Welcome!

Cognitive Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, William Schmarzo

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 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 TMC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo and Big Data at Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Global buyers rely on TMC’s content-driven marketplaces to make purchase decisions and navigate markets. Learn how we can help you reach your marketing goals.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” 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. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists looked at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deliver...
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
When growing capacity and power in the data center, the architectural trade-offs between server scale-up vs. scale-out continue to be debated. Both approaches are valid: scale-out adds multiple, smaller servers running in a distributed computing model, while scale-up adds fewer, more powerful servers that are capable of running larger workloads. It’s worth noting that there are additional, unique advantages that scale-up architectures offer. One big advantage is large memory and compute capacity...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Internet giants are fully embracing AI. All the services they offer to their customers are aimed at drawing a map of the world with the data they get. The AIs from these companies are used to build disruptive approaches that cannot be used by established enterprises, which are threatened by these disruptions. However, most leaders underestimate the effect this will have on their businesses. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rene Buest, Director Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Ara...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Silicon India has been named “Media Sponsor” 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. Published in Silicon Valley, Silicon India magazine is the premiere platform for CIOs to discuss their innovative enterprise solutions and allows IT vendors to learn about new solutions that can help grow their business.