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BP buys 'oil spill,' related Internet search terms to manage message

MyOwnDrum

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BP buys 'oil spill,' related Internet search terms to manage message - CSMonitor.com

I'm disappointed in Google, and not surprised at BP.


Whether it’s a $50 million TV commercial blitz or BP CEO Tony Hayward snapping to a reporter that he wanted “his life back,” the company behind the nation’s worst oil disaster in history can’t seem to get its message right.

Now, the latest media misstep, according to media watchdogs and industry experts: the company has been buying up the top Internet search terms such as “oil spill” or “BP” – a move that places its corporate website at the top of search results pages.

“At minimum, this is in extremely poor taste in the midst of such a disaster,” says Lisa Graves, executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy. But more important, she says, “it’s highly likely” that the average Internet user doing a search on any of the key terms associated with this spill would mistake the paid link for a genuine source of real information.

“Most people assume when you do a search that the things that appear front and center are in some sense the most important,” says Fordham University media maven Paul Levinson. “The average person searching online isn’t aware of the fact that there are ways to manipulate the way things come up in searches,” he adds. The author of “New New Media” says he has never been comfortable with the idea that information placement was for sale on the Internet, adding, “Google ought to rethink its policy.”
 

apdst

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BmanMcfly

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Yeah! Damn Google for selling search terms. Oh, wait a minute. Aren't they in the business of selling search terms? Oh well, who cares, they've made enough money by now. I know, because Obama told me so.

This is ****ed up, I don't care if Obama bought SEC/Goldman Sachs search terms, or not. That's different!!
There's a difference between paying for a search term so when those terms come up that your links are at the top of the list... it's a different story when you're paying to have control over the first few pages because of specific search terms... that's effectively censorship given the percentage of people that exclusively search through google.

Why would you not care that your politicians are engaging in corrupt if not illegal activities??? Frankly, if you have a merger of government and corporate structures within the nation, falls in the definition of fascism. Though if you really don't care I don't see that would change anything in that regard.
 

Jucon

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I just did a search for "oil spill" on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, MSN.com, and Search.com and they all essentially gave me the same list of results... and frankly none of the results would ease people's negative feelings towards BP. The main thing that stood out was that BP.com/GulfOfMexicoResponce was on the top of every search and it was a sponsored link... but I rarely click on those sponsored links anyways.

I clicked this time though, and I see nothing wrong with BP giving people quick access to their response website.
 

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There's a difference between paying for a search term so when those terms come up that your links are at the top of the list... it's a different story when you're paying to have control over the first few pages because of specific search terms... that's effectively censorship given the percentage of people that exclusively search through google.

Why would you not care that your politicians are engaging in corrupt if not illegal activities??? Frankly, if you have a merger of government and corporate structures within the nation, falls in the definition of fascism. Though if you really don't care I don't see that would change anything in that regard.
Only the government can censor anything.
 

Zyphlin

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BP has some of the most enept and idiotic Public Relations people I think I have ever seen in my entire life. Everything they doing is so mindboggling stupid in such a common sense way that it astounds me they keep doing it.

You do not spend $50 million dollars on advertising while this is going on. You do not buy search terms to get your "see, we're not that bad" website on top when people look for this. You don't bitch and whine about needing "you're life back" when thousands of peoples lives are going to be ruined without likely a nice severance package being the worst thing they have to worry about.

Why?

Because if you don't think that people are going to find out how much you spent on the advertising, that you bought the links, and that you said the comment then you're idiots. In this day and age of the pervasiveness of information and media this stuff isn't going to stay unknown and once its heard the public backlash in regards to it will outweigh ANY benefit you'd get from it.

You want the best PR to do for this?

Get your CEO or a spokesman onto every show available. The Morning Shows, a interview with the big TV news magazines, speaking in news papers and actual paper magazines, writing an open letter on your website along with what you're doing and sending that out as a press release to the AP and other news organizations who will see a story there and essentially give you free advertising.

You go the free and personal route in every way you can while you try to fix this so that these kind of things where you're spending money on advertising while the tax payers are having to foot the bill for the issue aren't popping up.

Then, after its stopped and the cleanup is underway...THEN if you want to launch a major ad campaign saying you're sorry and this is what you're doing to imrpove things at BP and reach out to people you do it. At that point it may give you some good PR and help things, but not before.

