Real Search Cowboys in Belgium

Mon 5 July 2010 18:47, Gabriel Goldberg

Real Search Cowboys in Belgium

Today is the third time I have heard concrete stories of false & misleading pitches from a particular web agency in Belgium. The company promises prospects first position on Google with enhanced sponsored links through a commercial deal with Google Belgium marketing team composed by just one person.

The company core business is website maintenance for small and medium-sized websites. So this company strategy is to use Google's name claiming to have privileges for the ranking of the website in Google's natural listings. On top of that, they mislead prospects saying they are mandated by Google for the management of their existing Google AdWords account and/or set-up of a new account. Be aware ! This company terms & conditions involves the signature of a 48 months maintenance and service management contract that is operated through the company's call centres in Belgium and Morocco.

More than a year ago an Israëli company promised prospective clients the same ! They claimed they could guarentee high and first position in Google Search results and affirmed having a deal with Google allowing them to do so. Now that this situation is relevant to our Belgian market, I can only congratulate the pro-activeness of Google Israel in this matter and encourage Google Belgium and/or Julien Blanchez, head of marketing and responsible for these deals, to do the same.

Indeed, Google Israel decided to act and issue a press release with the following message: "Google search results are objective and automated. No humans tamper with them and they cannot be bought or sold. Google does allow users to buy ads along the left hand side of the screen. Ad and search results are not related in any way and we have entirely separate teams working on them so that there is no interference. Any company that offers a placement on our organic search results is simply deceiving the public."

With this article I would like to encourage Google Belgium to issue a similar communication in order to cut the grass under the feet of the so-called professional cowboys promising anything and diluting Google's offer on the market.

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    • Gabriel

    I am trying to get an official reaction from Google. In the last 2 weeks, I have sent 5 e-mails to Google Belgium Country Manager, Marketing Manager and Communication Manager. Not only have they confirmed having received and read my mails, but they have promised an offial answer which I am still awaiting. Judge for yourself - see below the original mail I sent Google Belgium two weeks ago:

    Hello Julien,

    Today, I heard from one of my clients they have been approached with misleading arguments by your co-marketing partner for the services of web maintenance, SEO & SEA. The salesperson said that through their deal with Google, they have privileges in the ranking of Google and have access to enhanced Google AdWords Accounts. The usual story !

    In the interest of the market, I have also decided to do a blog post about it. You will find it on the following link:

    My first concern of course are my clients. So far I thought they only approaching very small and insignificant prospects. I am shocked to hear they are also attacking the torso market. My second concern is the image of Google on the market. I believe we have a common interest here and I hope you understand and take my concerns seriously. A great idea would be to officially respond to my blog post and/or use any official Google Blog to convey a positive message to the market. This way, I believe you will be looked at favourably by the market for taking these concerns seriously and helping protect your users and clients. I know that the same concerns were raised in Israel, where Google responded with the press communication I refer to in my article/blogpost.

    I hope you can replicate for the Belgian market with little effort.

    Kind regards,

    Za 17 jul 2010, 21:35

    • Gabriel

    3 months have passed, and still no answer from Google.... and things don't seem to improve.

    Only market reaction are the amounts of conferences and trainings on the subject: the market compensates Google unwillingness to take a position!

    Di 19 okt 2010, 12:39


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