SEO Firm Settles Case With Washington AG

Share this content:
Washington's attorney general agreed to a settlement with a Redmond, WA, SEO firm it accuses of not delivering promised top search results to customers.


Attorney general Christine Gregoire filed a lawsuit and settlement in King County Superior Court on Wednesday laying out a case of business deception against SEO firm Internet Advancement. The company, which also operates under the name 4GreatBuys.com, is alleged to have promised clients top rankings on search engines, then failed to deliver or refund customers' money.


The attorney general's office said that it, the FTC and the Better Business Bureau received more than 100 complaints against Internet Advancement, which charged clients $980 to $1,500 upfront and $79.50 to $89.50 a month for SEO services that would land their sites in the top 10 or 20 results of major search engines.


Under the settlement, Internet Advancement is barred from misrepresenting its services and required to clarify its refund policy and respond promptly to customers' complaints. The firm also was fined nearly $100,000 and ordered to pay restitution to customers who lodged complaints. The suit named Internet Advancement's executives: Todd Wickham, Ken Committee and Ernesto Villamor.


Internet Advancement is not the first SEO firm in hot water. Traffic Power, Las Vegas, has been the subject of at least 18 complaints to the BBB and numerous complaints on industry forums. Its search optimization practices, such as the use of doorway pages to fool Web search spiders, led some clients to get banned from major search engines.


At the Search Engine Strategies conference last week, Search Engine Watch editor Danny Sullivan said the SEO industry had developed a reputation as a group of shady operators. He urged the development of an industry-wide code of conduct, possibly through the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization, an industry trade group set up in August 2003.


close

Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above