Last night, around 11:45pm PST, I started noticing that the PageRank had increased for most of my sites. Or it stayed the same. I haven’t seen the PageRank for any of my sites drop. That’s for sure. Probably the best part about this PageRank update is that no one is really talking about it. I’m [...]
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Did you hear? Google lifted the -50 penalty on Overstock! Yep. It’s true. Surprisingly, no one really cares. Oh sure, it’s made the SEO news cycle over the past couple of days, but it certainly isn’t causing the same hysteria as when Google was bitch-slapping Overstock, JCPenney and Forbes back in February for their involvement in the filthy evil world of paid link building.
Welcome to the party, Overstock! Incentivizing teachers and students to post links on their .edu sites? That is awesome. Well, I guess it’s awesome until someone at WebmasterWorld alerts people to your recent success. And it’s awesome until Google catches you and drops all your rankings. Just ask JC Penney.
Now it seems that Google’s scare tactics have targeted paid link publishers. These are the people who are selling the paid links that companies like JCPenney were buying. Today, there’s a great post about Google punishing Forbes for selling links. Yeah, *that* Forbes!
In the wake of the New York Times busting JCPenney for running a paid link campaign, I decided that we should really take a look at what might happen next. Sure, JCPenney denied authorizing the links and then fired SearchDex. And Google punished JCPenney by dropping their rankings out of the top 50 for pretty much every possible keyword and search term. But now what? What might happen next for all the parties involved?
It appears that SearchDex removed their client list from their website. Me thinks they didn’t want Google investigating any of their other clients after the JCPenney paid links drama that went down this week. As it turns out, there are ways of finding information that has been removed from sites.