Desperately living by SEM and dying by SEM

“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.”  Matthew 26:52 (NIV)

Today’s post took me back scripture and without apology.

Most business owners operating in the online space have come to recognize the importance and role that major search engines play in regards to their revenue stream.

From organic or natural search to link building to pay-per-click advertising, businesses throughout the world are counting on search engines to make the cash register ring each and every day.

As much as I love honest search engine marketing and, more so, organic search engine optimization, I would like to share a story with you of a business owner and their business reaping the harvest of a SEM firm sewing bad link building strategies.

Be forewarned about who and what company(ies) are allowed to optimize your website or provide search engine marketing services for your online business.

If your business is heavily dependent upon major search engines or they are the only source of driving revenue, your business that is desperately living by SEM could very well find itself signing a death certificate for a slow and painful death by SEM.

Today’s cautionary tale of living and dying by SEM is provided by a premium generic domain:  Yes, a premium generic domain name.  Yes, the domain names coveted by most business owners.

Yes,, a premium generic domain name, now finds itself behind the proverbial eight ball hoping someone or some SEM firm can help them restore their domain name and business integrity so the hemorrhaging of revenue and job losses can be halted.

Doing a little daily reading through a few forums, I came across a posted from one of’s owners and what a disturbing post it is.

Take a moment and read: – Multiple Reconsideration requests denied from Google…Major Brand…Need Help!

In short, someone or a group of people, whether it be, their SEM firm or both, decided that honest search engine marketing techniques were not worth their in an effort to cheat their way to the top of search engine rankings.

They came, they played, they gamed, and now has a manual penalty.

For how long, who knows?  But there are two things certain from this story:

  • Diversify marketing and advertising vehicles; not all eggs in one basket or search engine in this case;
  • Be very careful who you marry when giving your business away to marry to a SEM or SEO firm;

All it takes is one someone or firm to game search engines, knowingly or unknowingly, and your business could be history, literally.  

Have you or someone you’ve known ever had a bad SEM or SEM experience that led to search engine penalty(ies)?


Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.