A company recently showed that shortcuts with Google are still a big no-no and that SEO remains a long-term play.
Google just essentially took a large site off their rankings when they learned that they were getting gamed.
Rap Genius, a multimillion dollar site has been written on for its successful search-engine strategies. However, when they asked their blogger “friends” to place Justin Bieber related links on their sites, and they would exchange tweets, this was the last straw for Google. This “exchange” is a very old-school tactic because it can cause issues with the search engines.
This violates their terms of service because they want links to come from “organic” sources and be natural. What they felt was that this was overstepping what would be “natural”.
Rap Genius has plenty of money to hire seo and marketing consultants to do these things the right way for them, so I’m chalking this up to a high-level person coming up with an idea (that they likely didn’t know had been done for years) and just going with it. It seems like the attitude was “we don’t need any of those expensive marketing guys to come up with ideas for us”.
Now, they are dealing with losing serious revenue as they recover from their mistakes.
In this case, being willing to pay “an expert” to do things, could have saved them hundreds of thousands.