Search firms rebrand to cut ‘techy’ links

Two leading UK search marketing companies are rebranding in an attempt to move away from the industry’s “techy” image. Website Promotion Services (WSPS) has become The Search Works, while Corporem Global has renamed itself Latitude.

The two are following the lead of WPP Group-owned global digital network mOne, which merged its worldwide search operations under the name mSearch in January. As search marketing becomes more important to mainstream brand marketers, search marketing companies are increasingly seeking to disassociate themselves from their computing industry roots.

Meanwhile, The Search Works and mSearch have both criticised the search engine strategies of the UK’s biggest companies. Both have published surveys showing how FTSE-100 companies fare on leading search engines. The Search Works looked at a range of leading search engines including Google, MSN and Overture/Yahoo! and found that almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of the official websites of FTSE-100 companies did not appear in the top ten results of a simple online search using keywords such as “travel”, “insurance” or “bank”.

The mSearch survey, which looked at Google paid-for and natural search rankings, produced similar results. According to mSearch, more than three-quarters of FTSE-100 companies fail to appear in Google’s top ten listings when the most widely used keyword for their relevant industries is typed into the search box.

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