These guys are ridiculous idiots.
 

Dezaad

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Google does not sell placement of search results. This story is so deceptive I am profoundly surprised it came from the Christian Science Monitor. They have (had?) one of the best reputations in journalism.

Notice that the author never says outright that Google is allowing BP to pay for placement. The article states that BP is paying for placement in search engines, then starts quoting another person saying "Google ought to rethink its policy". But, no one ever stated that Google was doing what the article said. Then, later in the article, they quote Google a representative basically stating that Google hasn't done anything illegal, as if it were admitting selling placement and lamely claiming legality as their only defense. To top it off, they again quote someone outside of Google stating that you can pay for placement in all search engines. This is true, depending on how you define your words. You can pay a marketing company to attempt to move your site up as far as possible in the rankings by optimizing your website to appear to be the most relevant for certain search terms. In that way, yes, you CAN pay for placement, but you won't be paying Google.

This is the kind of 'reporting' that one literally (and I do mean literally) expects in the National Enquirer. They use the same contextual arrangement of their quotes and facts to build a non-story into a story as this. The only difference is the subject matter: The NE insists that the subject be an affair or drug addiction or something.
 

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BP has some of the most enept and idiotic Public Relations people I think I have ever seen in my entire life. Everything they doing is so mindboggling stupid in such a common sense way that it astounds me they keep doing it.

You do not spend $50 million dollars on advertising while this is going on. You do not buy search terms to get your "see, we're not that bad" website on top when people look for this. You don't bitch and whine about needing "you're life back" when thousands of peoples lives are going to be ruined without likely a nice severance package being the worst thing they have to worry about.

Why?

Because if you don't think that people are going to find out how much you spent on the advertising, that you bought the links, and that you said the comment then you're idiots. In this day and age of the pervasiveness of information and media this stuff isn't going to stay unknown and once its heard the public backlash in regards to it will outweigh ANY benefit you'd get from it.

You want the best PR to do for this?

Get your CEO or a spokesman onto every show available. The Morning Shows, a interview with the big TV news magazines, speaking in news papers and actual paper magazines, writing an open letter on your website along with what you're doing and sending that out as a press release to the AP and other news organizations who will see a story there and essentially give you free advertising.

You go the free and personal route in every way you can while you try to fix this so that these kind of things where you're spending money on advertising while the tax payers are having to foot the bill for the issue aren't popping up.

Then, after its stopped and the cleanup is underway...THEN if you want to launch a major ad campaign saying you're sorry and this is what you're doing to imrpove things at BP and reach out to people you do it. At that point it may give you some good PR and help things, but not before.

These guys are ridiculous idiots.
That's right, in fact the CEO of BP ought to be personally down there in Louisianna seeing to it that something is done. He needs to show that he's not an ivory tower elitist.
 

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Why would anybody be mad at google about this? This is literally how they make money - selling ad space based on search terms and page content.
 

BmanMcfly

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Only the government can censor anything.
ok... maybe censor is the wrong word to use... but this is a type of censorship where people can pay to have any 'bad press' pushed to the 5th, 6th pages... knowing damn well that the average person doing a search will rarely look past the first page for the link they are looking for....

This does represent a high tech level of censorship in a sense... but then again, google is like a 'private property' where one can make their own rules... so I suppose the only alternative would be to deem google an untrustworthy search engine and to use an alternative search engine instead... like Startpage Search Engine
 

danarhea

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You know, there are 2 sides to this issue. Those who are environmentalists, and those whose slogan is "Drill, baby, drill". They have been so far apart on this issue, and frequently making it personal for each other in very nasty ways. I never dreamed that they could ever come together on the same side, but it is what I am seeing. The environmentalists are mad at BP for ruining the environment. The drillers are mad at BP for screwing over a message that drilling could be done without undue risk to the environment, and setting back drilling by possibly a generation. It is clear to me that BP's reckless behavior has really pissed off both groups.

So here is my proposal. We take the CEO of BP, tie him to a stake, and let the environmentalists and drillers take turns kicking him in the balls. Then the environmentalists and the drillers can buy each other a beer, and party with each other for possibly the first time in human history. There is common ground, folks. Who said that BP couldn't bring people together? They actually did. Hats off to BP for uniting Americans from all walks of life on a common theme - Hatred of BP.
 

