Google Files a Lawsuit Against Internet Marketing Company To Stop Robocalls

Computers and headsets from a call center in lineIf there’s one thing internet marketing companies are quick to tell business owners, it’s that they do not want to mess with Google when it comes to online marketing and SEO — and the latest news about a lawsuit filed by Google is proof.

According to new reports from Search Engine Journal and Search Engine Land, Google has finally taken significant steps to root out “robocallers” that attempt to take advantage of small businesses by claiming affiliation with Google. These calls, as Venture Beat explains, are automated and claim to be delivering a message on behalf of a certain company.

These types of messages are delivered to private phone numbers all the time, and they aren’t limited to the marketing industry; you would be hard-pressed to find just one person who hasn’t received one of these automated calls during dinnertime (always during dinnertime…).

However, Google has been receiving complaints about these robocalls since 2011 and finally decided to take action, explaining that the calls are “damaging Google’s reputation.”

The company has just filed a lawsuit against the marketing firm Local Lighthouse, which is being accused of “posing as Google and harassing small businesses with incessant phone calls in an attempt to get them to pay for services,” according to SEJ.

“Robocallers have targeted Google users for many years,” said Brad Wetherall, the operations mananger of Google My Business. “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.”

“My clients have received robocalls from companies claiming that their Google listings needed to be updated,” says Suzanne Jeska, Owner, MRN Designs, LLC. They had no idea how to even get to their listing and were skeptical of the caller. Robocalls in general can be very disruptive and unwanted to the small business owner. Once your business posts its phone number or has an online form, you can fall victim to unwanted sales calls and email inquiries. Also, be very careful of scams involving one of these companies requesting your credit card numbers.”

The companies that send out Google-wannabe robocalls are often difficult to trace, since they typically use fake names and untraceable phone numbers. Not to mention that real calls from Google will always feature a real person rather than a recording, according to SEJ.

However, Local Lighthouse appears to have slipped up this time — and Google isn’t letting them get away.

In addition to posting a blog about how to identify and report robocalls, Google filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, Sept. 16 in the Northern District of California against Local Lighthouse Corp., which operates out of Tustin, California.

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