Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ranking ranks . . .

OR IS THAT REEKS? David Segal has a fascinating article in the NYT, "The Dirty Little Secrets of Search", about the industry that has sprung up to try to game the Google search engine's rankarama, aka "Search Engine Optimization", or SEO. Outfits like BMW and J.C Penney have been caught trying to "juice" the system. Getting caught by Google has its penalties:

The company’s guidelines warn against using tricks to improve search engine rankings, including what it refers to as “link schemes.” The penalty for getting caught is a pair of virtual concrete shoes: the company sinks in Google’s results.

Often drastically. In 2006, Google announced that it had caught BMW using a black-hat strategy to bolster the company’s German Web site, That site was temporarily given what the BBC at the time called “the death penalty,” stating that it was “removed from search results.”

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