Apparently it has been discovered that the BBC have been paying Google to place its website at the top of listings for a series of keywords, as part of its internet marketing plan.
With a guaranteed £3.5 billion revenue each year, the BBC holds a strong position in the market obviously, making its competitors struggle. It is said that the BBC has been paying Google – as part of a £100m marketing spend – to improve its search ranking. The corporation itself recognised the importance of high Search rankings and stated:
‘ Promoting content like the Mercury Prize online is an effective way to inform the licence fee payers who will want to watch it or read about it’
The BBC sees a huge opportunity in capitalising on Search and making sure it is achieving top organic search results.
One of the things most search marketers will (and should) tell their clients is that a top result in Google cannot be bought. Therefore the news is quite surprising. There are rumors that in some cases deals can be made with Google, but there hasn’t been any real proof. BBC had a deal before with Google, where they had put up content on YouTube.
Still, if the rumor would be true, it would be a big thing. It could however very well be another case of a reporter not knowing the difference between an organic or a paid result.