Google has announced it has made updates to the way in which its algorithms decide search rakings in order to tackle companies that engage in negative search engine optimisation.

This decision comes following a recent New York Times article that reported on one merchant who had deliberately used extremely negative publicity in order to boost his business' position in search engine results pages.

New York-based glasses salesman Vitaly Borker told the newspaper a vast amount of negative feedback and customer complaints had been picked up by the web company's trackers as links to his site, which resulted in a higher ranking for the services he offered.

On its official blog, Google stated it was "horrified" to read of the account and immediately developed a fix to detect merchants that offer extremely poor customer service, which is already live.

"The algorithm we incorporated into our search rankings represents an initial solution to this issue and users are now getting a better experience as a result," the organisation stated.

Although it stressed this type of marketing was not believed to be a widespread problem, it reminded internet marketing service providers that "being bad to customers is bad for business on Google".

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