It's a "sponsored link," meaning that BP paid for it to be there and to come up as the first item when someone searched for the term.
It was first spotted by ABC News, which did a report on it Saturday, including an admission by BP that it had done so.
"We have bought search terms on search engines like Google to make it easier for people to find out more about our efforts in the Gulf and make it easier for people to find key links to information on filing claims, reporting oil on the beach and signing up to volunteer," BP spokesman Toby Odone told ABC News.
The notion isn't new; political campaigns such as John McCain's made an art out of buying sponsored links on Google (though some were more successful than others).
But the ABC News piece quoted expert Kevin Ryan saying that typical users don't see the difference between a legitimate search result and a sponsored one, and cited BP's move -- which he said was the first time it had been done in such a situation -- as an example of how the company is trying to spin the situation.
Another expert in the ABC News story estimated that BP was spending $10,000 per day on the Google campaign.
BP is just trying to save face and most important, retain the value of its company in this dire situation. It has been over a month and improvements have not been evident. The worst is that the environment of not-so near states have not been affected. BP is leveraging any means possible to demonstrate dominance in spinning their information. But the facts are the facts. BP was cheap/negligent to maintain the pipes and now, look what happened. Online Paid Campaign can not put a plug in this situation.