Google says it has updated its algorithm so that making your customers hate you so they complain about you on other sites and boost your SEO no longer works. The move to soak up the “black Google juice” comes after a big NYT profile/investigation of the owner of an online store that was stoking customers to hate him because the inbound links from their complaints on other sites boosted his rankings in Google Search Results.
Google, as ever, was circumspect about what exactly they changed, lest people try to use the info to game the system. But they did say that after being “horrified” to read about what this guy was doing, they “developed an algorithmic solution which detects the merchant from the Times article along with hundreds of other merchants that, in our opinion, provide an extremely poor user experience. 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.”
Google also stressed that this was “an edge case and not a widespread problem in our search results.”
Being bad to your customers is bad for business [Official Google Blog] (Thanks to MercuryPDX!)
Harassing Customers As A Business Model