Overstock.com Gets Spanked by Google for Gaming Its Rankings

computer user - overstock
computer user - overstock

Yet another retailer has been caught trying to game Google's search system. Seems Overstock.com was compensating some sites to link to the retailer's site on certain keywords, thus causing its rankings to rise in Google searches.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Overstock.com actually offered a 10% discount to university and college-affiliated sites for linking to the shopping site. Websites with a .edu rather than .com are more highly valued by Google's analytics. Academic institutions rarely link to commercial sites, so when it happens, that site's rankings soar relative to the keywords containing the links.