Google Cracks Down On Black Hat SEO Tactics

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Google has penalised a link network in Japan.

The link network was using black hat SEO tactics, such as buying and selling links, to try to artificially inflate websites’ trust factors and PageRank in order to rank higher in the Google search results.

Such practices go against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and as such the link network has been hit by a penalty that reduces its SEO ranking, thereby making it unappealing to potential link buyers.

This is the first time since late 2014 that Google has announced that it has penalised a link network, when the search engine found a similar network in Poland.

Google has cautioned webmasters who subcontract their SEO efforts to check that their subcontractors are only using white hat SEO techniques.

Data from Internet World Stats has revealed that the UK and France are no longer in the top 10 markets for internet population.

These countries have been replaced in the top 10 by newcomers Mexico and Indonesia.

Indonesia almost doubled its internet population between 2014 and 2015, jumping from 12th to 8th globally.

As developed markets reach internet saturation point and developing countries with large populations start to come online, we can expect to see more emerging markets in the top 10 in coming years.

Nigeria was in the top 10 last year but, thanks to a boom in smartphone ownership, has overtaken Germany to take 7th place. It is approaching an internet population of 100 million – with over half the Nigerian population now having access to the internet.

Russia has also made a great splash with close to 25% year-on-year growth and an internet population now above 100 million. Japan, in turn, has dropped to 5th, overtaken by Brazil. However, despite now being the 4th largest internet market in the world, Brazil has seen relatively modest growth, its maturity considered.

Looking at the top of the table, second-place India keeps growing by leaps and bounds, with over 50% growth year-on-year and in internet population of 375 million people.

In contrast, growth has slowed down considerably in China, although with a staggering 674 million internet users, the country is still the undisputed champion when it comes to the number of citizens online.

The total global internet population is 3.3 billion people.

Variations in cross-border ecommerce habits in different countries have been examined by Emarketer.

The study found that 70% of online retailers who had sold their products overseas thought that cross-border ecommerce had been profitable.

Shoppers who engaged in cross-border ecommerce were motivated by cheaper prices and tended to be younger and more educated than average internet users.

Cross-border ecommerce was particularly popular in Canada, Mexico and Australia.

It was unpopular in the US and Japan.

Rocket Internet has announced that it is selling its online food takeaway companies in Brazil, Mexico, Spain and Italy.

It is selling the companies to competitor Just Eat for 140 million US dollars, which is widely speculated to be a loss.

Just Eat is experiencing huge growth at the moment, with the company reporting a 54% increase in global revenues during a 6 month period last year.

The CEO of Rocket Internet commented on the sale of the companies to Just Eat, saying: “Today’s transactions are clearly aimed at reducing the complexity of Rocket Internet’s network of companies.”

And finally, the international ecommerce giant Amazon is expanding its speedy delivery service in five countries.

Online shoppers in areas of the US, the UK, Belgium, Japan and India can now use the Amazon Prime Now service to get items ordered from the site delivered in as little as 1 hour.

Users can access the Amazon Prime Now service using the Amazon mobile app.

Amazon is one of the most popular ecommerce sites in the world, reporting sales growth of 20% last year.

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