David Amerland

Google’s Penalty has cost Overstock 5% of Revenue

Just a month or so ago I wrote a post on how much is a first page position on Google worth to your online business.


The post itself was prompted by the fast and very high profile action Google took against JCPenney and Overstock when back in February it downgraded their rankings as a penalty for their use of Black Hat SEO techniques.

It is now eight weeks later and Overstock has announced that Google’s action cost them a whopping 5% of revenue. The drop has been enough to hit Overstock profit projections and the worst thing about it is that at the time of writing there is still no end in sight of the pain involved.

Overstock Logo - the company suffered income loss from Google penalty


Overstock’s problems when reverse-engineered, also show how important it is for an online business to have a listing on the first page of Google for their website. In case you are wondering, of course, there is no magic recipe to getting your website to Google’s first page fast. To achieve this you need to work diligently on producing the kind of content Google loves and make sure that your site is indexed properly (and I really hope you have been following the steps outlined in SEO Help in this regard).

In 2011 you also need to have a social network marketing presence which will allow you to set up a properly networked online presence which will expand the reach of your website and lead to better rankings in search.

To achieve this your content creation strategy.html has to be absolutely spot on. There was a case study I published last month which showed the ability content has to generate the kind of traffic and web presence a new online business needs.

At about this point you will be wondering whether you should also be focusing on other SEO activities such as link creation and blog posting and article writing and the answer is yes, but the primary thrust has to be your site with fresh, original content and your social network where you publicise everything you create and generate value for your online visitors.

Do this first before you do anything else and you will soon find that the number of keywords which your website is being optimized for will start to increase.

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