BP Buys 'Oil' Search Terms to Redirect Users to Official Company Website
June 5, 2010, ABC News
http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Broadcast/bp-buys-search-engine-phrases-redirecting-...
BP, the very company responsible for the oil spill that is already the worst in U.S. history, has purchased several phrases on search engines such as Google and Yahoo so that the first result that shows up directs information seekers to the company's official website. A simple Google search of "oil spill" turns up several thousand news results, but the first link, highlighted at the very top of the page, is from BP. "Learn more about how BP is helping," the link's tagline reads. A spokesman for the company confirmed to ABC News that it had, in fact, bought these search terms to make information on the spill more accessible to the public. Several search engine marketing experts are questioning BP's intentions, suggesting that controlling what the public finds when they look online for oil spill information is just another way for the company to try and rebuild the company's suffering public image. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal slammed BP for its PR efforts, saying in a statement, "Instead of BP shelling out $50 million on an ad campaign that promises to do good work in responding to this spill, BP should just focus on actually doing a good job and spend the $50 million on assistance to our people, our industries and our communities that are suffering as a result of this ongoing spill."