Warning: Restaurant SEO - Thousands of Rogue Restaurant Sites - Some Hijacking GMB


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If you have restaurant clients you might want to read this.

Geekwire reports that thousands of sites connected with OrderAhead, a food delivery service - are posing as authorized restaurant sites. This diverts traffic from official restaurant. PLUS they are taking delivery orders on the sly, without the restaurant owner's knowledge.

FYI at 1st I thought these sites were just outranking in organic. But reportedly some of these sites are connected to GMB which totally could hijack a restaurant's traffic and get the rogue site a place in the pack.

BUT what makes this newsworthy is that OrderAhead is was born from Y Combinator and is funded by backers including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and Ignition Partners.

So anyway if you have clients in markets that OrderAhead serves, you might want to search to see if they are being outranked by a rogue site for their brand name.

<a href="http://www.geekwire.com/2015/exclusive-thousands-of-rogue-restaurant-websites-diverting-customers-to-orderahead-deliveries/">Exclusive: Thousands of rogue restaurant websites diverting customers to OrderAhead deliveries - GeekWire</a>

Frequently, the unofficial sites outrank the official restaurant sites in search results, using savvy SEO techniques. In some cases, for example, the sites have been connected to the Google Local listings for the restaurants, ensuring that the OrderAhead sites are featured more prominently in search results.
RELATED POST: Hey, restaurants: These sites are sending your customers to OrderAhead without your knowledge

The unofficial sites are registered under a variety of aliases and domain name proxies...

All the restaurants interviewed said they had no relationship with OrderAhead or any of their sites and had no idea the company was delivering their food.

The story above links to 2 previous stories about this issue so anyone involved with restaurants might want to follow the trail to get more information.

h/t Search Engine Land
 

Jim Froling

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As Mike Blumenthal stated on his G+ page a couple of days ago, how can this be legal? :confused:

And how in the world can they hijack a GMB profile? For a verified and authenticated listing? :eek:

Good thing Order Ahead got $10.5MM in funding. They will need it (I hope) to pay attorney fees from the lawsuits that are bound to blossom from this endeavor.
 
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I agree Jim!

Geekwire continues to investigate - more info this week.

<a href="http://www.geekwire.com/2015/orderahead-restaurant-website-deception-includes-widespread-violations-of-google-terms-of-service/">OrderAhead restaurant website deception includes widespread violations of Google terms of service - GeekWire</a>
 
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Greg Sterling just reported at Search Engine Land that Google has taken most of the rogue OrderAhead sites out of the index.

<a href="http://searchengineland.com/google-shuts-down-orderahead-local-restaurant-listings-hijackings-221198">Google Shuts Down OrderAhead Local Restaurant Listings Hijackings</a>
 

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