‘Disgusting Dominos’ Tops Dominos Searches

One of the great things about Online Reputation Management is that it includes more than just creating some blogs or generating links. It’s a lot about the perception of searchers. How do they view your company? What frame of mind are they in? What can you do to change impressions? The variety of tactics we utilize in repairing online reputations is constantly evolving. Eighteen months ago we hardly touched Twitter; now it’s a staple. Google’s personalized profiles are also a new development – allowing any user to grab the profile page for their name (which shows up instantly just below the Google top ten with a picture).

In this fast-paced environment, we make sure to see and evaluate what happens a week or more after a crisis.

The Domino’s Test

On April 21, 2009 our company decided to run Google Ads in order to gauge the longer-term effects of negative publicity from Domino’s Pizza’s now infamous “disgusting video.” Our test took place more than a week after the release of the famous employees YouTube video.

Aside from over 25,000 impressions, coming primarily from ads appearing on YouTube, we measured over 3,000 searches for the broad term ‘disgusting dominos.’

Domino’s themselves evidently realized that this would be the ‘best’ keyword to capture the crisis and decided to make their YouTube response title: “Disgusting Dominos People – Domino’s Responds”. This was probably at the urging of their SEO expert. While the best way to rank a YouTube video for a keyword is to start the title of the video with your keyword, I would argue that the negative aspect of having the CEO’s picture under the title “Disgusting Dominos” is a reason to veer away from this tactic. Instead, I would have recommendeded “Dominos CEO responds to Disgusting Dominos People Video.” The actual video file should probably have been called “Disgusting Dominos” as we have seen empirically the effects of the file name itself outweighing the video title. Using the keyword as the title of the video file is very helpful in making sure the video shows up in YouTube for your keyword.

Disgusting Domino’s – the Top Keyword for the Domino’s Crisis in Reputation Management

We noted that throughout our test, Domino’s Pizza themselves did not seem to be running any Google Ads – possibly a missed opportunity to reassure searchers that Domino’s is aware of the issue and is proactively dealing with it.


Note: Domino’s is a trademark of Domino’s Pizza. This site is not related to Domino’s in any way.