Senator Complains To Search Engines About Moving Companies
September 26, 2012

Senator Calls Out Search Engines For Shoddy Moving Companies’ SEO Tactics

Lee Rannals for — Your Universe Online

The Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation sent out a letter to popular search engines, claiming how shoddy moving companies are using SEO tactics to gain customers.

John D. Rockefeller wrote to Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, warning them about how companies are "gaming the system" in order to come up with higher search results, despite their bad reviews.

Customers have complained of losing personal possessions through the moving companies, or paying thousands of dollars above quoted prices.

Rockefeller wrote that customers found these moving companies after entering general search terms into an Internet search.

"In their attempt to shop for the services of a reputable moving company online, these consumers instead hired companies that misrepresented their services and caused them serious financial harm," he wrote to the companies on Tuesday.

He said internet moving brokers received high numbers of consumer complaints, but still ranked highly in search results due to how they were able to boost their search rankings through SEO.

"For example, one company had tens of thousands of external links to its website and, upon closer review, these links proved to be largely irrelevant," Rockefeller wrote. "They included abandoned blogs, link directors for unrelated topics, and college student groups and organizations, such as the Cornell Gymnastics Club."

The comments are not a call to action as much as a call to attention for Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to see how some can still abuse SEO.

TechCrunch reported that Rockefeller's committee also contacted the Department of Transportation as a result of the investigation.

The site reached out to Google, which said it will be making updates to its search algorithms that could help the situation.

“We make more than 500 improvements to our search algorithms every year to make them more useful, including a significant update this past April to combat practices like link schemes," Google told TechCrunch. "We´re always looking for ways to make it harder for scammers to trick consumers, so we appreciate the specifics the Committee provided."

The company said the senator's concerns help to point out how important it is for search engines to quickly improve for their users.