Now that a couple of weeks have passed since the 2Clix legal case against Whirlpool was been dropped, I thought it would be an opportune time to examine the impact the decision to initiate legal action has had on the company’s brand.

Unfortunately I don’t have a screenshot of a Google search on their company name prior to the lawsuit, but I took one today and it looks like this:

2Clix google result sept 2007

The first two results belong to 2Clix, their corporate site.

The next four results are from Whirlpool’s site – the first three of those are product reviews and, I suspect, the original entries which caused the ruckus. The fourth is the first of the negative stories about 2Clix suing Whirlpool over negative reviews of their product.

The last four results on the page are all about the legal action (including the post I wrote).

So – unless 2Clix takes some drastic action, the next time someone googles them, they will find a page mostly full of negative stories.

Every time I’ve spoken at a PR or marketing event in the last couple of years, I’ve told the Kryptonite and Warren Kremer Paino Advertising stories and warned that it was only a matter of time before we had one of our own in Australia. And, although 2Clix’s war was with a forum and not a real Web2.0 property, the result of the bloggers jumping onto the story (which the mainstream media then picked up as well) had the same result – the pwnrship of 2Clix’s googlerank.

What are their options now? How do they get control of their googlerank back?

It might happen naturally with time however the Kryptonite case suggests not. It’s been over three years now since Engadget ran the story of how you could pick a Kryptonite bike lock with a Bic pen and their post is STILL the #2 result in Google (link).

Perhaps 2Clix could find a bunch of bloggers to write positive stories about them somehow? I guess if they could get a bunch of bloggers to cover positive case studies they had, and enough people linked to those stories, those posts might climb to the top. But somehow I can’t see that happening.

Unfortunately, I suspect 2Clix have irreparably damaged their googlerank.