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Search Engine Optimization Claims

Tacoma, WA: (Apr-08-08) State Attorney General Rob McKenna's office brought charges against Redmond-based Internet Advancement, a company that sells search-engine optimization services to small businesses, alleging that it misrepresented its ability to provide top search-engine rankings and increase Web traffic. The charges stated that the misconduct continued even after the suit was brought against it.

The suit claimed that Internet Advancement guaranteed that a customer's Web site will appear within the first 25 hyperlinks on major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and AOL, when specific key words are entered. The Attorney General's office received 82 complaints from small business about Internet Advancement. Records show that similar complaints were also filed with the Federal Trade Commission and Better Business Bureau.

As part of a settlement agreement reached between the two sides, Internet Advancement, which also does business as, agreed to pay a $118,386 civil penalty and $35,959 in attorneys' fees to resolve allegations. Further terms of the settlement agreement indicate the company is banned from selling or advertising them to new customers and must permit cancellation of existing contracts. [BUSINESS EXAMINER: AG ANNOUNCES NEW SETTLEMENT]

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Published on Apr-9-08


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