Well, that’s what their title tag for their homepage denotes. We’d naturally think sausage rolls, donuts, iced buns, pasties, and anything else that makes baked goods fans salivate at the mouth. But no, the following logo was presented to all those hungry Google search engine users this week (19/08/2014):

 

Greggs Logo Fail

Greggs Logo Fail

 

Oh dear. Greggs’ social media team were clearly sweating into their keyboards, after tweeting out panic messages to Google asking them to fix the problem, that they leveraged with a spot of mouth-watering bribery:

Greggs and Google banter

Greggs and Google banter

Google Algorithm

This time, however, Google wasn’t entirely and completely in the wrong. The username ‘Romartus’ uploaded the dodgy logo to Uncyclopedia and this was pulled through to feature on the knowledge graph provided by Google. Uncyclopedia is a spoof version of Wikipedia but the images and the site is hosted by Wikia, which is the same hosting service for a lot of web applications known as Wikis.
Google has blamed this on an ‘algorithmic bug’ that pulled the logo to feature on the first page of Google along with details about the company and the website. This ‘algorithmic bug’ is actually down to Google’s knowledge graph which has been in development since 2012- we’re guessing this is still being tested!
Google’s main job as a search engine is to return the most meaningful and best results to any user’s search query. As you know, the internet is a pretty big place, with trillions of pages to crawl and judge content by relevancy. Obviously, a team of people could never do this manually, so Google has to write programs and formulas (algorithms) to judge content fairly and provide the best results for people’s queries in their search engine.
Wikia in general hosts a lot of high quality and reliable content which is why Google’s algorithm may have picked up the image. Google often changes algorithms in order to improve the search results, this time though it seems to have introduced an ’algorithmic bug’ in this phase of testing.

Twitter Response

With all the technical stuff out of the way, in the grand scheme of things, Greggs reacted very well with some lovely displays of ‘twittery’ stuff that made people laugh, and improved their fan base. The old motto ‘Any Press is Good Press’ has never applied better.
Reportedly, the same thing happened to PC World earlier this year, when their logo was replaced with a dodgy logo that read:

 

PC World Caption Fail

PC World Caption Fail

 

Rightmove have even got their knickers in a twist with Google UK in light of the Greggs debacle:

rightmove

 

Crisis Management

However, positively for Greggs, it seems they benefitted from the whole controversy, while a few conspiracy theorists might believe ‘Greggs were behind this all along’. With the ‘#FixGreggs’ hashtag, the following benefits were found:

 

  • On-going conversation with GoogleUK on Twitter
  • Twitter reach of 3.7 million impressions from 1727 Twitter mentions by 1,470 users
  • Worldwide reach, branching all the way out to South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, America, Canada, and the Middle East
  • Only 9% of tweets contained negative sentiment
  • Lots of national press off the back of the story such as Metro Radio, Rock FM, The Independent, Sky News, Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Guardian, The Huffington Post to name but a few.

 

To round this article up, we felt Greggs reacted to the bad news rather well, rather than blindly ignoring the offensive logo on Google, and took appropriate steps to fix the situation. It’s truly amazing that brands can convert negative attention positively across social media, in turn pushing engagement with their followers or those interested in digital marketing/technology or the internet.

Well done Greggs, hairnets off to your social media team!