Search Engine Patronisation

Hang on, don’t switch to Redtube just yet. This is going to be immensely fucking interesting.

I just read in Private Eye (and other places) that BP have bought certain search words and phrases on Google so that when you type them in you get BP’s version of how well the clean up operation in the Gulf of Mexico is going.

You’ve got ‘oil spill’.

‘Gulf of Mexico’.

And ‘BP are cunts’.

Oh. They haven’t bought that one. How odd.

This is (as you know) called ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ or SEO. I guess it’s another way rich people/corporations can control the flow of information. Thank god they can have more power. I was getting worried there for a moment.

But it kind of makes the whole thing bullshit (by ‘kind of’ I mean ‘completely and utterly). If you are the number one search result, great; if you are an ad, fine. But why put the two together? It would be like sticking a massive ad that looked like a news article above the headline in your daily paper and hoping people would think it was the actual story.

This has now extended to the trending topics on Twitter, which yesterday had the ‘sponsored trending’ topic of Toy Story 3. To me that translates as: nobody’s really talking about TS3 so we bought our way onto this list hoping that you are so thick you’ll think an ad is a ‘real thing’.

Well, why not? It works for product placement, advertorials and all the mentions of Sky TV in The Sun.

Funny how no one really seems to mind being treated like a complete effing idiot.

Or do we?