Pushing the “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” mentality to the extreme, an online retailer allegedly stalked and threatened customers in order to boost his search engine visibility. The seller reportedly went to such extremes that federal authorities stepped in and arrested him on charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, making interstate threats and cyberstalking.
The New York Times reports the man, who sold eyeglasses online, threatened sexual assault against a customer and sent her a picture of her front door to intimidate her. The Times had reported earlier that the reason for the seller’s behavior, other than outright creepiness, was to generate bad buzz to boost his profile on Google search engine rankings.
Google responded by announcing it has changed its algorithm, causing searches to bury companies that provide customers with “an extremely poor user experience.”
Threatening Online Seller Arrested [The New York Times]