In the past, we have alerted our customers and other local businesses about telemarketers and mail/email spam claiming to come directly from Google, or on their behalf. Their sales pitches and/or services offered will vary, but all have one thing in common: they are deceiving businesses and website owners into paying for something they don’t want, need or understand.

We recently had a firsthand experience that took this tactic to a new level. Last week, we had a salesman come into our Billings office wearing a “Google” t-shirt and selling a service that included various SEO benefits, which would “help a business/website rank higher in Google searches”. He began by stating that Google recently made a “big change,” and that the only way for businesses to succeed going forward is to work with his company. He went on to (falsely) state that Google wants to eliminate companies that offer SEO services, like Zee Creative, and also claimed that the founder of their company was a former high level Google employee (we could find no evidence to support this claim).  He also stated that he is “in the meetings at Google headquarters,” where he receives inside information about their algorithms. One of the most outrageous of his claims was that they have direct access to “Google’s servers,” and that the information they submit carries “one thousand times the weight” than it would if submitted by a normal user.

We want to remind you that Google does not send out representatives, and especially won’t do so unannounced. If someone contacts you unsolicited in any way, claiming they are from Google or have a special partnership with them and/or access to their data, you can be assured that they don’t. Be especially wary if they make claims about search engine optimization (SEO) or increasing search rankings.

Google is well aware of these types of scams and has even published warnings against companies who are participating in this all too common form of deception. They warn specifically to not work with companies that claim they have a “special relationship” with them or that guarantee #1 rankings…both are simply not true.

Google does have several “certified partner” programs (such as the AdWords certified partner program, which we are a part of, however these partners do not have direct access to anything special and do not receive secret information that wouldn’t also be made known to the general public. The Google Partner program is a way for businesses to find marketers or agencies who “have passed Google AdWords product certification exams and are up to date with the latest product knowledge”.

Our goal in everything that we do is to provide a high-quality product at a reasonable price. These types of scams take advantage of unsuspecting businesses and diminish the quality of our industry as a whole, so we take them very seriously. If you have any questions or concerns about an experience you’ve had, please let us know and we can do our best to help.