Optimal name of companies and search engine positions


I saw this skip for hire and it made me nostalgic for a pre-internet era? Why.

Before the internet, most people would order a skip by looking through the Yellow Pages (a telephone directory for companies) – ordered by type of business.

For something like ‘skip hire’ – It’s the kind of business where you didn’t have much information to go on. There are certainly no reviews ready to read. It was a case of ringing up companies on a landline and asking the price.

In the Yellow Pages, companies were listed in alphabetical order. It meant that companies whose name began with “A” had a distinct advantage. There were at the top of the listings for “Skip Hire”. Being at the top of the listings gave you more phone enquiries that being at the bottom.

I guess most people started off ringing companies beginning with A. After ringing one or two companies, you probably felt you had enough information to make a choice. Rarely would you ring all the way down to “ZZZ skips and Sons.”

Therefore, companies realised there was a distinct advantage to having a business name which was high up in the listings

Aardvark Companies

There are a surprising number of companies who are called Aardvark. A quick search reveals

  • Aardvark Plumbing
  • Aardvark Pest Control
  • Aardvark Installations

I would imagine all these company names are relics from the age when the most prominent search engine was the Yellow Pages telephone directory and being at the top of the alphabetical listing was a business advantage.

Modern Company names

In the internet era, there is no advantage to having a company name like Aasvogel or Aardvark. Instead, there has been a surge of companies labelling themselves as “Oxford Skip Hire” “Oxford Plumbing.”

This is what people tend to search on Google “Name of city / Business”. Having a business name with this search already in the business name helps to get into the top page of Google. From an aesthetic point of view, it is slightly dispiriting that every company seems to be calling itself something very similar. The benefits of having a name like “Oxford Plumbing” is so strong, so many companies are called something similar.

Family names

Before the Yellow Pages, more companies were named after an individual like J.Waite and Son. Here the family name was a sign of reputation. It’s rare for modern businesses to set up with family names like in the past.

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