Retailers got a taste of the power of Google this month, as the search site changed the way it combs through the Web, knocking some companies in its rankings – and in the wallet.
Google’s November update tries to crack down on some ways that companies game the search engine – for example, by embedding keywords in their pages to get prime placement in search results.
A tiny bookseller from Peoria, Ill., who loads his page with hidden text containing popular titles, for instance, could appear next to giants such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com.
Google continues to tweak its ranking formula, trying to produce the most “authoritative” sites, not the ones with the best tricks. And during this past week, just in time to kick off the holiday shopping season, those changes have bumped many retailers off the top of the heap.
“Small companies rely on Google rankings for most of their business,” said Serge Thibodeau, who runs a company called Rank for Sales that customizes retail Web sites to improve their placement. “Many, many people are angry about this.” NY Post Reports