At the heart of Google is an "algorithm," set of rules about how to evaluate websites to display relevant results for your search.
Companies who've spent a lot of time and money to beat Google's system to ensure placement near the top of results are bitter about the latest changes diminishing their likelihood of capturing clicks.
How to Cheat Google
Companies who find their websites on the top of Google's search results get a huge traffic boost, a traffic boost that can translate into millions of dollars in sales. Not surprisingly, this has led some companies to look for ways to game the system.
|JCPenney Did It... Temporarily|
Audio Embed: WNYC's On The Media 2/26/11,
Host: Bob Garfield, with David Segal (NY Times)