SEO Counter Offensives - Walmart on the Rampage

Thread Title:
Wal-Mart Search Engine Optimization Counter Offensive - Information arms race
Thread Description:

Threadwatch member stuntdubl has an interesting take on this clickz article about how Wal-Mart are going after their own bad publicity using Search to counter critics. From the clickz piece:

Wal-Mart is answering critics of its labor policies with an extensive print ad campaign that points people to newly launched Web site The effort is accompanied by a paid search campaign on Yahoo!'s Overture.

"For too long, others have had free rein to say things about our company that just aren't true," said Wal-Mart President and CEO Lee Scott in a statement. "Our associates are tired of it and we've decided it's time to draw our own line in the sand."

Stuntdubl said:

It's kind of scary when the corporate folks get a hold of an internet marketing consultant and actually listen to them. Someone must have showed the CEO the horrible publicity that Wal-mart bashing websites are providing them with. So apparantely they are goin' after some of the negative serps with a search engine optimization counter offensive. This makes me want to coin a new phrase - Information arms race. Sounds cool, huh?

Well, yeah it is dude :)

We recently had that knob Ken Lay ex of Enron buying up adwords to whine his story to the world also.

Looks like Search, paid or not, is becoming a PR battleground...


More about to come ...

I've seen a few other big RFPs floating around for the same kind of service. I bet we will see a lot more of this in the coming year. If you want to make REALLY big money with SEO get into this! :)

Do you realise what an improved image (or removal of damaging "objects") is worth to a major brand? I tell you, we are NOT talking about the pennies we get for normal SEO ... no, no, no - this is going to be charged in a totally different way :) - and they are ready to pay!

So, if these major brands want us to help them clean up their image as reflected in SERPS, lets give it to them. After all, we are the only ones that can. But please, charge what it's worth - not how long it takes you!

I've seen one example with a $40 million that was almost entirely ruined by a few smart guys on the web. Now, how much do you think that company would have paid for a "protection plan" to save that campaign if only they knew the service was available? I tell you: A LOT! :)

Same here.

I've taken a few similar-ish jobs this past year, where the SEM is far more about PR than about driving sales directly. In all cases, it is the really big companies that will take this kind of SEM service as the smaller companies just don't devote the same level of resources (in time, focus, or budget) for PR issues.

In one case, my advice was to extend their whole complaints procedure to an online presence, a major undertaking, and was agreed (after careful consideration, legal counsel, checking how it affected the brand, etc).

SEM has gotten a lot more interesting in the last few years.

> In one case, my advice was

> In one case, my advice was to extend ...

What I found out is that its very much a case-by-case situation. What the client is buying is the search engine insights an knowladge we (SEOs) have and the experience in professional research in this field. In other words: We have the ability to identify problems, monitor brands in SEs and not the least, do something about it if the negative sites are taking up too much space (thyat is, in the mind of the brand holder, off course :))

Having said that, I think you can build a list of possible issues to check - kind of what you would also do dealing with indexing barriers (at least, thats what I do). 90% of the problems and solutions might be the same but in the last 10% it's going to be something completely new. Thats why those brands need us - the SEOs.

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