Are you worried that a negative story about your website that has been doing the rounds of online channels will ultimately harm your site’s standing on Google?
Such worries are only but natural. After all, when you look at how strongly Google advocates the cause of user experience, you are bound to be concerned when there is talk about how users of your website are not getting the kind of experience that they are looking for. In such times, you are concerned if all the bad press that your website is picking up will affect your website’s rankings on Google.
In response to a question asked by a user on Twitter, George Sullivan of Google has let it out that Google doesn’t care about the bad press or flak coming to your website in terms of ranking. The sentiment of users, whether good or bad, doesn’t matter in the ranking criteria. So, while users heaping praise on your website is not going to improve your rankings, their criticism will not harm your site either.
There are times when websites are linked to a number of sources due to negative press floating around online. In such cases, Google will recognize the huge number of sources linking to the website, but it will ignore the sentiment or the reason for those links. In other words, negative press can actually benefit your website, simply because Google identifies the links but ignores the reason.
Like everything else, there is a down and up side to this. The downside is that unscrupulous websites will not be bothered about what online users feel or think about their site. The upside is that good and reputed websites will not have to pay the price of being unfavorably and unjustly panned.