back to article Google ends 'do be evil, if you want a top ranking' policy

Google has responded to a New York Times story which revealed the search engine was rewarding websites that have dozens of complaints and negative reviews with high rankings. This is because of the way the search engine rates sites according to how many other sites link to them. First the back story: the paper followed the …


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  1. Woodgie

    You're kidding me right?

    His surname is Borker?


    What do you call it when your name reflects what you do?

    1. Blain Hamon

      I'm guessing

      ...that I'll see half a dozen similar posts above mine, but posting just in case. It's called nominative determinism.

    2. John H Woods Silver badge

      Well ...

      ... try googling nominative determinism. Best ever example is

      Br J Urol. 1977 Apr;49(2):173-6.

      The urethral syndrome: experience with the Richardson urethroplasty.

      Splatt AJ, Weedon D.

    3. Pierson

      re: You're kidding me right?

      "What do you call it when your name reflects what you do?"

      Nominative Determinism, according to the Feedback column in New Scientist.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    merchants that, in our opinion, provide an extremely poor user experience

    Let the Microsoft thumping begin!

    Vista, Millenium are the starter for 10

  3. Andy Barker

    Sue for loss of business?

    Do ya think Borker will try and sue Google for loss of business? Now that would be ironic!

    1. asdf

      umm no

      How about the merchant face fraud charges and have all his accounts frozen? The guy is not only a crook but is arrogant enough to admit to the media. Oh wait the government is too busy going after Wikileaks to care.

    2. Ben Tasker

      Could be a good move

      All that press coverage = extra inbound links

  4. theSensibleGeek


    So now Google tells us what is "good" and "bad"...

    Honestly, if you base your purchase decision on Google search rankings, you deserve to get fake glasses.

    1. Ian 40
      Black Helicopters

      Google Santa?

      'So now Google tells us what is "good" and "bad"...'

      Google is clearly developing a "Santa" algorithm to find out the correct "naughty" and "nice" score for the world's children, this is the just the 1st step toward the total Googlification of Christmas....

  5. squilookle


    Did I correctly read that this woman picked a company purely because they were at the top of Google, without doing any further research?

    Maybe I'm too paranoid, but I always go by previous experience, word of mouth, or if I'm really pushed, I read as many reviews as I can from different sites before commiting.

    Google is just a starting point, it isn't particularly trustworthy beyond that...

    1. John Tserkezis


      "Did I correctly read that this woman picked a company purely because they were at the top of Google, without doing any further research?"

      Yep, customers are idiots. This is pretty much the philosophy used for scammers selling wrist bands that give you super powers and such.

      The idiot customers go no further than the primary site that promises the earth, without actually learning everyone else hates their guts for good reason.

      A fool and their money are soon parted... As the saying goes.

      1. bobbles31

        To be fair....

        this is the philosophy used by most/all legitimate businesses too. Banks in the UK for example treat their customers like shit happily taking money from peoples accounts as if it is their own and yet people still have bank accounts and worse still, refuse to switch bank accounts to a less shitty provider. And don't get me started on the big retailers who provide shitty service selling what they have not what you want and STILL people buy from them. I'm looking at you particularly Dixons/DSG/Whatever the hell you are calling yourself at the moment, but pretty much any of the high street names and most of the back street ones behave this way.

  6. Ef'd


    When does Google release it's new (beta!) GBB service?

    That's Google Business Bureau for all of you who won't see it coming.

  7. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    WTF is this story about?

    Can I get my neighbour removed from the phone directory please? His dog keeps shitting on my lawn.

    Google has to be extremely careful, if they start doing that they will be held responsible for everything they list, including all kinds of fraud and bamboozlement. The Recording Ass. of America probably won't have the balls to go for them, but I bet some others will give it a go.

  8. Patrick R
    Big Brother

    Who's evil ?

    Today I have recommendations for "The Register" videos on my YouTube screen. "These recommendations are based on your watch history, shared videos and other channel subscriptions." Got money for this ?

  9. Tom Masterson

    I'm not laughing...

    An algorithm that decides if you're 'good or evil' - nah, I can foresee any problems there :/

  10. Richard 120

    I'd say he's

    Smart for figuring it out, stupid for talking about it.

    That's vanity for you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It wasn't vanity

      He's raised "there's no such thing as bad publicity" to an art form. He's reached the peak of his art with the NY Times article.

  11. Neoc

    Who is Russo?

    "Rodriguez ordered glasses from the site, which turned out to be fake. When she complained, the site's owner, one Vitaly Borker, was first abusive and then threatening. When the dispute escalated Russo sent Rodriguez pictures of her apartment building and emails saying: "I AM WATCHING YOU"."

    So we are told about Rodriguez, we are introduced to Vitaly Borker... and then all of a sudden this "Russo" person is introduced as though we should know who he/she is.

    Who is s/he?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They've been a bit quick with the cut&paste

      Read the NY Times article. Same person.

  12. Rhod

    ...and you did exactly what he wanted:

    - you mentioned his website, which is similar to

    and you mentioned the two keywords he wanted you to mention in conjunction with his website (spacing and dyslexia deliberate) -

    D e s i n g e r E y e g a l s s e s


    D e s i n g e r E y e w a e r

    Not all search engines are Google, so you're still supporting him as described in the article even if Google isn't ranking him as highly any more, which remains to be seen. I'll bet he or his ilk find a new way to game the system very very soon.

    Why give the moron the oxygen of publicity?

    1. William Towle

      Re: ...and you did exactly what he wanted:

      "Why give the moron the oxygen of publicity?"

      I'm not happy with him having the oxygen of oxygen!

      // Linda Smith RIP

  13. Ralph B
    Thumb Up


    This guy is the BOFH's eCommerce cousin.

    Someone send a link to Mr Travaglia.

  14. Bilgepipe


    "...Google said it had '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.'"

    I suspect this is a guy in a room checking review sites, not some intergalactic mathematical algorithm as Google would have us believe....

  15. Jamie Kitson


    > No where they post their negative comments, it helps my return on investment.


    1. HP Cynic


      I think that was meant to say "Now when they post...."

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm too lazy to google it..but...

    Is there a firefox plugin that modifies google queries to include user specified options and don't require logging in first?

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