IT training providers are fiddling their search engine entries to re-direct traffic away from competitors’ sites to their own.
The malpractice has prompted IT training watchdog the Institute of IT Training to warn its accredited providers to stop misusing Google adwords. Some providers put competitors’ names in this search engine facility, which then diverts searches to their sites.
“This is unethical practice and we have warned all or our accredited training providers that if they practise this method of gaining business from their competitors they must stop immediately,” said Colin Steed, who manages the institute’s campaign to stop Google adword misuse. The institute said it will withdraw accreditation if offenders don’t stop.
Steed added: “Google adwords basically mean that company A can use company B’s name in their adwords and when a user searches on company B, company A’s name comes up.”
The institute plans to launch a new accreditation programme for what it calls the self-funder market – small or one-man providers – in the next few months.