If you're a publisher, one of the most frustrating experiences is to discover that your content is being scraped by a third party that does not have permission to use your content.
Even more frustrating: when that scraper's website is able to outrank yours for searches related to your own content.
For obvious reasons then, Google has engaged in a considerable effort to thwart scrapers. And now it's turning to the public for additional assistance.
Just three months after it was downgraded as a penalty for alleged 'black hat' link-building techniques, US department store J.C. Penney has recovered its organic search visibility on Google.
How the retailer achieved this provides a good example of how Google penalties work.
You don’t have to be an SEO geek to have noticed that over the last six months or so, whenever you search for a phrase with a location in it, Google shows maps with local listings.
What you might not have realised is that these results are sorted and sequenced by a different and far more basic algorithm than the main search index.
Not surprisingly given the simplicity of these system and prevalence of the listings, some cheeky beggars have been using some ingenious ways of boosting their rankings on Google Maps.
While carrying out competitor analysis for clients I am increasingly
coming across blatant black hat SEO practices that were once banned
from the index.
Normally the process on discovery is clear. You report
it to the web spam team and it disappears. However, lately the web spam submission form appears to be a black hole.
So is web spam, hidden text and cloaking now okay? Where has the web spam team gone?
In the near future, your Google search results might contain something you hadn't noticed before: documents published through Google Apps.
According to The Register, Google sent an email to Google Apps users last Friday indicating that some documents published through Google Apps will soon be indexable by Google's crawler.
Last Friday, TechCrunch reported that online document sharing service Scribd saw its traffic fall nearly 50% since June of this year. That's pretty much the SEO equivalent of a stock market crash.
According to Trip Adler, Scribd's CEO, the company knowingly made some changes that it expected to decrease traffic. One of them: "reducing the aggressiveness of our SEO".
Search engine optimisation (SEO) and the online marketing sector as a whole may not present the most ethically challenging jobs in the world but it does offer a few moral predicaments.
We may not need to wrestle with thorny moral debates on the nature of
personhood or seek to justify wars, but we are still challenged
regularly by everyday small moral queries, which I suppose is true of
Here are a few of the routine debates an SEO
executive may encounter. Let me know if you think I have missed any and
we can furrow our respective brows and thrash it out in the comments
Jason Calacanis may be one of the most recognizable internet entrepreneurs in the United States but that doesn't mean that is current startup, Mahalo, is above using questionable SEO tactics to boost its SERPs.
Mahalo is a human-edited web directory that some have criticized in the past as being nothing more than a link farm designed to take advantage of search engines. Which is ironic, given that Calacanis has in the past been critical of SEO.