How Your SEO Firm Can Get You Banned From Google

Anna Ritchie : Community Maven
Anna Ritchie
Marketing & communications practitioner, and product manager for TMCnet. Focus on content marketing and social media with a specialty in Online Community-building for businesses. Follow @Connectincloud and @apritchie
| Expertise and Advice on Successful Online Communities

How Your SEO Firm Can Get You Banned From Google

Are you watching what your SEO firm or team is doing?

SEO professionals sometimes use questionable techniques and if they are exposed, your company is the one who suffers the potentially detrimental effects which impact not only your search rank, but potentially your profitability as well.

Take the J.C. Penney story.  Recently, the popular chain retailer had been enjoying tremendous rankings on Google due the efforts of its SEO consulting firm SearchDex. A wide range of search terms, from luggage to clothing to furniture, all provided to same results on Google -- J.C. Penny was listed at the top each and every time.  Suspecting something was awry, the New York Times investigated, sending the results of their research straight to Google. The article exposed that this SEO agency was using black hat link-building techniques which are frowned upon by Google.  As a result, Google immediately took “manual action”, and J.C. Penny not only received a tremendous amount of negative publicity, but its rankings on the search engine immediately began to plummet significantly according to the New York Times.

According to J.C. Penny, they were not aware their SEO firm was posting links back to their company website from thousands of low quality pages on the web. And as a result of hiring a search firm and not being aware of what practices were being employed, they have found their future search results will potentially suffer greatly online. According to the article: “One moment Penney was the most visible online destination for living room furniture in the country. The next it was essentially buried.”

In the past, BMW’s German site was banned from Google due to the use of doorway pages (pages that exist solely to provide links that drive SEO) which the search engine frowns upon. While at this point Google has not banned J.C. Penney, individual product results plummeted over 70 spots in two hours.

The Lesson Learned? While focusing on SEO is obviously important, the use of black hat techniques such as paying for links or hiring people to place links on blog comments can get your company in a lot of trouble.  Companies should be careful about the firms they hire to help boost SEO, and consider alternative ways to drive traffic, such as utilizing quality, relevant content via an independent Online Community.

If you’re found and reprimanded by Google, your SEO will suffer, as demonstrated by the J.C. Penny event. And since almost everyone goes to a search engine when they want to find something, if your company isn’t showing up on that search engine, you may be difficult to find. As we all know, ranking highly on search engines is imperative. In fact, 34 percent of Google’s traffic goes to the No. 1 result, about twice the percentage that goes to No. 2, according to the New York Times.

How to Build Trusted Traffic Online:  This incident has shined a bright spotlight on the traditional link-building practices employed by SEO professionals. So, going forward, the traditional methods of building traffic and leads will likely not work as well as in the past as companies like Google will be less and less permissive of such techniques and will keep a close eye on those they suspect are utilizing them.

A much safer way to build trusted traffic, generate leads and boost thought leadership online is to partner with a respected company who builds highly ranked Online Community websites legitimately and provides relevant and useful content that attracts a targeted audience, which subsequently causes it to rank highly on search engines, organically.

TMCnet has been building these for over a decade for hundreds of customers by attracting a targeted audience via related content. The result? A majority of our sponsored communities rank high, even # 1, on major search engines. If you want to learn more about how your company can benefit from a TMC Online Community, contact us.

Anna Ritchie- Product Manager, TMCnet Online Communities


Enhanced by Zemanta

Related Articles to 'How Your SEO Firm Can Get You Banned From Google'
Webinar 2 Poll Results