Ever gotten a phone call from “Google” trying to help you rank your business website better? I’ve had three so far in the last two months alone – and you know what? It’s never actually Google. Usually the broken English gives it away, but if that doesn’t than consider this: do you really think Google has people out there trying to sell you better rankings for your website, all while working so hard at producing natural ranking algorithms? No. They’re not. You know who is though, Local Lighthouse – a California SEO firm that Google claims has been robocalling people and posing as Google engineers offering search engine optimization services.
The only automated phone calls you’ll ever actually get from Google are the ones you’re already expecting to get. For example, requests for a PIN to verify your My Business listing. Or if you have a support ticket that has escalated to a point where it requires live support. Anything else and it’s probably not Google on the other line.
Whether or not Local Lighthouse actually took part in such shady practices is between them, Google, and the court where Google filed suit against Local Lighthouse. However this does send out the warning shots to any company participating in such practices. Google’s getting fed up – and they’re not taking it lightly anymore. The lawsuit against Local Lighthouse was filed in the Northern District of California and is a 3 part complaint for Federal Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition and False Designation and False Advertising. Mike Blumenthal has a copy of the full complaint on his blog.
Furthermore Google issued a public message regarding their stance on illegal robocalling – hoping to discourage those who are still using the practice.
Robocallers have targeted Google users for many years. Callers commonly bombard recipients—usually small business owners or individuals—with misleading offers and promotions for improving Google Search and AdWords rankings, or to improve their Google My Business profile. Since the beginning of 2015, we’ve received hundreds of complaints from users about robocalls they’ve received from businesses claiming to be affiliated with Google.
These illegal calls are a huge nuisance, cause small businesses and Google users to unnecessarily worry, and can lead to rip-offs. Illegal robocalls never have, and never will, come from Google.
Anyone that has gotten these phone calls knows just how annoying they are – and hopefully this is the start to a battle against robocalling.