The NYT has a story about a merchant with an unusual marketing strategy: be mean to customers. Any publicity, even negative publicity, means a win with Google's ranking algorithms, illustrating the fallacy of Google's "gold standard" search results.
In it, David Segal examines the woeful customer service record racked up by online eyeglasses retailer "Decor My Eyes." Customers have been treated rudely, hassled by email and phone calls. Police have been called. Credit card companies contacted. But owner Vitaly Borker, speaking amazingly candidly in the article, finds that a key to his success:
"Hello, My name is Stanley with DecorMyEyes.com," the post began. "I just wanted to let you guys know that the more replies you people post, the more business and the more hits and sales I get. My goal is NEGATIVE advertisement."
It's all part of a sales strategy, he said. Online chatter about DecorMyEyes, even furious online chatter, pushed the site higher in Google search results, which led to greater sales. He closed with a sardonic expression of gratitude: "I never had the amount of traffic I've now since my 1st complaint. I'm in heaven."
That would sound like schoolyard taunting but for this fact: The post is two years old. Between then and now, hundreds of additional tirades have been tacked to Get Satisfaction, ComplaintsBoard.com, ConsumerAffairs.com and sites like them.
"Stanley' is an alternative name Borker has used occasionally online. Continuing further in the story, there's more about how he came across what he claims is his success strategy.
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