BAD SEO! Bad! Internet Advancement Gets Busted and What It Means
Ian Lurie Apr 11 2008
Internet Advancement is going to have to pay about $450,000 in penalties and refunds after the Washington State Attorney busted them for:
- Deceptive advertising: They guaranteed top 25 rankings for their clients.
- Charging customer credit cards without authorization.
- Failing to respond to customer complaints etc. etc..
Internet Advancement charged folks between $1000 and $4000 ‘set up’ and then $149/month for SEO.
I’m not one to dance on anyone’s grave, but Internet Advancement won’t be going out of business, so:
And so on. I am sick of having to compete with crooks and liars who have no business goals except “rip off as many customers as possible”.
What This Means
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: If it sounds to good to be true, it is. $149/month might pay for a link on a spam site. It won’t get you spit in a rainstorm when it comes to long-term, successful SEO.
Internet Advancement promises things like ‘submission to major search engines’ and ‘META tag optimization’. Both are outdated, worthless tactics that should scare any savvy customer away.
But they don’t go after savvy customers. They use the promise of high rankings to lure in naive ones. Then they made money by charging their cards again and again and hoping the clients wouldn’t notice.
In short, this ruling means that Internet Advancement Is bad, and that they’re getting their comeuppance. Except that they’re still allowed to be in business, which frustrates the hell out of me.
More in a moment about what this means for the SEO Standards debate.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More