BBC Pays Google for Search Rankings

No, I’m not about to write an expose on the BBC and how they have aligned themselves with the criminal underworld at Google to ‘pay’ for top listings, but if you read the Mail on Sunday this past weekend, you might think that had happened. The Mail on Sunday responsibily reported how the evil BBC was in cahoots with Google to pay money it had taken from the license payers to gain top listings in its SERPs.

What utter crap.

As ever, the headline grabbing Mail on Sunday (part of the Daily Mail) had worked the story to fit its headline and wasn’t about to let the facts stand in the way of a good story. Far from the horror of the BBC illicitly paying off Google for top rankings, what had actually happened was that the BBC had run some PPC on Google Adwords.

The bastards!

The BBC using sponsored links? Whatever next? Advertising their programs on Radio One? Where will it end? Running their own weekly magazine with TV listings?

In fairness, I don’t think the reporter for the Mail on Sunday had intentionally misled the astute readers of the publication into thinking that the Beeb was paying for Google listings… no, I think he was just an idiot and had no idea what Adwords is and how it works. He’d heard that the BBC had paid Google for Adwords and without stopping to check any facts ran with the story, making himself out to be the moron he is.

However, you would have thought that others who reported the story would have checked the facts first! Bigmouthmedia has a news item on their website reporting from the same angle as the Mail on Sunday, and they’ve already attracted the attention of one blogger who’s seen through their mistake.

Perhaps the bigmouth guys are generating link bait through accusing the BBC of paying for Google rankings, as it’s certainly worked, even if it’s not exactly true!

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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One thought on “BBC Pays Google for Search Rankings”

  1. It’s been a really juicy story, with a lot of Twitter coverage and plenty of traffic. Those are all certainly some of the reasons why the story is still live on the bigmouthmedia website – but we’ve put an update on the bottom of the story to make it clear that the origin/Mail of Sunday lumped everything into a single “search” category. We’ve also provided some other links to other variations of the story.

    It’s been interesting from a SEO/social/brand point of view – from the minute the story went live there’s been arguments to either pull it, promote it, sit on it or just wait and see. The challenge is to try and get the best of both worlds.

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