Even those outside of the online marketing community were waxing SEO and such last week, when The New York Times (perhaps you’ve heard of it?) published an article about DecorMyEyes, an online eyeglasses retailer based in Brooklyn with a reputation for gnarly customer service.
Knockoff products? Sure. Fraudulent charges? Uh-huh. Threats and harassment? Yessir. And all over luxury eyewear.
Understandably, consumer review websites doth overflow with warnings and complaints re: DecorMyEyes. Bad for business, right?
Maybe not. In the article, the owner of DecorMyEyes, Vitaly Borker, explained the NYT that his company was actually benefiting from the negative press, as it was pushing his name up on Google. It’s like the SEO version of that old expression — “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”
Like every part of the Google algorithm, whether or not the search engine factors in customer feedback into their rankings is rather mysterious, although the industry consensus is, um, probably not.
Still, Borker’s evil plan would only work for shoppers searching for keywords alone; run the company name through a search engine, and the results page practically explodes with DO NOT SHOP-aganda.
In response to the article, Google has penalized DecorMyEyes and resolved to investigate similar issues. Google reps reported the site was the exception, not the rule, in such matters. Borker was also arrested post-article, by the way, for fraud.
The moral of the story? For consumers, thou shalt Google the name of any company you’re (err, thou art) considering doing business with. And for search engine marketing folks — as usual – it’s always good to stay above board.