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Australia targets unsavoury SEO agencies

The office of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO), Kate Carnell, is taking aim at the country’s SEO service providers. It believes digital marketing consultants are over-promising and under-delivering to small- and medium-sized businesses in the country, according to a SmartCompany interview with Carnell.

The ASBFEO received roughly 100 reports of unsavory practices by SEO agencies last year, but it believes the true scope of the issue is much larger. Carnell is pushing for more regulation to improve what SmartCompany calls “a minefield of dodgy practitioners who business owners claim are being intentionally deceptive.”

This isn’t the first time SEO companies have been accused of malpractice. In 2017, regulators in the United Kingdom shuttered a company called Movette that “used fraudulent tactics to sell a Google My Business listings management service,” according to Search Engine Land. Earlier this year, Google sued Supreme Marketing Group for claiming it was affiliated with the search giant, effectively putting it out of business.

Google has also sought to fight unscrupulous digital advertising agencies by launching a complaint center where business owners can report fraudulent services.

The digital marketing industry is a fruitful breeding ground for deceptive practices. Small- and medium-sized business owners realize, rightly, that digital marketing is a necessity in today’s marketplace. Unfortunately, few have the technical expertise or capacity to manage their own campaigns. That’s where digital marketing agencies come in: business owners hand over significant parts of their advertising budgets and rely on agencies’ unique expertise to deliver results.

At GrowthEngine Media, we take this responsibility extremely seriously. Our SEO and SEM services are built on a foundation of transparency, consistent reporting, and open communication. We’re proud to offer prompt, thorough customer service whenever and however necessary.

As a Google Premier Partner digital marketing agency with access to unique insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media has established itself has a trustworthy, reputable provider of online advertising services. Feel free to contact us today with any concerns regarding campaign performance or brand safety.


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