Businesses warned a ‘Google rogue’ is on the loose

25 May 2009

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Google in Ireland and the UK has confirmed that a UK company aggressively targeting Irish SMEs by falsely offering them improved Google results is not affiliated with the search giant.

Bray-based online directory provider has said that in the past week hundreds of its customers have been approached by a UK company falsely offering them improved Google results.

The UK company tells the businesses that they are being approached on Google’s behalf and that if they hand over their credit-card details they can jump ahead in Google searches within 48 hours.

Google has confirmed this company’s claims are completely false. “We’re extremely concerned to learn of companies without affiliation to Google using our name to mislead or mistreat small businesses who want to advertise online.

"Our legal team investigates such abuses and we continue to work with the relevant authorities to combat the problems caused. We always urge businesses in the UK and Ireland to work only with agencies they know and trust.

“We have established a programme of Authorised Google AdWords Resellers, whom businesses can trust to manage their advertising on Google. Alternatively, they can do this directly with us at adwords.google.com,” the company stated.

The managing director of What’s What Barbara Gordon, who established her business in Bray seven years ago, has warned firms to be vigilant.

“We are currently inundated with emails and calls from small Irish businesses who have paid this company over the odds to increase their websites visibility and ranking on Google.

“Along with misleading consumers into thinking they are working on behalf of a Google division, we believe the company is also claiming to be affiliated to What’s What. We would like to confirm that What’s What have no connection with this or any other UK marketing company,” she added.

By John Kennedy

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com