Search Rankings Plummet in Light of New Algorithm

December 3, 2010

When Vitaly Borker woke up Thursday morning, he probably couldn’t believe what he was not seeing. Namely not showing up anywhere near the top of a Google search for “eyeglasses.”

For all the dissing of print journalism these days, there apparently is still something left to “the power of the press.” Almost immediately after the New York Times story about Borker and appeared, Google went into “algorithmic mode” (that’s “google” for public relations), fixing things so that complaints and negative feedback about a business like Borker’s wouldn’t propel it to Google prominence.

On its blog, Google actually denied the basic assumption of the Times’ piece, noting  “the merchant in the story wasn’t really ranking because of links from customer complaint websites. In fact, many consumer community sites such as Get Satisfaction added a simple attribute called rel=nofollow to their links. The rel=nofollow attribute is a general mechanism that allows….”


But the upshot is that nevertheless, the company performed some of that mathematical Google voodoo that they do so well, and today has dropped from showing up on the first page on a relevant Google search to out of the top 20.

Meanwhile, continues seemingly obliviously on, in a Bizarro universe. The site cheerfully offers a “100% satisfaction guarantee” and actually solicits and posts testimonials (positive), and showcases videos (in suspiciously similar quality and delivery) of ecstatic customers. The only hint that something is amiss is in the FAQ section, where the “We have been in the press” link leads to an error message stating “The resource you are looking for has been removed…”

Photo courtesy of landersen.

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