Welcome!

Cognitive Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Progress Blog, Kevin Benedict, XebiaLabs Blog

Related Topics: Cognitive Computing , Release Management

Cognitive Computing : Article

JCPenney's Search Engine Optimization Debacle

NY Times investigation found thousands of unrelated web sites in the retail industry were linking JCPenny.com

No doubt by now you would have heard of the black hat search engine optimization (SEO) tactics JJCPenney’s pursued in order to be ranked well for various search terms particularly in planning for the 2010 holiday season. The news was uncovered by the New York Times in quite a bit of detail.

Their investigation found thousands of unrelated web sites in the retail industry were linking JCPenney.com. The process was done by linking very specific keywords and based on the detail of these links someone planned this process. While JC Penny’s SEO company was apparently fired for this incident, I find it difficult to believe that someone at JC Penny would not have known about this strategy.

Let’s start from the beginning and take a look at linking strategies post Google going public in 2004 and serious algorithm changes that took place in 2005 and beyond. There are a number of data points that Google monitors about a website and the individual web pages within the website. Ultimately it is about a web page, not a web site, therefore, any page can become ranked and any page can become an entry point for a visitor. This would then require you to re-think the call to action if your home page is no longer the entry point.

black hat seo repercussionsThis first begins with how relevant a web page is relative to the search. This would include your Title tag, the meta Description of a page, and the visible text. The three parts have to work together in order to show a certain level of keyword density on a topic. You will notice I did not say anything about meta keywords as those have become less important over the years since companies can hide what they are really about in the meta keywords versus what they are displaying to the rest of the world.

The next major point would be about the web pages importance. This is determined through the number of web pages linking to your website or web pages. The more links the better. At least that was the original thought until website owners decided to buy links cheaply without doing any work. These links have several sub-components including if the site that is linking to you is relevant to your topic and if that web page itself has any importance.

The process of trying to cheat yourself into the top of a Google search is considered “black hat” optimization or SEO. Google has different ways of monitoring this process and is generally successful in locating the problem situations. Although, JC Penny’s situation was not caught until much later. Websites caught in this act are de-listed from Google and need to clean-up their act in order to get back into Google.

The short-term benefits of black hat SEO do not make any sense to the longevity of a business. It is better to focus your attention on developing real links from reputable websites and communities mostly using Content Marketing with articles, news releases, documents (e.g. Powerpoints), Videos, and Social Media. Aside from the obvious benefits of Content Marketing being a credible linking strategy, the benefits for brand reputation, brand credibility and brand awareness include:

• Traffic from Search Engines
• Traffic from Non-Search Engines
• Owning more search results using third-party website where your content is distributed

Linking strategies are labor intensive and take time. This process also requires three types of linking that include:

• Direct Linking to website home page
• Direct Linking using targeted keywords
• Cross Linking distributed content
• Deep Linking inside of your web pages

This is one reason where Pay Per Click advertising using Adwords becomes beneficial in order to generate short term results while the organic results are being executed through content marketing.

While we can continue to talk about JC Penny’s debacle using cheap black hat optimization tricks that has back fired, as well as, linking strategies, let’s focus a little on the New York Times article itself.

You will notice I am not linking to that article in this writing. Frankly, I refuse to! I do not wish to add a link giving that article any further importance on the web because within the article it is linking directly to all the black hat optimization websites. I am sure I could write an article strictly on the ethical linking policies required by major publications, however, we’ll see if we can get the point across in fewer words.

As an owner of a web marketing agency I took the time to read the entire article meticulously to understand what was written. Mind you I have over 17 years Internet experience with two successful companies and my knowledge is quite deep.

What I am surprised at, considering the writer’s newly gained knowledge about linking strategies, is why would the New York Times setup active links to the companies providing such horrible service from this article (meaning coming from nytimes.com domain) and give them any value, benefit, and support?

In this case:
• Page 1 all the links in the last paragraph to black hat optimization link building farms
• Page 2 link to SearchDex who was fired by JC Penny
• Page 3 links to TNX, cookingutensils and Cocaman.ch who are engaged in these black hat linking building schemes

Why would the New York Times support these companies with links to their websites? Are they planning on helping them further with their business by helping their ranking position? Afterall, NYTimes.com, as a domain, has a lot of power and links to websites from NYTimes.com will only help the destination website.

What ethical policies are in place at the New York Times when it comes to linking to a website?

Of course I submitted this question to the New York Times and am currently waiting on a reply, which will be posted here should it ever arrive.

The Internet is a living breathing marketing tool that has no end point. You cannot perform a certain amount of work and expect the work to provide you millions of dollars next week nor will the one time work or expenditure give you longevity. As a business you have to plan on continued web efforts using all facets of web marketing, which is a multi-directional strategy.

Afterall, something that came up in a client meeting recently, “We will stop your optimization efforts when the search engines stop changing algorithms and technologies!” Yeah, that will be the day.

Certainly your time resources are limited and our team can assist with a deep understanding of organic marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), local business marketing, proper adword management, social media and many other Internet marketing strategies. Local Business Listing Optimization Services are provided by SmartFinds Internet Marketing, a Internet Marketing agency.

More Stories By Melih Oztalay

I have over 20 years of experience in developing successful, efficient and strategic web marketing and advertising solutions for businesses. Working through an entrepreneurial framework, I have focused on business development, sales, execution, and management. Combining solid knowledge of marketing and advertising with information technology, I have been successful in being able to apply digital technologies to the needs of businesses. As an early adopter of new ideas and technology, my clients are able to benefit from imaginative and effective programs that keep them ahead of their competition.

The Company

Smartfinds is a digital marketing agency working with national and global corporate clients including domestic and off-shore franchise operations with their online marketing efforts. We offer a number of core competencies including web marketing research, analysis, strategies, and tactics; website development and SEO; organic search engine marketing with content marketing and social media marketing; Google AdWords advertising including pay-per-click; Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools interpretation; Local Store Marketing including customer ratings and reviews management; and more.

Our entrepreneurial business approach employs open-mind creativity and early-adopter assertiveness along with in-depth planning for business growth. Our goal is to be a strategic partner with our clients focused on increasing traffic to the website, business growth, generate leads, increase sales and revenues.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning techn...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems Inc, provides the software product "The Interactor" that uniquely simplifies building IoT, Web and Smart Enterprise Solutions. It is a Silicon Valley startup funded by US government agencies, NSF and DHS to bring innovative solutions to market.
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Robert Cohen, an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, presented the findings of a series of six detailed case studies of how large corporations are implementing IoT. The session explored how IoT has improved their economic performance, had major impacts on business models and resulted in impressive ROIs. The companies covered span manufacturing and services firms. He also explored servicification, how manufacturing firms shift from se...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Elastifile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) is software-defined data infrastructure designed for seamless and efficient management of dynamic workloads across heterogeneous environments. Elastifile provides the architecture needed to optimize your hybrid cloud environment, by facilitating efficient...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels, a cybersecurity firm, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Channels, Inc. offers several products and solutions to its many clients, helping them protect critical data from being compromised and access to computer networks from the unauthorized. The company develops comprehensive data encryption security strategie...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...