Sneaky Ways of J.C.Penney uncovered

By on February 15, 2011
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JC Penney was ranked high up on Google’s results after links to it were spammed all over the internet.

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On one end you have news of Bing purportedly ‘copying’ Google’s search results and then the New York Times goes and uncovers more search engine naughty-ness. This time, it’s J.C. Penney who are the company in question.

In a feat of SEO manipulation, JC Penney appeared at the top of way more search results than that could have naturally been attainable. After a bit of digging, the New York Times uncovered the fact that thousands of links to the site had been placed all over the internet in a spate of spam attacks. The more times a site is linked to, the higher chance it has of ranking up the Google search ladder. This bit of ‘Black Hat’ optimization lead to JC Penney being returned for extremely generic search terms such as ‘rug’.

JC Penney has denied any knowledge of the affair and has since taken down a number of links. Google remained rather nonchalant about the affair but did rank the site down after that.


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Humourist, news-junkie, bassist, petrol-head and techie. Best when caffeinated. Seasoned collector of lame puns and professional grumpy old man. Follow him on twitter: @nabilfahim

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