BP Buys Top Google Result for “Oil Spill”

June 9th, 2010 by Ted Huffman

BP has purchased sponsored links that appear at the top of Google and Yahoo’s search results for terms like “oil spill” in its attempts to improve its public image in the wake of its massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP’s PR problems are severe. U.S. President Barack Obama said this morning that he’s talking to experts so he can determine “whose ass to kick.”

The outrage has been particularly clear on the web, where a fake Twitter account was set up to mock BP’s PR efforts, and nearly half a million Facebook users have rallied behind “boycott BP” pages. One design firm even put together a Firefox extension that blots out all the web’s mentions of BP with oil stains.

Companies buy sponsored links (which are clearly labeled as such) at the top of search results so their side of the story is the first a member of the public sees when he or she searches for information. The links at the top of the Yahoo and Google results link to BP’s “Gulf of Mexico Response” page, which hosts articles and videos explaining how BP is trying to resolve the environmental crisis.

See more at: http://mashable.com/2010/06/08/bp-oil-spill-google/

About Ted Huffman

Ted Huffman is a founder and Managing Director at Ionic Media. Previously, he was Director of Internal Applications and Technology Planning at Overture Services. While at Overture, he oversaw the strategic planning and execution of all Technology projects and led the development of the company's multi-million dollar suite of internal systems. Together, these systems manage all Overture accounts, advertisers, balances, and editorial processing. Ted was the primary designer and architect of this suite of applications, which has been patented in the United States, Europe and China. Prior to Overture, Ted was a manager with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) in London. He specialized in IT strategy, and designing large-scale systems for financial institutions and retail companies. Previously, he was a consultant for Intel. Ted has an MA from California State University and a BA from Georgetown College.