The “dark underbelly of Search” (the world of deliberate search engine ranking manipulation) was recently big news in the mainstream, with the NYT openly snitching on JC Penney for link-buying which resulted in a very public Google penalty on the domain – which affected their search engine rankings detrimentally (effectively wiping them out) for 3 months.
Every internet marketer or search engine marketing expert worth a penny should have this information lodged in their subconscious – especially if they are managing the link acquisition initiatives of clients (especially large clients with a lot to lose if things go TITSUP).
So after the very public JC Penney linkbuying & penalty incident – which large corporation in their right minds would (knowingly) risk the farm by buying links? the answer appears to be (either knowingly or unknowingly) SKY TV.
Site: SKY TV.
Destination Page (Exhibit A): http://www.sky.com/shop/tv/3d/
Target Keyword: “3D TV”
Local Keyword Demand (montly): 246,000
Google UK Ranking for Keyword (04/07/2011): #8
Google UK Ranking for Keyword (16/08/2011): #6
It looks like Sky and LG have teamed up to sell some 3D televisions.. Time to buy some links?.
Some Sites Which Appear to be Selling Links to Sky
I’m 99.9999% sure these sites (and hundreds more) are selling these placements to SKY TV – let’s face it. they didn’t put them up for no reason, and there’s no revenue to be made or click tracking on the links.
Idiot Linkbuilders / SEO agencies
It looks that whichever idiot linkbuilders or lazy SEO agency [I mean 'top class & award winning of course] used for link-building for SKY decided to use ‘fake’ banners laden with text-links and styled with in-line css. Examples:
Why SKY has to buy links when they own one of the most powerful networks in the UK is baffling.
If I sold 3DTV’s, I would be PISSED. If i were SKY TV, I would probably also fire my link-builders for being beyond stupid. Will SKY or anyone else get massively penalised publicly for this stuff, I wonder – or is this just the way things are going until Google et al come up with a less-exploitable organic algorithm?
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