Using Google to Kill Your Online Competition



Ok, you've probably seen the story about the New York online eyeglass retailer who uses negative sentiment online to increase his Google ranking.
If not, jump over here really quick.
Pretty lame right?
Google has a response: 
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/being-bad-to-your-customers-is-bad-for.html
Here is the meat of it:
Instead, 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.
Apparently, they do sentiment analysis, but somehow can't find a way to use that for online business? REALLY?
Elsewhere, they are guessing that they will be using the merchant reviews that Google has already amassed as part of the algorithm.
What does this say when Google won't reveal HOW they are going to block not only this specific retailer, but "hundreds of other merchants that, in [Google's]opinion, provide an extremely poor user experience."
Want to knock out your competition? Overwhelm their blogs, ratings, rankings, etc with NEGATIVE comments. Don't think it's viable? How can it not be when Google won't tell you otherwise?
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