Googlewashing Practice Becomes Lucrative Business

A new type of business, called Googlewashing allows companies to pay a certain questionable service provides in order to remove negative information about your company from search engines such as Google. Hence the name Googlewashing.

According to news article about Googlewashing published at 9news.com some companies charge as little as $10 a month, but others charge as much as $10,000 to $30,000.

They go by names like ReputationHawk.com, DefendMyName.com and ReputationDefender.com.

ReputationDefender.com claims to have made $2 million deleting negative information from search engines. The company is based out of California, but doesn't have a phone number.

Brian Livingston in his article 'Googlewashing' Makes Your Site Invisible (published in 2005) makes a reference to a French group known as Dark SEO Team (the acronym means Search Engine Optimization) developed a deliberate hack into Google's search-engine algorithm. The team's own copycat page was soon also ranking higher than Cutts' original. And the group made a chilling claim:

"Anyone can use Google's duplicate content filters to ruin a competitor's website, and steal his ranking and traffic," according the team's Open Letter to Matt Cutts.

While Googlewashing may be a threat for some, other computer experts are skeptical of it, since Google does not easily forget the embarrassing moments of your company history. Once the data is there, it's there for a long time. It's perhaps possible with Googlewashing to bury the data a little deeper, but to get out it's almost impossible.

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