A Washington-based company that sells search-engine optimization services to small businesses is prohibited from selling or advertising them to new customers and must permit cancellation of existing contracts, according to a settlement announced Tuesday by Attorney General Rob McKenna. Internet Advancement, of Redmond, which also does business as 4GreatBuys.com, was accused of misrepresenting its ability to provide top search-engine rankings and increase Web traffic, even after being sued by our office years ago for essentially the same allegations.
“The Attorney General’s Office has repeatedly proven that we won’t tolerate deceptive advertising by companies that sell products or services online,” McKenna said. “Despite our 2004 lawsuit against Internet Advancement and the company’s promise to provide good customer service, small businesses steadily complained about its services. Today’s settlement forbids Internet Advancement from advertising search optimization services to potential customers and requires it to comply with a refund program for unsatisfied businesses.”