The Telegraph reports this morning about a town in France struggling to attract tourists because of poor Google rankings. The town, called “Eu“, is apparently losing 33% of tourism revenues due to the poor rankings.
The Mayor of the town has the following comments:
Marie-FranÃ§oise Gaouyer, the local mayor, now has two options – to pay internet giants like Yahoo and Google thousands to put the town at the top of all “Eu” searches, or change the town’s name.
“The second option appears the most sensible,” said Mrs Gaouyer, adding: “As far as the internet is concerned, we have to bring ourselves up to date.” Mrs Gaouyer’s favoured option is Ville d’Eu (Town of Eu), with other possibilities including Eu-le-Chateau and Eu-en-Normandie.
The mayor, who believes tourism revenues are down by as much as a third because of the town’s current name, now wants all of the alternatives put to the local population of some 8000 in a referendum.
I have these comments:
How much will it cost to re-brand a town? I’m guessing SEO will be cheaper.
How many people search for the town of Eu anyway? If nobody searches for you then it’s not really your SEO campaign that’s lacking.
The website is a .fr domain without any English pages on it which means that anybody from the UK wouldn’t see it in the search results no matter what the town was called. At present they are only really promoting to French people and that’s a pretty poor strategy for a town wanting to attract tourists!