The news is abuzz with articles about and how they used black-hat SEO techniques to scam Google and innocent online consumers.  This is a sensational story because JC Penny is a large company and they were utilizing a massive amount of irrelevant back-links to push their placement for a plethora of lucrative keywords.  So, to start: ‘Bad JC Penny’ for hiring a black-hat SEO company and not knowing what you were getting into.

However, JC Penny can still make do by hiring a white hat SEO firm and getting ranked the right way (and showing the public they are doing so).   First of all, JC Penny: your SEO 101 sucks.  That means you aren’t doing the basic SEO techniques to get your site ranked.  A quick overview of the big categories in your site shows that you’ve done almost nothing to optimize your site for organic results.   Let’s take the example of ‘men’s t-shirts.’

The #1 Google Result for men’s t-shirts is, who does a fantastic clean SEO job with their website.  Let’s compare the men’s t-shirts page on to the same page on provides keyword-strong, front-loaded title tags: “Men’s T-Shirts’ | Gap – Free Shipping for $50  title tags seem to be built ‘breadcrumb’ style and aren’t always clear: JCPenney: men: t shirts provides great H1, H2 and H3 tags that are all loaded with relevant keywords: H1 = Men’s T-Shirts has no H-tags whatsoever.

These are just a few examples of how has done no basic SEO work to get their site ranked, which kind of makes sense as far as why they were looking for a shortcut to search engine glory.  Title tag optimization and H-tags are just the start: there are quite a few other basic SEO modifications that could get a page rank 6 site like on the fast track to page one again.

So, JC Penny: get on the path to SEO righteousness again by hiring a white hat seo company to start over from square one.