Have you received a call from an auto-dialer about your Google Business Listing – warning you that your listing needs to be verified and is at risk of being deleted? Then, after you accepted the call, answered verifying questions – only to be offered internet marketing services to boost your presence on Google (from a marketing firm – NOT Google)?
Fake Google Verification Calls
Beware of these Google Listing Verification calls. I have received two of them myself – one just yesterday. In my humble opinion, I feel it’s a dirty, misleading business practice for any advertising agency, whether they are a Certified Google Partner or not, to manipulate business owners into taking their call – just so they can sell them internet marketing services. A-Game Strategic Marketing offers these internet marketing services, too – and we feel every business needs them if they desire to be found online — BUT, we would never mislead anyone into thinking WE were Google to get them to speak with us. In fact, I’m quite certain Google would not approve of this practice either – as they strive to provide relevant (non-manipulated) search results to every Google user and penalize those advertisers caught using black-hat practices.
Misleading Calls I’ve Received
When I received the first call (for my other company, A Classic Cut Lawn Care), I was even fooled… at first. I called the gentleman out rather quickly, by asking him if he was calling from Google. It took me a minute to get a straight answer from him, but I kept pressing him because I found the call unusual and suspect. Of course, he wasn’t with Google – but was allegedly a Certified Google Partner. While that may be true, it was VERY misleading. (Google does verify some listings via phone – but it’s a quick automated phone call – no questions and no selling.) He was calling from another internet marketing agency trying to convince me that he was from Google, and that I needed their services to improve my rankings. (He obviously didn’t know what I did for a living – OR that our company was already ranking #1 or on page one for most all our services.) When I told him what I thought about their business practice, he humbly told me he was “just trying to earn a living.” I felt bad for him – because I could tell in his voice that he didn’t think it was right either — but was simply ‘doing his job.’
Yesterday’s caller identified himself as ‘Carl.’ And when I asked his company name, he said xurly.com – and even spelled it out for me (not a valid url). He refused to give me the owner’s name, when asked – but wanted to know why I was asking. I told him I strongly disagreed with their business practices. When researching that caller id information, I found that the number from which this particular call was initiated (from Plainfield, IN) had numerous complaints against it – and had already been blocked by several others.
These experiences concern me, as I wonder how many small-to-mid sized business owners are being duped by this poor business practice… being led to believe these lies? Therefore, I am writing this to warn all of the SMB’s out there that you may, too, be targeted.
Should your company have Google Business Listing?
If you want to be found online, the answer is definitely ‘YES – your business should have a Google Business Listing!’ In addition to having an up-to-date, search friendly website that is also user-friendly, AGameSM is a firm believer in Google Business Listings – and the need to optimize your listings to their fullest – especially when Google still has over 75% of search market share.
Google My Business is a great (and FREE) tool for listing your business on Google. It’s easy to use and has taken the place of Google Pages and Google Maps Listings. If you already had a Google Pages or Google Maps page, it most likely converted for you automatically.
AGameSM offers this local seo service – along with our other internet marketing services. And no, we do not claim we are from Google 🙂 Contact us today if you’d like assistance with your Local SEO or other services. We’d love the opportunity to work with you!
And, if you are a ‘do-it-yourselfer’ and want to get a handle on your Google Business Listings yourself, click here to claim your business listing and get started now! You’ll be walked thru the process step-by-step to get set-up – and this may include a verification call which YOU initiate. Good Luck! (Please share this to keep your friends and colleagues informed, too!)
Image courtesy of graur codrin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Trisha has spent 16 years in the directional advertising and marketing field. Focused on SMB's digital marketing via mobile-friendly and seo-friendly websites that help drive traffic and create more opportunities for growth.
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