You must be a savvy shopper when you work with a search engine optimization company. You have to know what you are getting for your money. If you don’t keep up on the work your SEO is doing for you, you easily could end up in a bad position.
This is exactly what happened to JCPenney.com.
The company hired a search engine optimizer who, as it turned out, has been buying links for JCPenney from less than reputable places. Many links were on unrelated sites and sites that had no other purpose than to sell links. As a result, many of the great rankings JCPenney had were manually removed by Google.
All of this was uncovered in an article published in The New York Times, “The Dirty Little Secrets of Search.”
Keeping up on the links your SEO is getting for you isn’t terribly difficult, if you know where to look.
Check out Yahoo Site Explorer to view links. Open Site Explorer is also a good tool. And finally, Google Webmaster Tools is a great place to get a detailed overview of the links pointing to your site.
A little bit of awareness here will go a long way in making sure you are staying above the board with the search engines.