theEweekly Wrap: Rankings, rumours and reprimands
|Penney returns||USA superstore JC Penney has returned to the search engine results pages after being punished for 90 days by Google. Back in February 2011, news broke of JC Penney’s black hat SEO tactics – such as link buying – used to rank highly for popular generics. Speaking to Search Engine Land, Google’s Matt Cutts said: “We saw a valid reconsideration request […] You don’t want to be vindictive or punitive, so after three months the penalty was lifted.”
The penalty appears to have been imposed manually rather than algorithmically: as SEL explains, the site’s old URLs have simply reappeared in rankings, rather than the new ones the company is in the process of introducing. Meanwhile, SEOptimise speculated that the amount of media coverage garnered by the company could work out for the best. Although all the old paid links were removed, the number of backlinks overall has increased, so when the site is recrawled it may enjoy better rankings than before the story broke.
|Facebook the music||Rumours have been flying this week regarding a potential deal between Spotify and Facebook. The Forbes blog quoted “sources close to the deal”, and speculated that Facebook users would soon be able to stream Spotify’s music library through the social media site. The rumours are given weight by the fact that Facebook’s first president Sean Parker is a Spotify investor. In addition, March saw the launch of Facebook movie rentals after a deal with Warner Bros. However, a spokesperson denied that anything was happening.
Meanwhile, a potential rival is attempting to re-launch itself. Last.fm has hired new tech and development staff, announced a website redesign, and improved its mobile apps. Although the number of users decreased only slightly in the face of Spotify’s success, TheNextWeb.com suggested that this is an attempt to “offer quality services to its users and thus justify charging for using the service.”
|Tweeters in trouble||The head of Twitter in Europe has revealed that members who use the site to break local laws could be in trouble. Speaking at the e-G8 conference in Paris, Tony Wang confirmed that Twitter’s policy is to comply with legal requests for the personal details of users; meaning account holders who mentioned ‘the footballer’ before he was named in parliament could be in trouble – around 75,000 people.
At the centre of the debacle is @InjunctionSuper, the Twitter account that first named the celebrities in question. However, in his speech Wang promised that users would be notified of any legal requests for their details. Moreover, the possibility of tracking down a Twitter user from their registration details is rather slim – accounts can be created using simply an email address and password.