Does Google reward negative behaviour?
Let’s think about this – Rebecca Black is getting a lot of bad attention of late. In fact she has the honour of having the most hated video on youtube. Her song ‘Friday’ is being branded as the worst song in the history of music. If her song is the worst song ever then why is it ranking? That’s right, Google has never been able to distinguish the difference between a positive and negative link. For example, if I think a website sucks and I write a blog talking about how bad a site is (with a link), there is no way Google can read between the lines and comprehend that I am linking to the site to show my visitors how bad it is. In the eyes of Google a link is a link… end of.
Google loves hot topics, if a video has millions of dislikes, they’ll show it. If a video gets no reaction at all, they’ll bury it. (**reference** Rebecca Black). Well what does this mean for your business? How can you utilise this to get higher rankings in Google?
We know that social signals are now factored into search results so what happens if I randomly tell someone that they suck? After all, the more mentions you get on Twitter the more sway you have, which means higher rankings. right? I decided to experiment. I set up a Twitter account, picked 2 completely random strangers (with high powered Twitter accounts) and sent them a little bit of random negativity. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a nice guy, I’m always sending out nice tweets and almost never get a response. A part of me wants this experiment to fail, yet still very curious to see if I get any responses.
Here is what I sent.
Almost immediately I got responses. WOW, people actually responded to this nonsense. That’s two mentions from high powered people in a matter of minutes. I never get this far being nice. Being the nice guy that I am I decided to send them a message back explaining things.
Now there are two ways they can react to this. A.) This guy is a complete nutter (and they never respond again). Or B.) They accept the apology and are intrigued, and want to find out more. Either way the damage has already been done, I got the attention I was looking for and in the eyes of Googlebot it’s a win.
Which gets me wondering… Will Google eventually be able to determine good links from bad ones? Is this a massive flaw in the algorithm? Of course this should never be used as an SEO strategy whatsoever, but use my experiment as a way of opening up your mind to new ways of getting those hard to get links. Maybe you’ll read this and come up with a new way of thinking outside the box. Get noticed, challenge someone (in a friendly manner), do something that warrants a response.
PS- Just got a response back. Bingo!