Posted by & filed under Accounting Principles, Advanced Accounting, All Articles, Auditing, Cost Accounting, Financial Accounting, Financial Reporting and Analysis, Financial Statement Analysis, Fraud Accounting, IFRS, Intermediate Accounting, International Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Uncategorized.

Any publicity, even negative publicity, means a win with Google’s ranking algorithms. This New York Times story details a retailer known as who first hired a search optimization company to burnish the site’s reputation by writing positive things about the company, but then stumbled on a better “free” success strategy of providing poor customer service and racking up negative complaints to  push the company higher in Google search results, leading to even greater sales.


1. The New York Times article focused on Google, but what does Sullivan say about other search engines?

2. According to the articles, is right? Could all those bad reviews be helping sales?  Discuss costs and benefits, both long-term and short-term.

3. The original insight behind page rank used in search engines came from academia, where the importance of a paper can be measured by the citation index, i.e. how many other papers refer to it. Brainstorm and discuss ways which make more sense for displaying higher ranking or hits from a performance evaluation standpoint.


Segal, D. (2010).  A Bully Finds A Pulpit on the Web. The New York Times, November 28. (Retrievable online at

Sullivan, D. (2010). Google’s “Gold Standard” Search Results Take Big Hit In New York Times Story, Search Engine Land, November 28. (Retrievable online at