Read this if you’ve been getting calls from Google.
It could be a robocall asking you to press a button to speak to a sales rep, or it could be an actual person who is “alerting” you that you are not showing up, or that there is a problem with your listing.
But… wait for it… that was NOT Google.
They don’t make unsolicited phone calls.
And here is a list of the other things Google doesn’t do:
- charge for inclusion in Google My Business or in Google Search
- offer to improve your search ranking or manage your business’s online profile
- ask you for your password or verification code
There are really only two reasons Google will contact a small business owner:
- If you are running a paid Adwords campaign and you request a call from a Google account manager.
- To give you a pin # when you are in the process of claiming a free listing.
Bottom line, when someone calls from “google” they are lying.
What To Do When You Get A Robocall
Just hang up.
Even if the call says “press a number to be removed from the list”, don’t do it. They will just take it as a signal to keep calling!
Any pressure or scare tactics over the phone are meant to confuse you into taking action before you think it through.
There is no emergency that Google would contact you over.
The robocallers may try you a few times. It can be frustrating.
But eventually they will just move on to a new target.
Understand What A Google Partner Is
To further protect you, it helps to know some terms.
There is a title called “Google Partner”.
This is a third party agency or marketer that took some basic training and got a certification from Google.
All it really means is that the agency / marketer has at least an entry-level understanding of how Google services work. It does not guarantee you (the small business owner) any results.
Or to put it another way, if I take cooking classes at a high-end restaurant for one weekend, it does not mean I get to tell people I work for the restaurant or that I am a trained chef.
So someone might call you and offer to help you show up higher in the search results for a specific phrase, or to run pay-per-click ads for you.
They might let you know they are a Google Partner.
As long as they don’t claim to be working with or for Google, or promising specific results, you can just weigh their offer versus the cost like any other service.
We list some red flags for scammy SEO providers here.
What Does It Mean To Verify Or Claim A Business Listing?
Your listing on Google My Business is an important part of search results (eg. on the map, for quick mobile searches, etc).
It is free to setup.
Sometimes the listing already exists, but it needs to be claimed. That means there was some general public info put online (usually out of date), but the company (you) has not verified ownership of the listing.
Since Google changes so often, and there are a few steps involved to manage a listing, business owners may just ignore it.
That is a mistake, because it does make it faster and much more convenient for customers to find you.
So some companies will charge to help you update your listing. The reasoning behind this is that you are trading some money to save you a bunch of time figuring it out and then going through the steps.
One of those steps includes verifying the listing. You will need to be involved for this.
You will either get one phone call with a pin # to complete the verification, or Google will send you a postcard in the mail.
Note that this happens in the middle of the process, not out of the blue like the scammy phone calls we listed above.
Once your business listing is live and up-to-date, there is a very powerful way to leverage it for more traffic:
Multiple 5-star reviews are a signal to Google that your business info should show up higher on the map and on organic searches.
Meaning more people hear about you and visit you (either online or in person).
You can understand now why a current and verified Google My Business listing is important.
How much does that usually cost?
It’s different from provider to provider.
You can get it right now with our Switch For Free offer: