While some work at securing their Facebook privacy settings so as not to be found, there is an equally robust group who wish to be found via their high ranking on Google’s search engine. If you have a business, you want to be found by prospective customers. By now we all know that the key to a high ranking on Google is to have a high number of links to your site. As people search for dresses or rugs, coffee or tea or toys, the sites with the most incoming links get the ranking and perhaps the business. Any of us could have guessed that not all with high ranks have come by them honestly. Such was the alleged case of J.C. Penney consistently ranking high in searches for dresses, rugs and other goods, over a period of several months. According to the New York Times, these rankings were the result of link-selling where a company could pay others to link to it in order to rise to the top of the search results.
Google did not like this. In the world of Google there are black hat and white hat methods of SEO, with white hat obviously being the approved method. Along the way there is also the grey hat method which blurs the lines, though it isn’t clear how many shades of this exist. There is nothing inherently wrong with desiring a higher ranking on Google and achieving it with appropriate keywords. It is also perfectly okay to use Search Engine Optimization services as long as Google’s guidelines are followed. Meanwhile, news from the world of search says though Google is tops, with 11.1 of 17 billion searches last month, Bing is inching up in its share of searches.
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