Brokers beware: competitors could be using your name to boost their search engine rankings. That is in fact what one leading broker is alleging.
Vancouver broker Mike Averbach, of Averbach Mortgages, found another brokerage firm blatantly encoding his name on a blog webpage entirely unrelated to him or his brokerage. A Google search for his name yields a hit for that competitor’s site on page two of the search results.
“It’s very frustrating and aggravating, and how I should go about taking care of this?” Averbach told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “It’s infringing on my gains and my search engine marketing.”
Averbach's competitor told MortgageBrokerNews.ca that someone else constructed the webpage and that he was unaware of the tag.
Averbach had been using search engine optimization (SEO) since 2007 and regularly checks the company’s placement in organic search results by using the computers of friends. Those computers don’t have search histories that would influence results.
Averbach is concerned that another competitor may also be using his name to drum up Internet leads.
That second competitor's Google ad pops up with a search for “Mike Averbach.”
Averbach is now pursuing CAAMP complaints against both competing brokers.
“People using my name to gain rankings in Google – what do you do about that?” Averbach said. “I know you can do something in the United States but I’m not sure what you can do in Canada.”
CAAMP’s ethics investigator, Mark Webb, said the organization would investigate any complaint, but could not comment on how that investigation would turn out.
“It sounds similar to a case I already have,” Webb told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “To be fair, you have to get both sides of the story because there could be more details that the person making the complaint is unaware of.”