Google to blacklist bad businesses

Google has started blacklisting websites that screw over customers, after the New York Times exposed an embarrassing loop-hole in the search giant’s method of ranking.

The article revealed how a website called DecorMyEyes.com treated customers badly to purposely egg on bad reviews and comments, which created link-backs to the website, and improved its rank in search engines.

Google said in its blog that it was “horrified” to read about peoples’ experience with DecorMyEyes, and immediately put together a team to look for an algorithmic solution to this loop-hole.

“That team developed an initial algorithmic solution, implemented it, and the solution is already live,” Google said in its blog.  “I am here to tell you that being bad is, and hopefully will always be, bad for business in Google’s search results.”

Google claims its algorithm can now detect websites that provide extremely poor user experience, but it did not go into detail about how the algorithm evaluates these websites – for fear of informing people how to game its system.

I am definitely in favor of Google punishing sketchy websites, but being too sensitive to all forms of negative criticism could open a whole new loop-hole: allowing competitors to blacklist one another by spreading false complaints and poor customer reviews across the Web.  Hopefully Google’s new algorithm understands how to tell the difference between genuine reviews, and fabricated spam.

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