40% of Top UK Companies Affected by Negative Search PR

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Negative PR on web affecting 40% of top UK companies
Story Text:

According to an e-consultancy report, pointed out by Nick Wilsdon, 40% of top UK companies are affected by negative commentary coming up in Google and other Search engines for their brands and products.

According to web guru Jakob Nielsen, for most brands their Google search page is their “home” page, as far as Internet users are concerned. Research shows that more people visit “Ford” on Google than visit the Ford home page. But for many top UK brands their Google search results are dominated by negative commentary, insults, misinformation, or systematic campaigns against them.

We've talked about this being a potentially lucrative area for talented seo's in the past, has anyone actually done any work involving eliminating such top 10 results?


Was involved in a project to

Was involved in a project to do something similar about 3 years ago.

A clients SERPs were dominated by sites selling fake versions of their branded products. We set up sites to knock out the bootleggers on the brand terms.

Happens quite often

I have worked on several projects like that over the years. They can be rather challenging, and often the single one thing that is most request by the companies is to just have their listing above all the trash.

One very memorable job I had, I worked with a very a popular restaurant whoses location and building was the site of some imfamous stories of ghosts, dead people, and bank robbers. Some ole coot still haunted the halls and rooms of the place supposedly. All these parapsychologists/whackos put up endless website after website of reports about seeing ghosts at the restaurant. This prompted people to get scared and stop coming to the restuarant. The owners were mad and wanted to rank #1 for their name and bury those pages with other good info about the restaurants. Thats what we did and took up the top 10 with quality listing and reviews, articles and such about the restuarant and things improved dramatically for their image.


Aaron has an interesting

Aaron has an interesting take on negative serps worth reading...

Sometimes it works in their favour!

I couldn't let this slip by without adding my two cents worth.

A couple of years ago when I worked at Weboptimiser we were doing some optimisation work for a major broadband ISP.

In that particular case, it was clear that the large number of unhappy customers who made their views public on the web in various forums etc. and linked to the main website, actually helped the company in question to reach the top of the SERPs for the most competitive phrases.

Obviously somebody taking the time to read around would still have been negatively impacted by what people were saying. However, those who made there decisions after just a quick search on Google would only have seen the corporate website.

Thus, there is certainly some truth in the saying all publicitiy is good publicity, at least where link popularity is concerned ;)

>> when I worked at Weboptimiser

Goddam, another one....
Me too

Good point MTWB however the

Good point MTWB however the knowledge of those out to attack the brand is an important factor. The SEO/web savvy know the power of a good title and thoughtful anchor text. They are clever enough to link to to the negative site rather than the company site directly. This of course is also a natural effect of trackback/referencing but many people understand googlebombing.

There's also a significant difference between some deeper forum links and 'Company X rips you off' as a title above the fold. Already some consumer groups operate in this way as well as bloggers. I expect to see a lot more of this and increasingly more organised.

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