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Should small businesses file a class action lawsuit against google for manipulating search rankings?
Based on my recent experience, I believe google is using extortion type tactics to force small business owners to pay for advertising or be removed from the map. They changed the guidelines without notifying any of their users, and then left my listing alone until the day my adwords account went dry. That day I received a call from a rep to "verify" my account, which was actually a google representative flagging my account. My listing disappeared that day, and has not returned since. This is happening to small business owners all over. Do you think we should file a class action lawsuit?
Google is a business, not a free service. I don't know where people get this idea that the internet is nothing but free advertising. You can't run a tv ad without paying for it, so if you want to guarantee front page search results, pay for it.
I don't know what keywords you are actually trying to rank for, but "house painting Greensboro NC" only has 2 sponsored results up top, so it should be fairly easy to get on the front page without buying ads. Looking at your site, your home page and privacy are the only pages with enough content. Most of your pages only having one short paragraph is what is hurting you the most. Your titles are way too long, and your descriptions are too short and generic. Not to mention that you are using keyword meta tags, which really does nothing but show that you, or whoever made your website, doesn't really know what they are doing.
Sure, you could try filing a lawsuit, but to be honest, with your website, you'd get laughed out of the courtroom.
I appreciate the tips on on SEO, but you miss the point. This is not about organic search results. This is about removing my business from the map for not paying for adwords. Google places/local/maps deleted thousands of legitimate businesses.
Google Places and Google Adwords are two different things.
As far as why your business isn't listed on Google Places, without actually seeing your account dashboard, I have no idea. But it has nothing to do with Adwords.
By the way, google does offer many free services. Google places/local/maps/search are all advertised as free products. Using that free product to manipulate businesses for money is unethical, and false advertising.
I'm forced to agree with Sapper. No one is forced to use Google as their search engine. It's not government controlled or sponsor and so can theoretically favor whoever it wants. It's a business whose responsibility it is to make money for itself.
Unless you're paying them for a service they haven't provided, I don't think you would have any legal grounds for a court case. They aren't legally required to include anyone in anything.
The lawsuit in question seeks damages for the losses suffered from unfair business practices. The FTC is going after them for manipulating the search results to favor their products and partners. The practice cost small businesses billions.
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