The world’s biggest and most recognizable brand names are immune to being penalized by Google, right? Not exactly. They may almost always dominate the search results, but not even the biggest brand names are safe from being hit with a show of reprimand. Learn a few SEO lessons from them here.
BMW – BMW might be one of the grandest trademarks around when it comes to cars, but it has had its share of shady SEO in the past. Way back in 2006, BMW’s website was axed entirely from the web due to cloaking; a technique where a site might show a different thing to a search engine and human visitors. BMW’s website got removed for 3 full days, which was big news at that time.
Rap Genius – A well-known lyrics site, Rap Genius got penalized by Google after launching an “affiliate program” which asked bloggers to post a series of links to Justin Bieber lyrics pages. Rap Genius would then tweet the post to its followers in exchange for the links. It was penalized on Christmas day, and at that time only links to its Twitter and Facebook page was shown on the first page with its entire website off the deep end.
Washington Post – Even reputable journalistic sites had shady SEO practices. Washington Post was penalized back in 2007 for selling links, causing its PageRank value drop from PR7 to PR5. While the site has rebounded (it’s now at PR8), the administrators surely learned their lesson.