link scheme
In 2011, JCPenney was caught engaging in link schemes and, as a result, found itself on the receiving end of a Google penalty.
The New York Times was apparently perplexed by how well jcpenney.com ranked in organic search for practically everything the retailer sold. So they asked someone familiar with SEO to look into it.
What they found: JCPenney’s site had thousands of peculiar links pointing to it with very descriptive anchor text. The Times shared its findings with Google – and Google took manual action. The JCPenney website was nowhere to be found on Google for the queries they had previously ranked number one for.
JCPenney said they knew nothing about the links – and subsequently fired their SEO firm.
Read all about it in New York Times Exposes JCPenney Link Scheme That Causes Plummeting Rankings in Google.
Also on this day
2020: Annotations were available in campaign-level change reports in the Google Ads UI.
2020: Smart ran MyBlogGuest, which got hit hard when Google cracked down on guest blogging.
2019: Fourth-quarter reports from Marin and Merkle highlighted the importance of Shopping ads for merchants’ search advertising strategies.
2019: Analyst firm Juniper Research predicted “nearly 8 billion digital voice assistants to be in use by 2023.”
2018: The deal effectively ended Getty’s European antitrust complaint against Google.
2016: Google discussed internally if they should add an SEO certification program and decided not to do so.
2016: Terminology changes came with some new functionality, including the ability to set different CPA targets at the ad group level within the same bid strategy.
2016: Google added a drop-down menu on the image search result page for mobile devices and tweaked some more user interface features.
2016: Streetmap had sued on grounds that putting Google Maps at the top of search results was an “abuse of competition.”
2016: The latest images showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more.
2015: Google released the alpha version of their new search queries report in Google Webmaster Tools to a small number of Webmasters for feedback and testing.
2015: After buying Travelocity the previous month, Expedia grabbed Orbitz in competitive bidding.
2014: He answers the question “What’s it like to fight webspam at Google?”
2014: When Google took action against itself – Google Chrome, Beat That Quote, Google AdWords (2x) and Google Japan.
2014: An article asserted that Bing search results for Chinese language speakers in the U.S. were radically different than those in English for controversial terms such as “Tiananmen Square” or “Dalai Lama.”
2013: The company said that as of December 2012, mobile devices accounted for 23.4% of all US paid-search clicks.
2013: Among the changes, Bing transitioned the training segments from video based to text based content.
2013: An “Explore” search box was added at the top of the screen.
2011: NPR’s “Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me” quiz show did a funny send up over Google’s accusations that Bing was copying Google’s search results.
2010: The feature gave suggestions on if you should increase or decrease your bids on certain keywords.
2010: Google made some subtle changes to its mobile homepage and searchbox.
2010: “It’s clear that interest in Buzz may extend beyond the current Gmail base, and we’re open to serving that community.”
2010: So that people could get a look at new functionality and Google can get early feedback on potential new features to introduce.
2010: A transcript of an impromptu Q&A with Google cofounder Sergey Brin on Google’s decision to leave China.
2010: Bing’s January share wiped out its drop from December.
2010: Jerry Yang, the former CEO, would be selling 3 million shares and David Filo would sell up to 2 million shares.
2009: The birth of the
rel="canonical" link element. The search engines would use this as a hint, not as a directive.
2009: Google Audio Ads and Google Radio Automation wasn’t as successful as they hoped
2009: It cost $51.7 million.
2009: It helped runners, skiers, bikers and other outdoor enthusiasts capture their routes and performance using the phone’s GPS chip.
2009: Yahoo executive Larry Heck would be working on Microsoft search.
2008: IDC reported that overall Internet advertising had grown 27% year over year to $25.5 billion in 2007.
2008: 30 cities had the street views feature.
2008: Yahoo appeared to have replaced Google as the search provider for T-Mobile in Europe, while Google became a major search partner of Nokia.
2008: The companies were seeking developers, project managers, and key executives who may have wanted to jump ship ahead of a possible Yahoo-Microsoft merger and upcoming layoffs. Related: Updated: Yahoo Layoffs Happening Now
2008: Microsoft announced changes to their Live Search crawler intended to reduce bandwidth resources during the crawl of a site.
2007: Google is said to have supported two websites that allegedly offered pirated movies in part by an ad rep suggesting they bid on terms like “bootleg movie download.”
2007: Many more people were reporting seeing Google Sitelinks update.
Yahoo Signs Mobile Advertisers; Google Partners With Vodafone On Maps, Live Search Mobile Leaving Beta
2007: A variety of expected mobile announcements ahead of 3GSM World Congress.
2007: We’ve never heard of a search engine advertising for those seeking another search engine on a third search engine. Until now.
2007: It was an incredible challenge.
2007: It featured the ability for consumers to search directly from maps and share oneSearch results, news articles and the service directly with friends.
2007: Was this a way for these companies to offer mobile services without having to work with mobile carriers?
2007: In related news, it seemed like Google’s North Carolina deal was going to be reviewed by the Senate Finance Committee.
Past contributions from Search Engine Land’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
These columns are a snapshot in time and have not been updated since publishing, unless noted. Opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.
- 2020: Learn how to chart and track Google Trends in Data Studio using Python by Hülya Çoban
- 2018: Monitoring web migrations: A checklist for moving from one site to another by Aleyda Solis
- 2016: A Layman’s Visual Guide To Google’s Knowledge Graph Search API by Barbara Starr
- 2015: AdWords Scripts Bulks Up With Bulk File Uploads by Russell Savage
- 2015: 10 WordPress SEO Questions That Took Me 10 Years To Answer! by Trond Lyngbø
- 2014: How 3 B2B Companies Integrate SEO In Their Online Marketing Strategies by Derek Edmond
- 2013: Your Top 5 Questions About The New gTLD Domain Extensions, Answered by Kathy Nielsen
- 2013: Is Your Local Pricing Strategy Blocking Search Engine Spiders? by Bill Hunt
- 2013: How Search & Social Will Hit The Fast Forward Button In 2013 by Jim Yu
- 2013: How 5 Years Of Doing The Right Things Can Be Undone In 9 Months Of Doing Nothing by Erin Everhart
- 2010: Information Architects Are From Venus, SEOs Are From Mars by Shari Thurow
- 2010: A Guide To Choosing Your Paid Search Management Tool by Josh Dreller
- 2010: User Generated Content Offers Significant SEO Benefits by Brian Klais
- 2009: Are You Sitting On A Good Idea? by Aaron Wall
- 2009: How To Lose Money & Alienate Your Customers by Lance Loveday
- 2008: How To Shout On Social Media Sites Without Screaming by Muhammad Saleem
- 2008: LinkSpotting – Headlines That Lead To Links and Why by Eric Ward
- 2007: I Have A Link Building Secret by Eric Ward