Not saying that investing in SEO would have completely prevented the situation below, but it might have helped.
If you've ever found that your competitors, the media, or even others with similar names come up far ahead of you when searching your name or your firm's name on the Internet, you should probably do something about it.
Realize that prospects, referral sources and, especially, potential employees are highly likely to use the Web to look you up. Maybe just to get a phone number or address for directions...
What do they find about you when they search?
Hopefully it's your site and your content in the first few results returned. Not so for this firm. Over at LexBlog, Kevin O'Keefe just ran this story:
GOOGLE WINS LAWSUIT OVER SEARCH RESULTS
An accounting firm sued Google complaining they were being hurt by the top search results when search for the firm were that the firm had been "disciplined by the California Board of Accountancy for gross negligence."
Santa Clara Law Prof Eric Goldman reports a California Appellate Court this week upheld the trial courts dismissal of the lawsuit. In addition, the plaintiff accounting firm was ordered to pay Google $23,000 in attorney's fees and costs under California SLAPP law.
Be careful out there folks. What people report about you may be memorialized at Google for a long time to come. And there ain't much you're going to do about it.
As for this accounting firm, Google search results now include the disciplinary action of long ago plus tons of commentary that this lawsuit may have been without merit.
Not much recourse. Hopefully the firm can get its own site to advance in the rankings. Also note the power of social media is very real as Kevin notes the commentary that is also getting picked up.
**Note: A decent blog can boost your rankings enormously.