Getting companies’ names to show up higher in search engine results is the field of the lucrative business known as search engine optimization, or SEO.
There’s a range of SEO practices, from “white hat” ones that are endorsed by search engines, to “black hat” practices that, while they may not be illegal, violate search engine rules.
Now Google is taking a rare legal action against one Southern California SEO company it says went too far and broke the law. In its complaint (PDF), Google says that Tustin, California-based Local Lighthouse has bombarded consumers with “incessant, unsolicited automated telephone calls” since mid-2014, making “false guarantees of first-page placement in Google search results.”
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