Local businesses are constantly getting robocalls from “Google”. This is how you can tell if it’s legit.
When I first started offering the Google Street View service I thought it was going to be an easy sell to any local business, especially when I have the Google brand behind me. I quickly learned that I was very wrong as local businesses are constantly inundated with calls from telemarketers claiming to be “google” from everything to “claim and verify their local page”, to adwords and seo services. Many businesses are getting 3 or more calls a week, and understandably are quite frustrated with these calls. In reality, Google themselves rarely actually call, and the majority of calls claiming to be from Google are actually other companies selling other services.
Question for #yeg Business owners. How often do you get those annoying robocalls asking you to “claim your free google listing”?
— Kyle Giesbrecht 📸📷 (@fotofotoYEG) January 10, 2018
Below are a few examples of the types of calls businesses typically receive from “Google” along with how to determine if it’s real or not.
“Hello, we need to verify your Google local page” – This is probably the most common calls business will get, however most often it’s not actually Google.
From Google- Google occasionally calls businesses to verify their information. Most often these calls are coming from a call centre in India and can be a little confusing. The easiest way to determine if these calls are from Google, is they usually come from a MountainView California area code (650) and they will not be trying to sell you anything. They will ask you a few general questions and get off the line quickly. Here’s a great example of a call from Google recorded by my friends at Adster Creative.
Robocall Not From Google – These can be calls from everything from people selling SEO services, to outright scams. These calls will usually start with them telling you something is wrong with your google listing and then they will go in to their services that they offer to help you fix it. Many times they claim to be Google, or a google partner. These people are not Google. The rule of thumb here is if they are trying to sell you something, it’s not Google!
“Hello, we can help you get listed at the top of Google” – Google does not sell SEO services, and no one can guarantee a top ranking
I have actually had a call telling me that the top spot for “Photographer” just opened up on google and they have reserved it for me. DO NOT believe these people. Google keeps their ranking factors very private and it is constantly changing. If you want to improve your Google rankings, understand that it’s a long process, and hire someone local in your city that you can meet in person. Don’t give money to some stranger over the phone, no matter how convincing. (If you’re looking for some legit local help, we have a local seo service for small businesses, and we are happy to meet in person and explain everything upfront with you!
“Hello, your Google listing is about to expire and we need to renew it”
I’ve heard this from business owners that have hired less than honest Google adwords partners in the past. They will call acting like they are with Google, and say that your google listing will be removed if they don’t renew their contract. It’s a scare tactic. If you have verified your own local page, you are in control of it and no one can remove it. The only thing they may be able to do is to remove your adwords PPC campaign, if they have set it up for you. (but that’s probably for the best as you don’t want to work with these kinds of people)
One thing that I think is important to note when it comes to agencies selling Google adwords. The Google program for certified advertisers is called Google Partners. Many of these agencies will take this “partner” classification to make it sound like they are working closely with google. In reality, all it takes to become an adwords partner is taking and passing a few tests. Just as with choosing an SEO agency, I would choose someone local that you can meet in person, don’t hire someone over the phone.
“Hello, Did you know you can get your business on Street View?”
Many Google trusted photographers and trusted agencies have started cold calling and hiring telemarketers to sell their service. These photographers/agencies are not Google employees, and should make it clear that they are independent contractors. Google no longer monitors quality or vets the people that they allow to be partners in the Street View program, so please ensure the photograhpher has a really strong portfolio before hiring them (or if you are reading this, just hire fotofoto!) . If you do get a call make sure you check that they are certified in your area on the official Google website.