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Last week, The Times sent Google the evidence it had collected about the links to JCPenney.com. Google promptly set up an interview with Matt Cutts... "I can confirm that this violates our guidelines," said Mr. Cutts during an hourlong interview on Wednesday, after looking at a list of paid links to JCPenney.com...
On Wednesday evening, Google began what it calls a "manual action" against Penney, essentially demotions specifically aimed at the company. At 7 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, J. C. Penney was still the No. 1 result for "Samsonite carry on luggage." Two hours later, it was at No. 71.
A Penney's spokesperson denied that they had authorized those links - and they fired their search consulting firm.
Penalties are not permanent. They will be back by next holiday season. No skin off their backs.
I'd say it's MANUAL analysis versus algorithms.\
We don't know if they manually dinked JCP as many state in this wonderful thread.
“Am I happy this happened?” he later asked. "Absolutely not. Is Google going to take strong corrective action? We absolutely will."
And the company did. On Wednesday evening, Google began what it calls a “manual action” against Penney, essentially demotions specifically aimed at the company.
They made their wind-fall online
This was mostly win-win for JCP ; mostly lose-lose for Google
Why of all people/companies is the NYT policing the search results and outing companies like this. What is their interest here?
I smell a lawsuit here.
2) The real lawsuit will come from investors. If you hold JCP stock and you find out the company did unethical things that caused your stock to fall, then you have a strong reason to sue the company.
Ryssdal: Not that this was any of my business, but were you just randomly searching for dresses and bed linens on Google one day and noticed that everything was coming up JCPenney?
Segal: No, a reader noticed. A reader who is in the retail business, although not in a field that is a competitor to JCPenney. He actually makes signs, of all things, and just had taken an interest in the world of search engine optimization and had noticed there were three to four of these anomalous results....
The VPs who approved the deal with the SEO company will likely be fired. They'll never get a job at a major company again. Their careers are ruined.
Google will trace down all of the SEO company's clients and review them. If there are tricks, those too will lose ranking.
When revenues fall, many of the staffers at the SEO company will be fired.
SEO companies don't disclose their clients to Google.
SearchDex Code of Ethics[searchdex.com...] SearchDex Pledge to the Search Engines
SearchDex does not engage in or do business with companies that engage in any tactics that may cause a loss in effectiveness of search results, or in any methods that may cause a negative effect on search engine operations.
SearchDex Response to Google Quality Guidelines