Targets SEO Strategy To Manipulate Google

Good ROI has a great article focusing on a questionable SEO tactic being used by Target Company. Target has created a technique with their internal search bar that has created millions of new listings in Google. To make things even more interesting, a lot of these new sites are ranking on the first page for relatively competitive keywords.


What Target Is Doing:

Target is using their Google authority to instantly add millions of pages to the Google index. Website that have a high Google authority have an advantage in ranking pages in the search engines. This has been talked about in the past when dissecting the Google search algorithm.

Target is generating a new page each time a search query is being used in their websites search bar. After a query is generated a new page is created that has many SEO attriubtes that are required to rank highly in the search engines. Some of the techniques that stand out consist of the search query being added to the URL, the header tags, and the title tag.


Our Test:

The Keyword is "Brett Favre likes Mountain Dew". This keyword will be very easy to rank in the search engine and this test will allow us to dissect the page for any on-page SEO enhancements Target uses. Finally, we are looking to see roughly how long it takes to get this page indexed.

This is the URL to the target page we created by typing in our search query. Notice that we have placed the link in a no follow tag so that the search engines won't find the page through the DKS website.

Our search query for "Brett Favre likes Mountain Dew" has now been generated into a Target "No matches found" page. Let's break down the SEO on-page elements being used.

Title Tags are being used.
Target Title Tag

Header tags are being used. (H2 tag not shown)
Target Header Tag

Keywords are in the URL
Target URL Tag


Is This An Issue?

The hot discussion will be whether or not this is a smart SEO or is this a manipulative SEO dancing on the grey hat line? I can appreciate that someone over at Target is thinking creatively however these web pages aren't relevent to the search query. Reach this Target page does not give the searcher what they are looking for. Google thrives on giving its users the most relevent content available and Target is manipulating their Google authority to jump to the top of the search ranking for keywords they don't offer quality content for.

DKS will publish their results if/when this page gets indexed in the search engiens. We will also be monitoring what Google does with this SEO technique. Feel free to follow us on Twitter for up to date details.

ways to maintain your search engine rankings, following these 5 SEO redesign requirements will give you the best shot. Remember that first impressions count and that you want your website to look fantastic. Minneapolis web design firm DKS Systems is an award winning wed design firm that creates SEO friendly redesigns. Contact DKS today for more information.


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