In today's world, where consumers are flooded with marketing messages from every possible direction, getting cut-through can be tricky.
Which is why companies spend so much time, effort and money in getting high search rankings. But what happens when your SEO tactics don't work out the way you planned? PC World knows first-hand that the digital world can be unpredictable.
It seems rather obvious that a search for 'PC World' on Google returns information about the electronics retailer including links to their website, the location of the nearby branches on a map, information from Wikipedia and what, at first sight, appears to be PC World's official logo.
However, underneath the official PC World logo, their usual slogan, 'The computer superstore' is replaced with 'Like hell, only with worse customer service'. In 2008, an article about job cuts in the company’s servicing and repair division was written with an alternative logo created for that occasion, and this is the very logo Google has mistakenly displayed for the last couple of days as search results for PC World.
Mark Webb, the Head of Corporate Social Media for PC World, posted "We're on it." on his personal Twitter account. He also added that the company had been "kept on their toes" by the "joys of social media", and said: "Hey ho. Customer satisfaction levels rising rapidly across the board, but we have some past reputation to deal with."
This recent situation raises a number of questions about Google's algorithms for selecting images which accompany the search results. According to Google themselves, only the most appropriate and relevant images are always selected. PC World might not necessarily agree.