As long as Google have been displaying search results, companies have been trying to find ways to get themselves to the top of the Google rankings. Many of the activities carried out to achieve this are very legitimate and lead to a better user experience as well as better search results. However there is a complete industry that has built up around manipulating Google’s algorithms to get results – this is commonly known as Black Hat Search Engine Optimisation.
Although there may be short term benefits in this, it also comes with some serious risks. There have been a number of high profile brands that have been blacklisted by Google for this type of activity.
I came across an interesting article recently about JC Penney in the US and how they achieved a dominant position in Google rankings The Dirty Little Secrets of Search. An interesting read for anyone interested in Search Engine Optimisation performance.