BmanMcfly

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Google does not sell placement of search results. This story is so deceptive I am profoundly surprised it came from the Christian Science Monitor. They have (had?) one of the best reputations in journalism.

Notice that the author never says outright that Google is allowing BP to pay for placement. The article states that BP is paying for placement in search engines, then starts quoting another person saying "Google ought to rethink its policy". But, no one ever stated that Google was doing what the article said. Then, later in the article, they quote Google a representative basically stating that Google hasn't done anything illegal, as if it were admitting selling placement and lamely claiming legality as their only defense. To top it off, they again quote someone outside of Google stating that you can pay for placement in all search engines. This is true, depending on how you define your words. You can pay a marketing company to attempt to move your site up as far as possible in the rankings by optimizing your website to appear to be the most relevant for certain search terms. In that way, yes, you CAN pay for placement, but you won't be paying Google.

This is the kind of 'reporting' that one literally (and I do mean literally) expects in the National Enquirer. They use the same contextual arrangement of their quotes and facts to build a non-story into a story as this. The only difference is the subject matter: The NE insists that the subject be an affair or drug addiction or something.
Well, no, it's not illegal in any sense... people are allowed to make private clubs and say 'no girls allowed'... google.com is essentially the companies private domain where they are allowed to set the rules... people assume that a search engine offers unfiltered search results, but that doesn't make it illegal if they violate that assumption of being unbiased... so yes, they are allowed to sell off search terms to show the results that the purchaser would like to see.

I'm sure it will end up being a political death blow for BP in that when it comes out that they were trying to buy good publicity in the light of what will likely end up being a catastrophic natural disaster... probably the worst man-made disaster ever... I find it absolutely disgusting how there are already attempts to take advantage of this catastrophe politically. "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste what I mean is it's an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before" Rahm Emmanuel said during an interview.
YouTube - Rahm Emanuel "DON'T WASTE A GOOD CRISIS!"

Why weren't they igniting the oil as it was coming to the surface?? Or dispersing those bacteria that eat the oil? Why are they using chemical dispersants that are toxic while there are non-toxic alternatives?

or setting up those floating things that act as a barrier to the oil? Why did Obama initially promise to send SWAT teams to the area in response??

I could go on with my serious questions of this issue.
 

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Swat teams? Get real. That's beyond absurd. What are they going to do, put on bullet proof vests and shoot?
 

apdst

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You know, there are 2 sides to this issue. Those who are environmentalists, and those whose slogan is "Drill, baby, drill". They have been so far apart on this issue, and frequently making it personal for each other in very nasty ways. I never dreamed that they could ever come together on the same side, but it is what I am seeing. The environmentalists are mad at BP for ruining the environment. The drillers are mad at BP for screwing over a message that drilling could be done without undue risk to the environment, and setting back drilling by possibly a generation. It is clear to me that BP's reckless behavior has really pissed off both groups.

So here is my proposal. We take the CEO of BP, tie him to a stake, and let the environmentalists and drillers take turns kicking him in the balls. Then the environmentalists and the drillers can buy each other a beer, and party with each other for possibly the first time in human history. There is common ground, folks. Who said that BP couldn't bring people together? They actually did. Hats off to BP for uniting Americans from all walks of life on a common theme - Hatred of BP.
Except that, nobody really knows why that well blewout. So, at the end of the day, we don't know that it's BP's fault. I can't help but go back to pointing the finger at Cooper-Cameron. Why? They built the ****ing BOP that was supposed to serve as the last line oif defense.

Why is no one pissed at Cooper-Cameron? Not politically expedient? It's better, politically, to be pissed at BP?
 

danarhea

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Actually, we do know for a fact that, just before the well blew out, the BP bigwig on board overrode the forman's order to shut down operations until some problems were fixed. So, yes, at the end of the day, you can bet the bank that BP's reckless behavior contributed to the accident.
 

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You do not spend $50 million dollars on advertising while this is going on. You do not buy search terms to get your "see, we're not that bad" website on top when people look for this. You don't bitch and whine about needing "you're life back" when thousands of peoples lives are going to be ruined without likely a nice severance package being the worst thing they have to worry about.
SOMEONE has to test the waters eventually for filthy rich bastards to take over the world.
 
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