SOURCE: Covario, Inc.

Covario, Inc.

December 08, 2011 09:35 ET

Pfizer Takes First in Covario Study on SEO Health of Pharmaceutical Industry

Opportunities Exist for Pharmaceutical Firms as Consumers Research More on the Web

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 8, 2011) - Covario, Inc., the nation's largest independent provider of global search marketing agency services and technology solutions for search engine optimization, today issued a white paper from a study on the SEO health of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies.

Using the patented Covario SEO Audit Score™, 16 of the world's largest pharmaceutical advertisers were measured from 0 to 100 (with 100 being "excellent" and 0 being "poor") on how well their websites are optimized for the highest volume keywords used by consumers and medical professionals when they are searching for drug-related information on Google, Bing and other search engines.

Pfizer came in first in the SEO study, followed by Merck, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. Pfizer took first place because it effectively optimized its websites for search queries around the word "pharmaceutical," which Covario found to be critical for generating strong brand recognition among medical professionals using Google and the other search engines.

"For decades pharmaceutical companies have been effective at using traditional advertising to target their largest brand advocates -- doctors," said Covario CEO Russ Mann. "The results from this study show that pharma advertisers have leveraged this expertise and applied it to SEO as a branding channel directed at medical practitioners. Having said that, pharmaceutical marketers have yet to translate their decades-old success in direct-to-consumer advertising in traditional channels like television into the Web-based organic search channel."

The study highlights how pharma advertisers are not showing up in organic search results for more consumer-focused, high-volume keywords like "medicine," "drugs," and "healthcare." The study found that the search results for these keywords, instead, are dominated by the likes of WebMD,, various universities, hospitals, and medical institutions.

"The good news is that there are a number of clear opportunities for pharmas to distinguish their brands by using SEO as a direct-to-consumer branding mechanism," Mann said. "It's clear that consumers are increasingly going to the Internet for information related to their medication needs."

Following Johnson & Johnson, there was a three-way tie for fifth place in the study among Bayer, Eli Lilly, and Novartis. Rounding out the other pharmaceutical firms in the study were GlaxoSmithKline, Abbot Laboratories, Bristol Meyers Squibb, Allergan, Amgen, Biogen Idec, Mylan, Gilead, and Genzyme.

The study is the second in a series that uses the Covario SEO Audit Score to rank the SEO health of leading brand advertisers in various industry sectors. (The initial report released earlier this year addressed the technology industry.) Pharmaceutical advertisers included in this most recent study were selected based on their inclusion among the Fortune 500 and representation in the Advertising Age magazine lists of top-spending global and/or national advertisers. Complete study findings, further insights, and the research methodology are available in a complimentary white paper that can be downloaded from the Covario website at

About Covario
Covario is the nation's largest independent provider of paid search and SEO agency services, as well as licensable SaaS-based SEO software solutions. The firm is also the innovator of a unique platform for cross-media optimization and attribution analysis, known as the Covario CMO Dashboard™. Headquartered in San Diego, the firm has more than 130 team members worldwide with offices in Chicago, London, Beijing, Tokyo, and Singapore. The company's growing customer base includes world leaders in technology, consumer electronics, retail, ecommerce, financial services, media, entertainment, publishing, and consumer packaged goods. More information about Covario is available at

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