local marketing ,
Since I started talking to local business owners about improving their search ranking in Google, I have been asked one question more than any other: “How do I get to the top of Google?”
While the answer to the question is both simple and complex, lets take a look at the what happened this week. It gives us some real world proof about the positive effects of off page optimization. Off page optimization involves creating links to our sites from other websites. This process is called backlinking.
In a terrific article Vanessa Fox, author and former product manager of Google Webmaster Tools, discusses how J.C. Penney got to the top of Google for keywords in almost every category they sell products in. And by top, I mean the #1 ranking on the first page of Google!
The only problem is they did it the wrong way and violated Google’s Webmaster guidelines. In doing so however, they provided evidence that building a lot of backlinks works. They also show us that Black Hat SEO (search engine optimization) tactics will get you in trouble with Google and rightly so.
After this link spamming campaign surfaced, J.C. Penney promptly fired their SEO firm, according to the article.
Vanessa also tells us why backlinks make our website rank better in the short term. Once you get caught using the techniques that violate Google’s Webmaster guidelines your website will either be removed from Google completely or be buried several pages deep where you will never be found. Most searchers don’t make it past the first few pages of results and many don’t make it past the first page of Google search results.
The main take away is you should be very, very careful when hiring a company to promote you online. Whether it be with Google AdWords, other forms of online advertising or in organic search rankings, don’t allow just anyone to optimize your search engine rankings. Many methods get very fast results but they could also get you banned by Google very quickly as well.
Here is a link to the full article about J.C. Penney’s backlinking mistake. If you are a local business owner, it might be a real eye opener to you.
If you want to learn about marketing your business online I highly recommend Vanessa Fox’s book, it is a must read.