Google announced yesterday that they are "taking legal action against Kydia Inc. d/b/a BeyondMenu, Point Break Media, LLC (and affiliated entities), and Supreme Marketing Group, Inc. d/b/a Small Business Solutions." They claim this company has threatened business that they will be removed from Google's local search and map results if they do not pay them a fee.
Google wrote "earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission brought action against Point Break Media, LLC (and related entities and individuals) for misleading small businesses with threats to remove their listings from Google Search and Maps and demands that they pay for unwanted search optimization services." This sounds similar to when Google sued another company for robocalling and confusing businesses into thinking it was Google calling them.
Google said this is what they are doing now:
- We're taking legal action against Kydia Inc. d/b/a BeyondMenu, Point Break Media, LLC (and affiliated entities), and Supreme Marketing Group, Inc. d/b/a Small Business Solutions. We hope this sends the message to other scammers out there that we will not hesitate to take legal action against them.
- We've developed new automated and manual techniques to better identify Google accounts tied to scam efforts. We’ve updated our policies, so that when we identify Google accounts tied to scams we’re better able to take action - whether that’s removing the accounts from our platforms entirely or limiting their capabilities.
- We've created a new tool that lets business owners report scammy practices and policy violations, and provide the specific information needed for us to take action against these third parties.
- We've started providing resources and education to local small business organizations and the partners we work with through our Get Your Business Online program , so they can empower their communities to identify, prevent, and report scams. To request a Google speaker to help educate your communities on how to avoid fraud and scams, complete and submit this form.
- We're launching the Google My Business Partners program. The program will give business owners a directory of trusted partners to choose from when they need help managing their listings.
Some of this was announced earlier but this is a good move. I doubt this will solve the issue but it will likely reduce the amount of times this happens, I hope.