This story in the New York Times still makes me ill, about an asshole using email assaults and shitty customer service to get more business.
This so-called “character” found a way to better business by rigging the SEO game: bad PR and negative reviews.
Possibly some of the most despicable marketing, worse than lying, stealing, cheating, swindling. What he’s done, according to the Times.
- Threaten and harass customers
- Cyber-stalk those who complain
- Bully those who don’t cave in
- Interfere with people’s credit card purchases
People posted their negative reviews of his business and he just laughed. Why? Link juice. SEO love. That’s right, the more comments and chatter about his terrible business, the higher his Google rank.
I feel safe calling him a douchebag and am glad to read in some of the comments that he may have to face legal consequences for his actions.
Is Google at fault?
Also mentioned in the piece is the “Google Algorithm,” which will become self-aware and kill us all in the next few years. Whatever.
Some say Google’s response was bad PR, but I think it’s an ethically slippery slope for Google to rig the rankings based on certain qualitative factors. Again who’d decide what gets ranked and how?
I don’t know nearly enough about web search but I do know that just because it’s on the Internetz, don’t make it true. Caveat emptor and all that shit. That said, it’d be nice if Google’s new Preview showed more of a composite of referring links, so searchers would see that half of the traffic was via consumer complaint sites.
Anyway, just an interesting story about a horrible fuckwit of a human being and bullshit in the name of SEO. Comments welcome, spam is not.