In 2011, the New York Times wrote an in-depth article about what happened when JC Penney used illegitimate techniques to get higher ranking for certain key words. New York Times Story on JC Penney
In summary during Christmas of 2010, JC Penney was discovered to have used techniques that Google considers deceptive. Their online punishment: they went from #1 on the search engine to 71, two hours later in a variety of key search terms.
The term, according to the online Urban Dictionary, is called "Google Slapped" .
Many people have the impression that Google Optimization is just about creating programs that beat the system such as Link Farms, Hidden Text and Black Hat Keyword Stuffing. What they don't know is that Google has a team of experts that are actively searching the net for that kind of activity and are quick to punish the perpetrators. Why? Because they have a huge reputation to uphold.
So when you're looking for SEO services, look for experts who know the ins and outs of the rules, who are up-to-date with changes and who have experience working with what Google likes to see - experts just like the Spartan Spark Team!
“Based on their outstanding work and great relationship we kept them on board to manage the day to day development and operations of the site.” -Mitch Solway - President, Single Parent Love Life Inc.