Published today in SEO by Eric Sornoso

Time and again, experienced webmasters will warn newbies away from black hat techniques.  They don’t work, they cause problems, Google will catch you sooner or later.  It’s all true.  Black hat techniques are dangerous because they work, for a while.  Then, like the companies that follow, Google finds out.  The examples below were all large enough to continue their business, but they’re high profile exceptions to the very common rule.
1: JC Penny
JC Penny, back in 2011, was the subject of one of the largest SEO-related scandals to date.  It all started when a curious journalist wondered why the company seemed to rank among the top for virtually every product they sold, even above the manufacturers of those products or other stores selling them.  That journalist took the question to various SEO professionals and asked; why is JCP doing so well?
The answer, as it turned out, was black hat link building.  Any page on JCP’s website that ranked exceptionally high was found to have a number of links incoming.  How often do people link to product pages for products on a page like JCP?  How often do those links come from blogs that are otherwise unrelated to the product, n…

Read our latest article
By default, WordPress – both the .com and .org versions – don’t support bilingual or multilingual versions of a blog.  If you want to cater to more than one language, such as a Canadian site using French or a dual Spanish-E…
Images are a critical part of running an effective website, but very little of that has to do with SEO.  The reason for that is because Google and the other search engines cannot parse the content of an image.  Oh, they’re cert…
There are many things that can play against you in your Google search rankings.  You might face content scrapers, bad incoming links, negative SEO or social media outrage.  Through it all, however, nothing hurts you more tha…
When Google assigns value to a particular piece of content, that value is tied to the site.  A single site with multiple writers can grow just as well, if not more easily, than a site with just one writer.  On the other hand, one wr…
Google’s recent Pigeon update is one of the largest shakeups in local SEO in a long time.  It almost completely removes your chance to rank on the first page for your keywords, if Yelp and a few local directories are also target…
When Google makes a move, it tends to take one of three forms.  There are the natural changes, the result of the evolving algorithm adjusting the ranks of sites based on their content, value and presence online.  There are the a…
Google trends started ten years ago in 2004, and has done nothing but grow since its inception.  With billions of search queries made every year, Google has an incredible wealth of data on their hands.  Trends is their way of al…
The question of the color of hat that rests atop the head of guest posting is one that requires a surprising amount of history to truly answer.  If you’re familiar with the hats and the history of guest posts, you can safely skip…
The glory of the Internet is that it is truly a globally accessible network.  Anyone, whether they’re from the southern tip of Africa, the northern tundra of Russia or the deep mountains of China, can access your website.  O…
When you’re trying to grow a website, one of the strongest signals you can receive is a quality backlink.  Yet so many webmasters have an aversion to linking out to other domains, other websites.  They feel as though linkin…