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Google ranking survey exposes holes in Internet marketing strategies of FTSE 100 Companies

Google ranking survey exposes holes in Internet marketing strategies of
FTSE 100 Companies

Only 3% of FTSE 100 companies appear on the top of Google UK when their primary keywords are searched.

We found that when a search was performed for the words with which the companies described themselves, very few made the top three results or even the first page, and well over half (59 per cent) did not even feature on the top 100 results.

Blue chip, big brand companies such as Diageo, Alliance & Leicester and Rolls-Royce Group effectively had no presence on Google when their most relevant keywords were entered, demonstrating a huge lack of effective search engine optimisation (SEO).

By finding the field in which the FTSE companies described themselves as leaders, Direct Traffic was able to see where they were placed on the pre-eminent search engine.

So, searching for “luxury cars” brought back no mentions of Rolls-Royce in the first 100 results – staggering, considering the number of potential buyers that would be directed to the car maker’s website if it had a presence on Google page 1. Similarly, a search for “aero space” – Rolls-Royce’s other major area – returned no mentions of the company in the top 100 results, clearly indicating that the firm has much to do to freshen up its web presence.

In fact, only three FTSE 100 companies placed top in a Google search – Associated British Foods (“ingredients and retail group”), British Airways (“global airline”) and Rexam (“consumer packaging”).

Alliance & Leicester describes itself as a market leader for “banking services” on its home page. However, if you put this term into Google you will have to search through more than a hundred results before you find the bank’s website. Prudential is in the same situation with its primary keyword, “financial services”, and so (surprisingly) is Tesco, for “food retail”.

Less than a quarter (24 per cent) of the companies placed on the first page of Google, and only eight achieved a top three spot. GlaxoSmithKline, J Sainsbury and Land Security were notables that failed to secure a top 100 place.


* The results were verified as correct on www.google.co.uk on 23 February 2007