JC Penney gamed Google's search engine to be number one in a LOT of searches. It worked until Google found out.
For months, through the Christmas season, JC Penney was consistently at or near the top in searches for “skinny jeans,” “home decor,” “comforter sets,” “furniture” and dozens of other words and phrases, from the blandly generic (“tablecloths”) to the strangely specific (“grommet top curtains”).
Penney’s results were achieved by gaming the Google search engine by planting millions of links to the store on thousands of web sites.
Google confirmed that these actions violated their guidelines and quickly took action. Within hours, Penney's search rank dropped from number 1 to well off the first page.
JC Penney immediately fired its search engine consulting firm.