Google has made changes to its algorithm to bring companies with the best reviews to the top of searches and lower rankings for those with poor customer relations. According to Google, the change was made in response to a New York Times article about Decor My Eyes, a shady ecommerce business that was receiving excellent SEO results through receiving lots of negative reviews after deliberately abusing customers and through spam and paid links.
Google makes its changes in a 'squeaky wheel' priority fashion, focusing on problems as they arise. Since the New York Times published the article on positive rankings from bad reviews Google made it a priority to make searches more relevant, giving people better results.
They have been focusing recently on local searches for bricks and mortar businesses such as restaurants, bringing the most relevant local results to the top of the search. Now reviews are being considered, this is definitely a step in the right direction, especially as businesses with bad reviews are being penalised. Google is still considering introducing user reviews and ratings alongside search results.