New York Times

How J.C. Penney gamed the Google rankings

nyt-google-illo.jpgGreat New York Times story this weekend looking deep into the phenomenon that saw J.C. Penney turn up as the #1 result on a variety of Google keyword searches: from dresses and bedding to Samsonite carry on luggage — ahead of Samsonite itself. Penney denies responsibility, but had hired a search optimization firm to raise its Google page rankings. As "black hat" SEO efforts go, "it’s the most ambitious attempt I’ve ever heard of,” says an SEO expert. "This whole thing just blew me away. Especially for such a major brand. You’d think they would have people around them that would know better.” Google says it's chagrined and has taken steps, but as the story points out, Penney is a *big* advertiser on Google. It's the NYT's most-emailed story on Sunday

Also in the NYT:

  • Manohla Dargis wonders what ever happened to the sex in movies Americans watch.
  • Conde Nast is opening a London newstand that will sell only its magazine titles, and got the idea from the Taschen store in Beverly Hills.
  • The Los Angeles Catholic archdiocese removed a San Dimas priest from his parish over a long-term sexual relationship with a teenage girl, and accepted the resignation of the vicar for clergy.

Illustration: New York Times

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