This is a prime example of why you should never sit around and rely solely on website rankings to grow your business, recently posted on the Google blog a story about a “bad” website online that was growing in power and rankings as each negative piece of editorial about the business found its way into the search results from angry customers.
The story first made waves on the The New York Times website about an online business which sold high end bifocals and glasses. The owner of the business had an online strategy that actually stemmed around being extremely rude to customers in the hopes of pulling in new links and blog posts sending even more traffic to the website. It actually worked quite well (short term) because the website was ranking very well due to all the negative exposure and links being generated naturally, Google wasn’t going to stand by this for very long.
From the Google Blog:
“We were horrified to read about Ms. Rodriguez’s dreadful experience. Even though our initial analysis pointed to this being an edge case and not a widespread problem in our search results, we immediately convened a team that looked carefully at the issue. That team developed an initial algorithmic solution, implemented it, and the solution is already live. I am here to tell you that being bad is, and hopefully will always be, bad for business in Google’s search results.”
This is a great example of looking for a loop hole with SEO, finding it and having short winded results ultimately leading to complete and utter failure from a search engine ranking standpoint. Online businesses should be taking a marketing approach that allows their website and brand to build well into the future and not just for a short period of time. Google is really all about having the most positive and impactful user experience and their actions are justified. This means finding businesses that should be found in order to help the community better achieve their shopping or research goals.
“We can’t say for sure that no one will ever find a loophole in our ranking algorithms in the future. We know that people will keep trying: attempts to game Google’s ranking, like the ones mentioned in the article, go on 24 hours a day, every single day. That’s why we cannot reveal the details of our solution—the underlying signals, data sources, and how we combined them to improve our rankings—beyond what we’ve already said. We can say with reasonable confidence that being bad to customers is bad for business on Google. And we will continue to work hard towards a better search.”
Very rarely does Google make an algorithm tweak from an isolated incident but it is nice to see Google take action against this website. This type of behavior from an online business can really hurt Google’s reputation online from a usability standpoint.