— 18 April 2005 —

Blogging Experiment with Google

As I wrote last Wednesday on my personal blog, we got a new water heater. Exciting news to you all I am sure.

As with most home repair activities that one rarely does, when it comes time it’s difficult to know what company to go with. Who do you trust? Who is least expensive? Who will do the job right?

Well, you can read about the experience on my blog, but here I want to briefly talk about how easy it would be to completely own the first impressions of a web-enabled, plumbing needing public.

It’s been only 5 days since we had the work done. When I blogged about it, I purposefully optimized the title and keywords in the post. Now when you do a search on Bloomington, Illinois plumbing and heating, or Mayol plumbing and heating, my post is the number one result (barring Google’s insertion of its “local” results).

I rave in my post about Mayol’s work. So Google users in need of plumbing will now see my review of Mayol’s work. Hopefully it will help them make a decision. But I could have easily been displeased with Mayol’s work. Then those searchers would get a very different view of the company, and it would probably impact their decision and not in Mayol’s favour.

Mayol doesn’t have a blog. They don’t even have a web site. They probably don’t need one either, but I wonder if they track the web to see if people are saying anything about them. Probably not. But little ol’ me is sitting there with a blog influencing some of their potential clientele. My blog isn’t even a high traffic site and I can get to number one on Google for this.

So now I control part of their company’s reputation. In this case I am using my powers for good. But what if I wanted to be evil (who doesn’t)? I’d be at number one telling everyone that their company was [insert epithet here].

Robert Scoble used a plumber analogy when speaking at the Blog Business Summit in January. He used it to illustrate the question of who is controlling the reputation of your company? Here we take it from illustration to practice.

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