Sears, SEO, & Poor Web Implementation
Sears’ cacheable URLs, poor web implementation (guys, this is why jobs like mine are important), and their own fuckwitery has combined to create this awesome fail.
Someone discovered they could change the labels on a Sears product and category pages by changing it in the URL, forcing the page to draw this BBQ category with the description “Grills to Cook Babies and More”. In most cases, this would have been a one-off visible only to the mischievous little scamp who’d made the change, but because Sears caches these URLs in order to get some black-ops Google search lift, the pesky URL was indexed by both Google and Sears’ internal search. As things do on the internet, the link spread like wildfire until the offending URL about eating babies became one of the featured pages on Sears.
The best part is, once Sears found out about it, they started trying to kill any conversation about it online, approaching sites like Reddit and threatening to pull any and all advertising if the admins didn’t remove and censor any and all conversations. Nothing makes the internets angrier than being censored, and thus the Streisand Effect was invoked.
Way to make something relatively harmless into an internet crusade. This lesson on what not to do brought to you by our sponsor, Sears.