This Monday you may have heard the story of Clarabelle Rodriguez and her unbelievably horrible and at times, scary experience with DecorMyEyes.com. If you didn’t hear exactly what happened, check out this piece from the New York Times, it will blow you away.
In short, Ms. Rodriguez experienced some incredible abuse at the hands of the site she was attempting purchase glasses from. Over charges, counterfeit product, and abusive language eventually developed into threats and someone even impersonating Ms. Rodriguez to her own credit card company.
The person administering the abuse? The owner, Tony Russo. What he had to say next wasn’t as graphic and threatening as his previous emails and posts, but just as sinister.
“I just wanted to let you guys know that the more replies you people post, the more business and the more hits and sales I get. My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement.”
He fully admitted to purposely generating negative reviews because it was helping his SEO and driving up his rank on Google and overall sales. Despite his site having almost completely negative reviews and poor customer sentiment, DecorMyEyes was ranking first under a number of keyword searches for glasses. Since this story got national coverage, Google stepped in and showed that this type of practice will not be tolerated.
As of yesterday, Google changed their search algorithm to punish sites that ‘provide an extremely poor user experience’. They believe this will prevent this type of behavior from happening again in the future and they will continue to tweak their algorithm to provide searchers with the best results, hopefully making them free from lunatics running sites like Russo.
The intent seems to come from a good place, but does Google have too much power? Do you want them looking out for you like this? Let us know what you think about this story and about Google’s response. Keep those customers happy!