Wednesday, December 30, 2009

unintentional bait and switch by Argos

As my students will tell you, I hold Argos up as an example of best practice in multi-channel retailing. However, even the best can get it wrong - albeit in an issue that might be considered beyond their control [though I think with a bit of vigilance and considered web content it can be effectively addressed]. Here's the problem.

I managed to overfill our coffee maker which caused it to short-out ... and anyway, we needed a new one. Being happy with the one I'd just blown up, I typed its name into Google, and got this as part of the result ...
Great, I thought - on offer for half price at Argos. But when I clicked on that link I got this page ...Now, I suspect the link in the Google index was an old one, referring to an offer that has since finished - but it still reflects poorly on Argos.

The solution? Well, first-off you folks at Argos' reputation management dept, I would hope you are monitoring blog enteries with your brand name in them, so you should read this - so let me know how you sorted it out.

To address the issue, I would look to change the content of the page with the 'offer' price on it - Google will continue to list it, but the text should not be damaging. And to stop it happening again you are going to have to monitor search engine results for any returns that link to your website - I'm sure there will be software available help out with this task.

UPDATE - a few days later I went back to Google and used the same search term - and the Argos entry had changed to this:
Note that the URL for both entries is the sames - suggesting that the textual content has been changed. Coincidence? I would like to think someone at Argos saw this blog? [if you did, let me know, I would love to use this as an example of good practice in my next book].

Furthermore, this entry wasn't in the listings when I searched last week

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