By Amy Lamare
Last week, Google announced that it has changed its search algorithm to make sure that merchants with a slew of negative ratings don’t rise to the top of the search results. Prior to this change, a company or person with a lot of negative ratings and comments would sit atop the search engine results due to the number of mentions they had. The need for Google to change how their algorithm works became clear when the New York Times ran a story about an online eyeglass store, DecorMyEyes.com. This merchant elicited negative reviews as a means of ensuring their company turned up at the top of Google’s search results.
DecorMyEyes.com owner Vitaly Borker used cyber bullying and fraud in order to gain high search engine results for his company. In the New York Times expose Borker was quoted as saying: “I’ve exploited this opportunity because it works. No matter where they post their negative comments, it helps my return on investment. So I decided, why not use that negativity to my advantage?”
Borker has been arrested on counts of cyber-bullying, making interstate threats and both mail and wire fraud. He has been accused of threatening his customers with obscenities and threats of stalking and violence. This case, according to Google, is the exception rather than the rule. Most companies are not out there bullying their customers and defrauding them in the hopes that the negative postings and comments about them will improve their search engine results. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
IBG – Internet Business Group is one of the industry’s leading providers of Reputation Management & Monitoring services for a number of reasons but two of the most important are: 1) IBG’s proprietary methodology is the best way of pushing back negative mentions of a client’s name or company’s name and restoring your ability to hold your head high with the integrity of your business restored; and 2) quite simply, this is a necessary service for all businesses today. People with an axe to grind, customers who had a negative experience, former employees with a chip on their shoulder – any one of these situations could result in negative comments being posted and hurting the bottom line of the company.
Why Google’s new search algorithm should be of such concern to companies is now not only will those negative mentions hurt a person or a company’s online reputation – but it will effectively push their business out of the search engine rankings altogether. Studies have shown that 90% of people never look past page three of Google’s search results. When Google applied this new algorithm to DecorMyEyes.com the merchant moved from page one of the search results to page seven. If a company is on page seven, they basically do not exist.
Google found it necessary to neutralize the effect that consumer complaint sites were having on search results. They sought to make sure that merchants and companies with bad reviews would not be rewarded with a high search engine ranking simply due to the amount of posts or frequency of posting. While this does make sense, what Google failed to consider is the case of so many – where their online reputations have taken a hit due to false or misleading information. Because of this, now more than ever, companies need to engage the services of a White Hat SEO and Reputation Management and Monitoring firm such as Internet Business Group. Without a team of Internet Experts working to ensure