After coming across The New York Times piece on JCPenney’s recent SEO blunder in my RSS feed, I sent it around to a few colleagues, discussed it with a few friends and then was onto other news. A few days later, I tried searching for it again to write up a blog post on black hat link building and couldn’t find the article.
Being what I consider Internet-savvy, I used Google and typed in “JCPenney SEO” the first time. No luck. So I added “NYT” to my keyword, thinking the article would at least pop up on the first page of results. Nope, nothing. I then replaced “NYT” with “NY Times” and the article finally popped up as the third link.
So now, instead of focusing on black hat links, I think I’ll take this time to share my opinion on the lack of companies using organic SEO strategies. It is unfathomable that The New York Times, a reputable household name, is not ranking at the top of a Google search for a recent, highly-read article. I will admit that I clicked to the second page of results and I found the article. However, I’m an impatient Web user and to be honest, if something doesn’t rank on the first page of Google, I’m not finding it (I only clicked to page two for the purpose of this post).
I’m no expert, but I have dabbled with my fair share of organic SEO strategies. Within seconds, I figured that with a few tweaks, this article could move its way up in Google searches (think a title tag that actually includes SEO and JCPenney). Unfortunately, it seems like this is a fatal flaw of various companies who are not willing to invest in a strategy that has potential to move its Web pages to the top of search engines.
If you take anything from JCPenney paying for its organic searches, please let it be that a genuine, organic SEO strategy is key to every online strategy, even for companies as large as the The New York Times. After all, you should have known black hat linking was wrong before you even started reading!
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