Google has already acknowledged that search rankings aren’t impacted by off-site sentiment. Well, to put that another way, upbeat feedback about a particular site won’t have its ranking position influenced. Accordingly, adverse buzz around a website won’t spoil its rankings too.
Let’s assume that an online resource is suddenly bombarded with tons of negative links. Perhaps a popular online resource is being heavily criticized for its recent UI changes, etc. In this case, Google will surely have the links recognized, although the search engine won’t recognize the online resource is being linked to due to something downbeat. So, in theory the website will derive the indisputable benefits of the link signal without being affected by the negative sentiment.
Of course, it’s one of the potential shortcomings of Google. It’s not capable of recognizing sentiment. However, it could be a positive thing if the business isn’t fairly criticized.