Any business that has a website needs visitors to that site, and the Holy Grail for attracting those visitors in today’s online world is ranking at the top of Google for the products and services that they sell.
Google is the default search engine for most of the world, if you want to find something online you ‘Google it’. This puts them in a position of power that means they have the ability to control the online content that people see.
Unfortunately in certain industries such as logbook loans in the UK unscrupulous companies have manipulated this by building multiple websites and pay per click accounts. The consumer is led to believe that these are different companies when in fact any inquiry via one of these websites goes to the same company.
These websites are ranking in the first positions on Google when you search for various terms around logbook loans. This is misleading the consumer by not making it easy for them to choose between various providers.
This type of unethical approach is very easy for companies to set up, they just need to register a domain name that looks like it is a separate business but direct online enquiries and phone calls to their main business.
Frustrating for ethical businesses
It is becoming increasingly frustrating for ethical businesses in the industry that offer a high level of customer service because having to compete with multiple websites and pay per click accounts pushes marketing costs up to levels that are unsustainable.
This needs to be combatted by a regulatory body because misleading consumers is a serious offence. People searching Google for logbook loans should be able to browse a selection of the best providers rather than being fooled into thinking they are looking at different companies when they are in fact only viewing one or two.
Google has a monopoly in online search, they have no serious threats to their search position. This unprecedented situation means that they have ultimate control over the content people see and don’t see online. Google themselves have stated on many occasions that they strive to deliver the best results possible, however this doesn't seem to be the case when it comes to the short term loans industry in the UK.
It would be hard for anyone to argue that companies should be allowed to manipulate a loop hole in Google’s search algorithm in this way if they are looking at it from the view of what is best for the consumer. In an ideal world the Advertising Standards Authority should be able to regulate this to ensure that consumers aren't misled in any way. In many markets Google has taken steps to clean up search spam, so logbook loans should be no exception.
Varooma are a logbook loans company that provide the cheapest logbook loans in the UK. No credit check is required and once an application is made, customers can receive the money into their account on the same day.