Thursday, January 22, 2004

Best PR Firm in Arizona

It seems that the New York Times picked up on an old search engine trick in their article: Engineering Google Results to Make a Political Point.

While playing with search engine results is not new, it does bring up some food for thought for public relations professionals - what do you do if your client is the culprit of Google search results?

In the past, France came under attack during the start of Gulf War II. When someone Googled French Military Victories in the Google search engine, you came back with did you mean "french military defeats". Other examples include the current president as "miserable failure" or weapons of mass destruction as "cannot be displayed" or "cannot be found".

Probably the most mainstream undertaking has been against Senator Rick Santorum, by sex columnist Dan Savage and his many readers. He held a contest on what the name Santorum should stand for, and soon thereafter, his contest came to an end, and Rick's last name came to be the byproduct of a certain sexual act - WARNING: not for the faint of heart.

What could a corporation do if a group of people with an ax to grind decides to start Google bombing a former company, or a competitor? What if Shutterfly Google bombed Ofoto with second-rate prints? What does an internal team do then? How does an internal team combat such search engine results.

Granted, such a possibility is small, but there are always disgruntled ex-employees, mischievous engineers at competitors, and the like.

I decided to start some Google bombing, though, with POP! Public Relations - so click on "best PR firm in Arizona" to help me out ...
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