Earlier this week New York Times published a horror story that centered around a villainous merchant’s strategy of harassing customers to gain search visibility on Google search results.
The gist of merchant’s strategy is bad/negative reviews on the web means more links to his site and therefore more prominent in search results. Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullian digged deep into Google results and asked why not Google show reviews in search results for merchant. Google already does this for product search results.
Google acted quickly on the story and even tweaked its search algorithm so that merchants with bad user experience will be penalized in Google search results. Announcing the tweak Google said “Being bad to your customers is bad for business“.
Google explored multiple options before coming with the algorithmic solution.Without getting into details of what changes it made, Google added that the new solution detected the merchant reported in NYT and hundreds of other merchants “provide extremely poor user experience” and therefore will not come prominently in the search results. Google further added that
The algorithm we incorporated into our search rankings represents an initial solution to this issue, and Google users are now getting a better experience as a result.