For years Google has taken no action against the companies using robocallers to prey on local businesses. Often robocallers take the form of solicitations and in the case of Google’s new lawsuit against these call scams, a search engine optimization company make robocalls pretending to be Google.
Local businesses that show prominently in organic Google Maps listings or use phone numbers in their pay per click campaigns get the most robocalls as it’s easy for these companies to get their phone number. And if you find yourself constantly besieged by annoying robocallers, you are not alone. “Our office is beseiged [sic] daily by phone calls asking to update our Google listing. The calls said we could push a number to be removed from their database, but the calls continue even after we did so. How do we get those calls to stop??”
Google finally takes a stand against robocallers by filing legal action against a search engine optimization firm claiming to be Google. According to the suit, Lighthouse Corp., the search engine optimization company, has made and continues to make false and misleading claims in regards to their service and relationship to Google in telemarketing calls to local business owners. In the claim, Google states that Lighthouse sales agents have made claims such as “we’re a Google subcontractor” or “we’re working for Google.”
In tandem with the legal action against Lighthouse, Google launched a new Safety Center page for businesses who receive robocalls from companies claiming to be affiliated with the search engine giant. On the page Google explains how business owners can protect themselves and file reports with Google for any misleading robocalls they receive.
Automated calls such as ones with a recording prompting you to press a button to speak with a representative about claiming or updating their Google My Business listing or about how they can get better performance with their advertising on Google are illegal in the United States as the recipients haven’t given consent to receive these types of robo sales calls.
Until now, even though Google’s reputation has suffered as a result of their inaction, Google has remained inactive and simply directed users to use the National Do Not Call Registry or to file complaints with the FCC or FTC. According to the article on SearchEngineLand.com, Google has refrained from action in the past due to robocaller companies often using untraceable phone numbers or fake company names in order to remain elusive. However, as robocalls continue to increase, the FCC received more than 214,00 complaints about unwanted calls in 2014, companies like Google can no longer remain inactive. Their recent actions make it clear that they will be more active in the future about addressing these types of issues that inundate local business owners.
About Alan Moore: Alan started his career in 1999 as a Marketing Consultant and is the owner of www.ExtraPatients.com. Over the years, he has migrated his focus of expertise to everything digital. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $4,200,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call to schedule a Free Online Marketing Consultation for your practice.
To read more of the article that inspired this blog, please visit: http://searchengineland.com/google-files-suit-against-seo-firm-accused-of-robocalling-launches-complaint-center-for-users-230796