google logo

Google wants to protect searchers from bad merchants and could potentially drop rankings for websites that have a history of bad customer service later this year.

The news came during the “How to Rank Better in Google & Bing” session at the SXSW conference in Austin. Google’s chief web spam fighter Matt Cutts responded to concerns one merchant had about bad competitors outranking him.

Cutts said:

We have a potential launch later this year, maybe a little bit sooner, looking at the quality of merchants and whether we can do a better job on that, because we don’t want low quality experience merchants to be ranking in the search results.

One concern is the growth of fake reviews and how they may affect the rank of a merchant, but Cutts addressed this issue saying:

We are trying to ask ourselves, are there other signals that we can use to spot whether someone is not a great merchant, and if we can find those, and we think that they are not all that spammable, then we’re more than happy to use those.