1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Google sues SEO company over harassing calls selling “Front Page Domination”

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by Asif WILSON Khan, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Messages:
    11,444
    Likes Received:
    32,348
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Fun Lovin' Criminal
    Location:
    London
    Home Page:
    SEO sales agents allegedly lied, said they were "Google subcontractors."


    Getting companies' names to show up higher in search engine results is the lucrative business known as search engine optimization, or SEO.
    There's a range of SEO practices, from "white hat" ones that are endorsed by search engines, to "black hat" practices that, while they may not be illegal, violate search engine rules.

    Now Google is taking a rare legal action against one Southern California SEO company it says went too far and broke the law. In its complaint (PDF), Google says that Tustin, California-based Local Lighthouse has bombarded consumers with "incessant, unsolicited automated telephone calls" since mid-2014, making "false guarantees of first-page placement in Google search results."

    Google lawyers also say Local Lighthouse misrepresents its relationship with Google. The company's salespeople call themselves "Google Local Listing representatives." According to complaints Google has received, Local Lighthouse sales agents have made statements including "We?re a Google subcontractor," "we?re working for Google," and "the $100 fee [to buy Local Lighthouse services] goes to Google." Lighthouse promises customer webpages "will show up multiple times on the front page and get what?s called ?Front Page Domination.?"

    Those misrepresentations violate trademark and false advertising laws, Google says. Local Lighthouse hasn't yet responded to the complaint, which was filed today in San Francisco federal court.
    The lawsuit was disclosed in a company blog post, which addresses the wider issue of robocalls marketing search services to businesses.

    "It?s difficult for Google to take action against callers because they often use untraceable phone numbers, fake company names, and massive global networks of intermediaries," writes Google Operations Manager Brad Wetherall. "Dealing with illegal robocallers isn?t just a waste of time, it can result in wasted resources and significant damage to your business. We hope these tips, and shining a light on the issue, will help discourage and eventually eliminate this practice."

    In general most types of pre-recorded marketing calls are illegal in the United States, and the Federal Trade Commission has taken action against some of the worst offenders. The FTC has also held contests offering cash prizes to people who develop anti-robocall technology. Despite that, robocalls have spiked in recent years because of the availability of autodialers that can send out thousands of phone calls per minute.

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/...arassing-calls-selling-front-page-domination/
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 8
  2. bartosimpsonio

    bartosimpsonio Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Messages:
    12,027
    Likes Received:
    10,817
    Occupation:
    WHEREZ MA
    Location:
    BITCOINS AT?
    Home Page:
    What are the odds they're BHW members?
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 2
  3. dandan594594

    dandan594594 Power Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2013
    Messages:
    545
    Likes Received:
    234
    Location:
    UK
    Autodialers are also on the increase in the UK, especially this year? Most people just add them to a "reject" list of numbers, but the marketer/company is still charged for the automated call.. not sure how viable the ROI is over time, but must work!
     
  4. kamayo

    kamayo Newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Los Angeles,CA
    +1 .

    My dad's business gets calls every day from someone claiming to work for google and will boost his seo.
     
  5. bartosimpsonio

    bartosimpsonio Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2013
    Messages:
    12,027
    Likes Received:
    10,817
    Occupation:
    WHEREZ MA
    Location:
    BITCOINS AT?
    Home Page:
    Take his name next time! He's famous now.
     
  6. ja1myn

    ja1myn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    305
    Client of mine actually almost left me for that company lol.
     
  7. nickvk

    nickvk BANNED BANNED

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2015
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    125
    i didn't knew that people can go to this level in seo too..
     
  8. MartysW0RLD

    MartysW0RLD Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    Messages:
    798
    Likes Received:
    171
    Occupation:
    ANGEL ON THE INTERNET
    Location:
    United States
    oh wow this company has called me before hahaha I always laughed it off
     
  9. sam3724

    sam3724 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,645
    Likes Received:
    426
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Internet marketeer
    Location:
    ***BHW***
    A new type of link building strategy.. Scam domination
     
  10. mickyfu

    mickyfu Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Messages:
    6,826
    Likes Received:
    19,617
    Location:
    Solihull Young Offenders
    Let this be a warning to all selling "Matt Cutts Approved Links". Google are watching you.
     
  11. Asif WILSON Khan

    Asif WILSON Khan Executive VIP Jr. VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2012
    Messages:
    11,444
    Likes Received:
    32,348
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Fun Lovin' Criminal
    Location:
    London
    Home Page:
    • Thanks Thanks x 1