Brands suffer from negative PR on Google from NetImperative looks at a survey that examines not how companies are placed in search results but how well the PR spin is for them, based on the top results. Coca Cola, for example, was found to have 4 of the 10 ten pages in a search at Google UK for on its name containing negative comments about the company.
The research was done by Market Sentinel and Weboptimiser, both of which have obvious vested interests in wanting people to consider the PR aspects of how they are listed. And I do sense some skewing going on.
In the case of Coca Cola, the white paper (PDF file) reporting the research says it's showing the top 10 results for coca cola on Google UK. However, it's really the results for coca cola uk that the illustration shows, as far as I can tell.
Go back to the coca cola search, and from what I can see, there are no negative comments about Coke showing up at all. That makes me think that results for coca cola uk were used, because they better illustrate the problem trying to be proved. And it is a problem for that particular search. But when Yahoo UK reports only 292 in May 2005 searched for "coca cola uk" on sites in its paid listings network versus nearly 8,000 who searched for "cola cola," the problem isn't as big as you might think.
Nevertheless, the PR aspects are definitely something anyone should consider -- and the white paper has a number of useful tips and advice, from what I can see with a quick skim. So check it -- and your own listings -- out.