Con­tin­u­ing the trend of Google penal­iz­ing big com­pa­nies for try­ing to arti­fi­cial­ly manip­u­late PageR­ank, Overstock.com recent­ly saw its search engine rank­ings take a nose dive from the top of page one in Google for key­words such as “bunk beds” and “vac­u­um clean­ers” to the bot­tom of page 5 and low­er. Accord­ing to Amir Efrati from Over­stock had incen­tivized col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties by offer­ing “dis­counts of 10% on some mer­chan­dise to stu­dents and fac­ul­ty. In exchange, it asked col­lege and uni­ver­si­ty web­sites to embed links for cer­tain keywords.”

This inci­dent, along with JC Penney”s and Forbes” from last week, fur­ther stress­es the impor­tance of invest­ing the time and resources into build­ing out vast amounts of high qual­i­ty con­tent that is both valu­able and rel­e­vant to users. Seek­ing out seem­ing­ly quick wins might look appeal­ing in the short term, but every­day it runs the risk of your com­pa­ny drop­ping from the top of page one in the search results to the bot­tom of page 5 and los­ing count­less amounts of cus­tomers and rev­enue in the blink of an eye.

We here at Search Dis­cov­ery will nev­er place clients in this sort of posi­tion as build­ing out high qual­i­ty con­tent is the basis for all of our SEO efforts. Under­stand­ing and sat­is­fy­ing online users” inten­tions is Google”s ulti­mate goal and it is the under­ly­ing motive that dri­ves our methodologies.