Are you an A-list celeb? Are you sure...
Here's a test: is top UK tabloid The Sun paying to rank for your name on search engines like Google?
Like any brand worth its salt, publishers are investing in their search engine optimisation strategies (SEO). Now The Sun, part of the Rupert Murdoch-owned News International group, has apparently put celebrity names at the heart of its SEO strategy.
A straw poll scan of political, sporting and musical UK celebs on the google.co.uk consistently brought up The Sun as number one or two for their name. This shows that the web specialists at The Sun (but not other Murdoch papers like The Times or News of The World) are bidding for these terms in Google's AdSense market.
Almost as interesting as who The Sun's SEO team is paying to rank for is who they aren't:
- Politics: George Bush, Tony Blair and John Prescott are worth it, John Reid (Home Secretary) and Margaret Beckett (Foreign Secretary) aren't.
- Movies: Lindsay Lohan
is in with The Sun's SEO team, but* and Jennifer Aniston are in but Andie MacDowell ain't worth paying for according to The Sun's search spend...
- Pop stars: Pete Doherty and George Michael are in, but Robbie Williams doesn't make the search list...
- Soaps: from the Eastenders cast Steve McFadden isn't celeb search fodder, but Lacey Turner is...
Maybe celebrities will be thinking that if The Sun isn't paying Google to rank in sponsored results they are definitely B-list... Could this be more reliable an indicator of fame than Celebdaq?
How long before pay-per-click sponsored search results are competed for by other news media? How long before they bid on issues?
It's a forward looking strategy and probably a trial on behalf of The Sun - but they are ahead of the pack here. Even globally only one other brand is bidding for "George Bush" for instance, the
Discovery Channel's Koppel show.