If your main site does not have a brand to the scale of BMW then maybe it is true that your site has only 1 or maybe a few lives in the search results. For your main company site it may be worth it to take the slow and steady path to the top.
If you aggressively market pages on other sites that prominently feature you then you can do it over and over again, while likely significantly lowering your risk (as compared to directly marketing your own site aggressively).
For example, looking at the Google Viagra SERPs, the SERP is about 50% spam. You got:
- .edu subdomains
- other subdomains of other sites
- Yahoo! news syndication of a press release
- humor page turned advertisement
Since Google is overtrusting root domain trust and heavily leveraging that trust when evaluating the rankings for other pages on that same site many people are simply moving all spam external to their own sites, in favor of placing it on another well trusted domain. Then some of them are creatively using aggressive link strategies to promote those pages where they are prominently featured.
For many of these types of pages the creation and redirection and link building is entirely automated. But if you take a bit longer and create something like that humor page or create a real resource page it may stick in the SERPs longer and eventually grow into a self reinforcing position.
With as wide spread as some of these off site spam activities are I would expect Google to eventually find a way to break down the domain trust scores into pieces, ie: something like only trust a page on a domain in proportion to how much link popularity from that domain flows at that page.
What held Google SERP spam back was the need for placing spam on a trusted domain. Now that many people are exploring that option the system must once again evolve.
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