Thank you for providing the information that will help me provide a
good answer to your question.
The answer is fairly simple and has to do with the way that Google and
some other search engines work. As you probably already know, one way
that Google determines how to rank a site is to look at how many other
sites link to it. But it's actually more complicated than that. First
of all, here's Google's explanation of how Google works:
Our Search: Google Technology
Google doesn't publicly provide much more detail than that, although
you can read a research paper that went into the development of Google
and provides more information about the search algorithm (which has
changed in many details since Google was launched):
The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine
Note these particular sentence in the Google explanation:
"So, Google combines PageRank with sophisticated text-matching
techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your
search. Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a
page and examines all aspects of the page's content (and the content
of the pages linking to it) to determine if it's a good match for your
What does that mean? It means that Google can looks at numerous
aspects of a page to determine what sites are relevant. And all
indications are (like I said, Google doesn't go into public detail,
and we Researchers are independent contracts without inside
information) that one of the factors that are considered are the words
on the page, even the words that don't make links.
What effect does that have? Basically, it means that if you search
for the term, say, "widgets," that you will receive pages in your
search results that don't have the word "widgets." That can happen
because pages that do have the word "widgets" link to the pages that
show up when you search.
Here's a prime example I was able to find. When I did a Google search
for the word "programming," the first page that showed up didn't have
the word "programming" in it!
Here's the search:
Search term: programming
The first page that showed up for me (results can change very quickly,
so your results might be different) was the Sun Java home page. If
you look over the page, the word "programming" is not to be found.
But as you might guess, numerous pages with the word "programming" do
link to it, enough for the page to show up first.
A little humorous note: About a year ago, it was discovered that if
you used the search term "go to hell" in Google, the first page on the
list didn't have that rude phrase in it -- it was instead the home
page of Microsoft! Apparently there were enough pages that had the
words "Microsoft" and "go to hell" that they skewed the search
results. (This search no longer yields the same result.)
Here are some articles on this incident:
Google Search Leads to Gates of 'Hell'
"Go to hell, Microsoft, AOL!" says Google
Microsoft Escapes From Google 'Hell'
So it would appear that the same reason that one of your competitors
shows up when searching for your name is that there are some pages
around the Internet that have both of your names. I don't know who
your competitor is, but here are some pages that link to your site and
have the name of at least one of your competitors:
The Intellectual Property Commercial Zone
Fighting Fraud and Corruption
Intellectual Property Links
Patents, Trade Secrets and Technology Transfer
You can find who links to you with this search:
Google term used: link:www.investigation.com
Like I said, I don't know which of those pages include links to the
competitor you're concerned about, but it wouldn't take many, maybe
even one or two "quality" pages, for the competitor's name to show up
when doing a search for you or your firm.
That the name of a competitor could show up when doing a search for
some business isn't that unusual. As an experiment, I did a search for
"All the Web," one of Google's competitors, to see if Google or any of
All the Web's competitors would show up. Google didn't appear, but
here are the competitors that did turn up in the first 100 hits:
Search.com, AltaVista, Yahoo, Excite and AOL Search. None of them use
the phrase "all the web" on the pages that showed up with the search.
(I chose All the Web because I thought that as a relatively new search
engine it might show up frequently in news articles along with names
of other search engines, and it is also a phrase that might be used in
articles that link to search engines.)
You can see by running the search for yourself:
So the bottom line is that the name of a competitor could turn up when
doing a search for your name without anything fishy going on. It
happens, partly because the search engines are designed that way.
The good news for you, however, is that you seem to have good
placement in Google. Your site showed up first with the following
search term, which I suspect is one that people might use to find you:
It also turned up high in some other searches using similar words
along with "forensic."
I hope you have found this answer useful.