Google’s feeble attempt to prevent scam businesses from appearing at the top of natural search fails.
By now, you should have already read the much talked about NYT’s article that blames Google for allowing ‘bad businesses’ to rank higher than ‘legitimate’ ones. Well, the folks over at Google must not have liked that story too much because less than one week later, they are stating that they’ve solved the problem.
“In the last few days we 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.” – Amit Singhal, Google Fellow
Well go on with your bad self, Google. Nice to see you jump to action when it’s your name getting bad press. But let’s not just take their word at face value. I already verified the search for ‘lafonts glasses’ came back with pretty clean results, but let’s check a bit deeper, shall we?
Referring back to the NYT story, Mr. Vitaly Borker blames Google for his high ranking, agreeing with the reporter that something’s wrong:
“Look,” he says, grabbing an iPad off a small table. He types “Christian Audigier,” the name of a French designer, and “glasses” into Google. DecorMyEyes pops up high on the first page.“Why am I there?” he asks, sounding both peeved and amazed. “I don’t belong there. I actually outrank the designers own website”
Looks like we found a good place to start the investigation.
hmmm..looks like Christian’s site is still pretty low down there. But on the plus side, I don’t see decormyeyes.com listed anymore. I guess popularglasses.com must be legit – let’s check their reviews!
hmmm…kind of hard to tell from these mixed reviews. Let’s just check if they’ve had any bad reviews from ‘that site‘. (I refuse to link to them or even mention them by name, but I will show you a picture).
well, my my my! The bad press on these guys fills up the whole first page of search results, yet they rank 1st in the SERPs when I type in ‘christian audigier glasses’. What’s that I smell?
Now, I’m going to try and be somewhat fair here. Let’s try this again with a more recognizable brand – say, Coach?
No popularglasses.com listings here – #1 belongs to go-optic.com so let’s see what we get when we look them up:
Hmmm…I guess Google shouldn’t have spoke so soon, eh?
As much as I love to hate Google, I have a hard time blaming them for every bad site that appears high in the rankings. While I feel bad for the lady that got ripped off, the simple truth is that users need to become more discerning before making a purchase from a company they know little about.
Why the Internet Crime Complaint Center doesn’t act on shutting down sites like these is beyond me. But no matter, as the Feds have already started siezing domain names for sites that have allegedly violated copyright law. NOW I feel better.
Is Google really interested in cleaning up its search results or is it a lost cause? What do you think?