The New York Times recently ran a story about a woman terrorized by an online company she bought from and tried returning eyeglasses to. The company, DecorMyEyes, was placed in prime Google search location – at the top, but under the sponsored links.
Google caught wind of the story and in response will be altering how its search algorithm works. In an interview with the NYT, Vitaly Borker, owner and operator of DecorMyEyes, candidly discussed how he used bad press to drive business. He found that the more users ranted about their experience with his company online (and rant they did), the higher his site appeared in Google search results.
“I’ve exploited this opportunity because it works. No matter where they post their negative comments, it helps my return on investment. So I decided, why not use that negativity to my advantage?”
Apparently, Borker failed to realize an article in a little known publication called The New York Times would catch Google’s attention. But it did, and he can now kiss his search result status goodbye.
In a blog post today, Google announced it would now be adding user experience to its ranking algorithm, and sites that can’t deliver will start to fall. The search giant was also quick to explain that this was a somewhat isolated incident, but that the solution is now live.
Google was careful to explain in the blog post that there is no permanent fix for this type of thing, and that those who want to manipulate the system will find loopholes. For this reason, the company decided not to include any specific information on how its algorithm was changed.
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