Want to know how to really tick Google off? All you have to do is run deceitful SEO practices like buying and selling links.
There is much debate over the practice of this tactic, but if you want to play with Google, you have to follow Google’s rules. Let’s take a look at a few precedents of what happens when you get caught with paid links.
This is fairly self-explanatory, but paid links are when you solicit another site for a fee to carry descriptive anchor text for your website to help increase traffic and PageRank regardless of relevancy or quality of content.
If you are caught buying and selling links be prepared to suffer the consequences. Here are two cautionary tales.
Last year, the New York Times published an article investigating in to questionable tactics used by J.C. Penney. They realized that J.C. Penney was ranking well in many of their products, but research showed that thousands of unrelated websites were containing descriptive links. Someone contacted Matt Cutts, head of Google webspam, and he confirmed that J.C. Penney violated Google’s webmaster guidelines.
Shortly after the investigation, J.C. Penney was nowhere to be found in Google Index. They were banned. For three months. They fired their SEO firm and fixed all of their violations to get back into Google. They were given lower rankings and all of those links no longer count.
A slip-up like this can have a tremendously drastic effect on even the largest of companies, and a violation for a small company could mean death. And just to show everyone how serious they are about paid links, Google even banned itself for 11 months, when they found out Google Japan was in violation of its own webmaster guidelines. There PageRank went from a nine to a five because they were paying for blogger reviews. They weren’t banned, but it certainly had to hurt some search results.
If you want to challenge Google be prepared to have your website’s traffic suffer for it.