BP Buys Search Terms to Redirect Users to Company Web Site

BP logoBP has purchased search terms relating to the Gulf oil spill disaster on Google, Yahoo and Bing, a move some say is designed to limit the public's exposure to news reporting about the Deepwater Horizon oil catastrophe. BP confirmed that it has bought search terms like "oil spill," "gulf oil," "offshore oil," "Louisiana coast spill" and "oil cleanup," on the top three search engines, so that when people perform searches on these terms, a link to BP's corporate page about the spill (www.BP.com/OilSpillNews) appears up at the top of the page. The result appears with a line that says, "Info about the Gulf of Mexico Spill; Learn More about How BP is Helping." BP spokesman Toby Odone explained to ABC News, "We have bought search terms on search engines like Google to make it easier for people to find key links to information on filing claims, reporting oil on the beach and signing up to volunteer." Kevin Ryan, CEO of a California-based Internet marketing company, Motivity Marketing, says research shows most people can't tell the difference between paid and unpaid search results. He says BP's efforts to divert people looking for information about the disaster to their own, corporate site is "a great PR strategy." Estimates are that the company is paying over $10,000 a day for the search terms.


$10.000 a day to get people who search for information about the oil spill directed to the site of BP. I think it is ridiculous, they should spend this money on the victims of their spill, anyone who wants information from BP about the spill will not have any problem finding the site of BP.
BP is not trying to give information, they are trying to prevent information, from others about the spill, to be found
Harry Rackers

Hopefully, the "age of oil" will end with profiteers like BP going under from the just penalties for "externalized costs," finally catching up with them in the hands of informed, energized, conscientious citizens.

If they used that money to compensate for the damage they have done to the environment, that would have been acceptable but using money to cover up the oil spill is an insult to the communities and livelihood that will be damaged by the oil spill

With all the "news" outlets calling it something OTHER than THE BP OIL SPILL the public is constantly NOT reminded that it's BP's spill.

I assume BP, and the oil industry in general, is also hiring people to blog in their favor, and is asking the "news" outlets (who get their advertising dollars) to call it "the Deepwater Horizon oil catastrophe". They make it sound almost like a NATURAL disaster. Maybe that's why the Reight keeps trying to associate it with Katrina.


I agree that people would have no problem finding BP's website to get their side of the story. I also think it is somewhat distasteful to try and hide information (if that is indeed what they intend by this). However, don't you think (most) people are smart enough to work around this move by BP?

My main concern is that BP spends huge sums of money trying to make themselves look good on a search engine, and then ends up having taxpayers subsidize their cleanup efforts. BP is responsible and should have to pay the entirety of the damages they caused.

This is ridiculous. If these people spent half as much money trying to fix this problem as they are spending on their PR and their other attempts at trying to cover up the spill, I'm guessing they would have already solved the problem. I truly hope this isn't true.

I didn't think Google allowed the purchase of search terms or placements unless it was advertisements such as AdWords. I know you can purchase term inclusion for Yahoo! on the other hand.

Unless it is a separate deal between google and BP, otherwise I do not know how can BP purchase search results for specific search terms. I believe the only search results that can be purchased are google adwords to confuse user between search ad vs organic results.

Anyway, these money could be better spend in cleaning up the spill or be put into research to prevent similar incident from happening.

The nice part about it, is that despite BP buying those search words (for those still in doubt, it refers to search words powering the adwords) there is something WE can do to about it!
Namely keeping the topic hot on social channels, leaving the truth out, do not let it "go down" - what's going on in the Gulf of Mexico is a terrible thing, a catastrophe with global consequences.
Now back to social channels, as you know, Google is now showing social results on top of all other results, and many people do already know how to use the "latest" function to display exactly that.
Getting involved is the key, so keep posting and share your thoughts and opinions about what's going on there :-)

Oil addiction – the World in danger or how to avoid death from a “subside overdose”

I don't know which is worse - to attempt to buy search terms, or for search engines to sell them. This is why we need to scrutinize our searches, information we gather through them, etc.