Is Groupon Bad for SEO?

I recently bought some new memory foam pillows on groupon – I get a very stiff neck from spending my life on laptops, actually the first item I’ve ever bought on groupon, and when redeeming the voucher I began to wonder if groupon is potentially detrimental to SEO (in the short term at least)

Geeks might remember the days of slashdot (/. to the geeks) – which would routinely take down a website with massive amounts of traffic. More recently credit card companies were taken down with distributed denial of service attacks. Back in the old days you could do a denial of service attack with a single machine, but these days it takes many machines around the world with their own high speed internet connections.

Sometimes social news sites such as digg still manage to take down sites on cheaper hosting, but its rare these days.

The difference between slashdot/digg traffic and groupon traffic, is redeeming voucher codes is a lot more server intensive than simply serving content.

One of the most damaging events for SEO is site down time – you can recover from it, but often your site can get completely nuked for an unknown period of time. It rarely takes more than a month to re-establish some positions, but often it takes up to 3 months to recover previous traffic figures.

So when I came to redeem my groupon voucher for the memory foam pillows (£15 each, total bargain) I noticed the homepage of “cloud memory foam” displayed the following message:

clouds-memory-foam

So partially by choice, probably in response to being taken down by excessive traffic, cloud memory foam decided to take their homepage offline. I’m not sure they’ve ever generated traffic from SEO, but whatever SEO they had is taking a hit as we speak.

One school of thought might be “yeah but they made a bunch of money from the groupon offer” but remember they are selling their products for a massive discount, and potentially aren’t making more than a few £’s per product, and as a direct result they have had to compromise their SEO, the sales of which would earn £45 additional profit per sale…

I wonder if it’s worth it? Maybe if they make the most of their newly acquired list, maybe if SEO wasn’t a core part of their business… but in this particular case groupon was bad for SEO. (in the short term at least). Arguably longer term the additional exposure and potential links might benefit their SEO… potentially…

5 thoughts on “Is Groupon Bad for SEO?

  1. It looks as if Groupon is on a downward spiral anyway. Not a very viable business option in terms of producing revenue. You can see reports on the success of businesses post Groupon ads. Not a very reliable marketing tactic. If I were running someone’s SEO campaign, I would advise them not only to steer clear from Groupon because of the detriment to SEO, but to business in general.

  2. David on

    I’d agree with Josh, short term it can be great for your business but long term you are giving margin away. Maybe this company should of put procedures into place to ensure that their website was capable of handling all that traffic – if they knew they were going out on a national advertising campaign, they should of put server capacity it place surely.

  3. Did you ever get your pillows?! I ordered 2 on the 27/10/2011 – still waiting!

    Got an email on the 03/11/11 with this: “This email is to assure you that your order is being dispatched next week and you will receive your personal tracking number soon thereafter.”

    Then on the 06/12/2011 I get “Your order will be dispatched on or before the 16th of December, and you will receive your personal tracking number when your parcel is on its way. ”

    Companies really shouldn’t go on Groupon if they can’t cope with orders! Joke!

  4. what ever you do, DONT BUY FROM CLOUDS MEMORY FOAM.

    we purchased some items and never received them. we contacted trading standards who have tried to contact Clouds Memory Foam (registered name Wild Media Ltd.) who also have not been able to contact them.

    search the internet and you will find others who have also been ripped off. disappointingly, Group On are aware of their scams and are now selling their products in France after scamming the British

  5. I personally did receive the pillows I ordered… they did smell a little like a factory, but hey ho, I’m sure most new memory foam pillows have a wiff to them.

    I’d never considered that Clouds Memory Foam might actually be a media company “Wild Media Ltd” – I remember thinking at the time, and wondering if this was a business set-up on the spot specifically for group-on deals… Company Registration Date: 14/06/2010

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