J.C. Penney's Google Time Out Period Lasts 90 Days

May 31, 2011 • 9:09 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

time out google benchRemember, J.C. Penney was outed by the NY Times leading to a Google Penalty and seriously impacting how J.C. Penney ranked for the past 90-days.

But the penalty was lifted 90-days later and now, J.C. Penney seems to be ranking as well as ever!

Matt McGee has some stats on their rankings after the penalty was removed and it is looking good.

To me, this proves that the links acquired through means that were not in accordance with Google's webmaster guidelines played an insignificant role in their rankings prior to the penalty. If anything, the story about Google penalizing them helped their rankings by getting thousands of links from the media and bloggers, and all those Tweets and Facebook shares.

The question was, was this a manual or algorithmic penalty. The answer seems obvious, because the penalty was only instituted after NY Times spoke to Google about it. That being said, we know manual penalties are revisited after X months, depending the penalty or sooner based on a reconsideration request. I assume J.C. Penney's SEO took the necessary steps and here we are today.

Do you think the penalty was severe enough?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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05/31/2011 01:19 pm

See if you or I would make billions in revenue we could afford to pay people to lift stuff like that :) Its all money man :), IMO

Nick Stamoulis

05/31/2011 02:54 pm

I'd be interested in finding out what J.C. Penney did over the last few months to "fix" their SEO? Did they actively go in and remove those paid links and replace them with "real" ones? Or did all the hubub about the link scandal actually help them out?

Michael Martinez

05/31/2011 05:04 pm

There should be no question about whether it was a manual penalty.  Matt Cutts confirmed in his impromptu video chat last week that they had lifted the penalty after J.C. Penney filed a "valid reconsideration request".

Terry Van Horne

05/31/2011 05:11 pm

@Nick Stimoulis they likely didn't do anything beyond taking down the paid links. This to me shows penalties no longer mean much they are not as punitive as in the past when you were removed... the domain was often toast. Move the content but that domain is toast. Not even worth redirecting.

Mike Glover

05/31/2011 08:25 pm

WOW....breaking he Number 1 Cardinal rule of Google (DO NOT BUY LINKS) and do it on a MASS scale and what do you get....a 90 Day "time out".  Not only that, but the timing of the campaign was spectacular!  It covered the entire Thanksgiving to Christmas Holiday shopping season.  Looks like JC Penny is laughing...all the way to the Bank!

amrithaa 2011

06/01/2011 07:01 am

hi,        Why the organic SEO is always feel better than Google Paid promotion...??? www.amrithaa.com

Alkaline water

06/01/2011 06:25 pm

I agree with Mike Glover. They broke one of Google's most critical rules: a mass purchase of links! And in reality they are being rewarded for it with the increase in links! I definitely think this was a carefully thought out tactic on SEO's part, especially considering the timing. Google should look further into this case and others like it.

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