The Google Search Screw: Google Knows Best

Jan 15, 2010 • 8:40 am | comments (10) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Imagine you have been in business, operating on the web for years now. Your name is unique and it ranks number one in the Google results, since it is unique. But then imagine a new site pops up that is similar to your name. Then soon after, Google decided that your name is really not what people want, instead, they want the other name.

In other words, they type in your business name and Google say - no no, you spelled it wrong, you want a competitor or another web site. Google then hides your web site and shows the competitor. How would you feel?

That is the story of a Google Webmaster Help thread. The owner of BrandFreek no longer comes up for a search on [brandfreek], instead, Google shows a result for BrandFreak and shows in the first spot. Here is a picture:

Google Knows Best

This can be pretty upsetting to the owner of the company and also hurt them financially. Google knows this. JohnMu at Google replied to the thread saying:

Thanks for posting! I'll pass your feedback on to the team to review.

I am not sure if Google will change the behavior of this search in the future, but I think they should.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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01/15/2010 02:25 pm

Google is getting way ahead of itself, I really don't know what the answer is, but I feel that it is time for the monoplies commission (UK) to step in and do something, as Google simply has too much power over the web. Imagine google does a deal that involves totally skewing the SERP's, it could de-stabilise a company overnight. Imagine if this is a company Google or a subsidiary is looking to take over... THAT is a worrying thought. Goog has goot too powerful, and to make things worse, they are doing the sort of thing that you highlight here.


01/15/2010 09:38 pm

I think most medium/large companies are in the practice of purchasing misspellings of their primary domain since the 1990s. Unfortunately, brandfreek never got that memo...


01/15/2010 11:47 pm

Its been know for a long time that Google shows the results for incorrect misspelling. Its kind of a reminder to Webmaster to not choose incorrect misspelled domain names. It's just way Google algorithms work.

No Name

01/16/2010 10:41 am

wrong spelling is not what they do. They just match relevant results. Fr example take my name. There are lot of people spelling Rituraj and my name is Rooturaj. When I started of my own blog it used to throw those lame suggestions. Now that I am at lot many place and my name features around in more web entities the suggestions have somewhat dried up. My point is if I you are not sure of the spelling then that is where these things help. If you know it the right thing or in other words if you know the results are relevant the go ahead dont bother with the suggestions. They dont bite.

No Name

01/16/2010 11:34 am

awesome posting i really like this please keep it up

No Name

01/16/2010 11:36 am

Excellent posting nice and informative please keep it up

Bill Kruse

01/16/2010 12:45 pm

Hey - where's your spam comments catcher? Asleep today? BB :-)


01/18/2010 09:39 am

It's even more frustrating when Google is trying to tell us our spelling is incorrect! We are English its our language. So don't tell me I spelt "OPTIMISATION" wrong!


01/18/2010 07:09 pm

Makes you wonder. Google seems to be in the business of deciding for the user now. If a searcher searches for "brandfreek", the results should show "brandfreek" results, not a competitor. That's just not right.


01/21/2010 11:43 pm

While it's sad that Nielsen media created a business name so close to mine (my last name is Freek, BTW, and I work on Branding and Marketing Communications, hence BrandFreek), but that's not the issue. I think the key to this is that Google started to redirect a direct hit; people looking directly for our company could not get there. However, Google seemed to repair the issue quite quickly once they were made aware.

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