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Black Hat:

Samsung investigated for planting bad HTC reviews

Posted on April 23, 2013

Taiwanese fair-trade officers are investigating electronics giant Samsung, over claims that it has been paying students to create negative reviews of rival phones.

The allegations suggest the company, which is based in South Korea, has been engaging in so called ‘false advertising’.

Smearing the competition in this manner is an acknowledged ‘black hat’ search engine optimisation tactic, and is frowned upon by (more…)

Posted by Cheryl Mathews

Top stars buying increases in social media stats

Posted on March 26, 2013

An investigation by the Newsbeat team at the BBC has found that many high profile music stars are raising their social network status through buying links.

In a drive to get their tunes into the charts, artists are buying up Facebook likes, Twitter followers and even YouTube views, rather than have a dedicated search engine optimisation strategy.

Link buying in this way is very much frowned upon by search engines, and how they will act will (more…)

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

Google cracks down on link abuse

Posted on March 24, 2013

According to recent research, Google is increasing the number of websites punished for manipulation of external links used to increase page ranking. As the basis of the study, Portent looked at thousands of incoming links for 50 websites. The company measured various effects of the links, including the results they had on search listings.

The Penguin algorithm was introduced by Google in April 2012 to detect and punish sites which had used links dubiously to increase visibility in search listings. As a result, the page ranking of millions of websites dropped, causing the companies to become less prominent on the search listings. The study which was carried out and produced by Portent, an internet marketing company, indicates that the number of links tolerated by Google which are deemed to have been manipulated has reduced drastically. Initially, around 80 per cent of the links to a website considered to be of dubious nature were permitted by Google before any action was taken. The number of such links tolerated by Google dropped to 65 per cent, before falling even further to 50 per cent at the end of last year.

However, any site that is employing an ethical search engine optimisation campaign should not have too much to worry about. Links play a major part in SEO; the careers of search specialsts rely on them to an extent, and this latest research drives home the need to cultivate them in a natural fashion as opposed to using methods frowned upon by Google.

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

Newspaper websites severely affected by Google crackdown

Posted on March 3, 2013

A number of websites belonging to regional newspaper groups have been affected by a Google clampdown on paid link building. Various media outlets have been severely affected, along with some smaller regional news sites. Among those affected are (more…)

Posted by Matt Jones

Google deflowers UK bouquet delivery service

Posted on March 2, 2013

Anyone searching for the term ‘Interflora’ presently will be in for somewhat of a surprise. Whilst the flower delivery service’s paid ads still appear at the top of the SERP, a scroll down the page will reveal no mention in the organic listings.

Indeed, at the time of writing, you need to go all the way through to page five of Google’s search results to find direct mention of (more…)

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

Firms continue to pull on black hats despite penalties

Posted on February 23, 2013

With the use of more sophisticated analysis and reporting tools, it has been a long time since search engines started penalising websites employing black hat techniques. However, the imitable Matt Cutts from Google has shown that the nefarious SEO practice is still an issue.

Any UK firm wishing to perform well as an online business needs to get its marketing right. To deliver this, those companies performing best tend to use (more…)

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

JC Penney hits back at New York Times over black hat SEO allegations

Posted on February 23, 2011

US based department store JC Penney has hit back at claims which accused it of using black hat SEO techniques to manipulate its standing with Google.

David Segal, an investigative reporter with the New York Times, recently published an article which demonstrated that the company had hired search engine optimisation company SearchDex, which went on to indulge in some seemingly (more…)

Posted by Carl Hopkinson

Major American firm revealed to be using black hat SEO

Posted on February 16, 2011

Though unknown in Merseyside, Manchester or the rest of the United Kingdom, JC Penney is undoubtedly one of America’s largest department store chains.

However, during the run up to Christmas 2010, it came top with startling regularity in search engine queries such as ‘bedding’, queries for which other stores such as (more…)

Posted by Mark Glenning
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