Google has changed its search algorithm after it was discovered that companies who provided a bad service were getting higher priority on the site. The SundayTimes discovered how an online merchant justified abusive behaviour towards customers on the grounds that it got him more hits on the search-engine.
The Times article highlighted the experience of Clarabelle Rodriguez, a customer of a site called DecorMyEyes.com. The site owner Vitaly Borker attacked Rodriguez after she disputed a credit-card charge for a purchase of eyeglasses that appeared to be counterfeit. Borker claimed that he enjoyed negative publicity about his company on consumer advocacy Web sites because it improved his ranking within Google search results.
Google said that it had decided to incorporate some notion of business ethics into the hundreds of signals that make up the Google algorithm. It had developed an algorithmic solution which detects the merchant from the Times article along with hundreds of other merchants that, in our opinion, provide a extremely poor user experience.
"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," Singhal wrote.