I’ve always been unsettled by unnatural popularity on the internet. I like a good search engine ranking like the next guy, but how you get there matters to me. Call me old fashioned, but I like when content speaks for iteself.
Not retweeting yourself.
Or mass follows with the hope of something in return.
Or multiple reposts.
Recently, JC Penney got caught creating thousands of inauthentic web pages in order to increase the number of links to their site, which artificially increased their ranking to #1 on Google under a lot of search categories.
The New York Times described these pages as “a city with a few familiar, well-kept buildings, surrounded by millions of hovels kept upright for no purpose other than the ads that are painted on their walls.”
When Google cracked down on the clandestine operation, JC Penney responded, “We are disappointed that Google has reduced our rankings due to this matter, but we will continue to work actively to retain our high natural search position.”