Google has stopped Irwin Mitchell from appearing in its search results, apparently because of the firm's marketing tactics.
The personal injury firm's paid-for advert still pops up if people search for its name. But Irwin Mitchell doesn't appear in Google's normal search results. Nor, at the time of going to press, does it appear when users type in key terms like "Medical Negligence Solicitors", which used to bring up Irwin Mitchell first. Now Google suggests rival PI firm Slater & Gordon instead. Ouch.
An insider tells RollOnFriday this has created "massive panic" in the firm because, as its BD Director said in December, a "significant proportion" of Irwin Mitchell's personal injury business flows through its website. Or it did, until Google turned off the tap.
|Irwin Mitchell losing at the internet yesterday
IM's headache appears to be due to an, ahem, innovative digital marketing campaign which involved spraying the web with links to the firm in spammy blogs, comments and forum posts, such as this:
In the past, the more links there were to a website from other sites, the higher it ranked on Google. But when Google noticed that vendors of fake Louboutins and penis enlargement solutions, and, erm, a PI law firm, seemed to be using such strategies to artificially inflate their prominence, it changed its algorithm and started to penalise the guilty parties by booting them off its search results.
A spokesman for Irwin Mitchell
recommended using Bing instead said, "we are aware of the situation and are working closely with our digital agency to deal with it".