Google Penalizes for Bad SEO Linking Practices
Last week the New York Times published an article on bad linking practices. The article was focused on SearchDex, JCPenny's search engine optimization (SEO) firm, and how they were penalized by Google. SEO professionals take note, as lessons can be learned from their infraction.
Many developers and designers do not understand the difference between good linking and bad linking practices. Paid linking usually falls into the bad category. There are a few exceptions, such as the Yahoo Directory, Business.com, and Best of the Web, but usually paid links are frowned on by Google as they state, "Buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines and can negatively impact a site's ranking in search results."
If you are using an SEO firm to enhance your site's SEO rankings, be sure to find out what their linking practices are, before any harm is done.