Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Careful if you try to use a competitors brand in your site

Myself and my wife are considering a new car and a friend of mine suggested Motorpoint in Newport, UK as his girlfriend just purchased a car there over this past weekend.

So off I head to Google to look this company's website up and check out the range of cars to see what they have for sale.

Up come the listings and browsing the results quickly as one does, ignoring the domain name and looking at the description and title I decide the second organic result on the page is the more relevant.

Having clicked the link and reached the second site the whole page shows a Motorpoint logo for each Motorpoint location around the country with a link saying something "More cars for sale here". Looks useful as it appears the site is taking me where I want to go.

When this link is clicked on (and you as a user fully expecting to reach the required Motorpoint Location) you are taken to a website that appears to have no connection to the dealer's website at all.


Why did I ignore the first listing?? (Which admittedly uses Motorpoint in the domain name)
Because if you notice the cached page title for that listing in the SERPS says "Motorpoint of Derby Limited."

I did not want Derby instead I wanted the Newport dealer.

Motorpoint could be quite a common name for a car company so the website below with part of its page title:

"Motorpoint Uk...."

This made me want to go to look for Motorpoint Dealers in the UK and not just in Derby!

The second results description:

"... Find your nearest Car Supermarket in on Car...."

The first part of the description seems reasonably accurate (though "in on Car" is my mind just nonsense).

When you reach the listed site and click on the link to go to what you think is the Newport Motorpoint website you do not get there. As a user its likely you will feel you have been tricked/deceived into thinking that the link on the car supermarket page will take you where you want to go, when it fact it does not as at 18th July 2006.

3 things here:

Google - I think you need your results to be more accurate. IMHO this second result does not get me to where I want to go and is the site is being listed against someone elses "brand". If you did not list results like this it would make searching a whole lot more pleasurable as a task.

Car Supermarket - clever work but the way I see it I would not give your website the time of day. You deceive me on the web, what would you do if I decided to purchase a car from you or one of your advertisers?

Motorpoint - you need to look carefully at your page description and title. Start naming dealer locations if possible - put a search call to action in there as well i.e. "Find your nearest Motorpoint dealer here" or something to that effect. It took me 3 or 4 times on the a competitor site desperately looking for a link to you when one was not there. Eventually I came back to Google and clicked on your listing. I would have headed directly to your site if your page description and title were better.

Last word from me...

If you ever think you want to use a competitors name and hope some people may be duped into visiting your site - because you cleverly play with your listing, let me tell you that many people will be turned off by what you have done... especially like me if they feel a website has only wasted their precious time.