Heard this before? Yeah me too. at least once a month a nice friendly voice claiming to be from Google calls me wanting help me update my Google listing.
What's Going on Here?
Quite simply the person who has called you and is claiming to help is trying to:
- Claim your Google local listing and hold it hostage for monthly fee.
- Update your basic listing and then pitch you some enhanced listing services
- Some other shady thing I'm not quite sure of.
Here is the deal, they are not from Google, they don't have your best interest in mind.
So What Should You Do?
It's pretty simple, even if you haven't received one of these calls, go ahead and claim your local listing and make it accurate yourself and of course make sure it stays under your control.
The places Page
Goto maps.google.com and search for your business name or address, then look for the Manage This Listing link on the left hand side. You will need a Google account of some kind. Be aware that this account will be tied to the places page, so maybe create a Google account just for the business. This will come in handy later for other services such as a company Youtube channel or Google+ account.
Verify the Business
Verification is done via phone or postcard. Do phone if you can, they'll call within seconds of your requesting the call. It will sounds like a robo call, so if you have a receptionist let them know before hand and just take down the PIN they give you. Enter that into the Google Business Center Dashboard and you can now edit your listing.
What to add?
- Photos & Videos
- Business categories
- Special amenities
- Hours of operation
- Website URL
- Encourage customers to leave reviews
Check on it quarterly
Set some kind of quarterly alarm / reminder on Outook or iCal to review your listing. Many times if the address was old the old one will crop up and you'll have two locations now. Or you maybe have reviews that need attention, customer added photos, etc.
When and Why Google Will Call You
- You're trying to verify your listing and they'll call and give you a PIN to enter on your Google Places Dashboard (not a PIN Number of course).
- You're trying to get your Geolocation fixed or some other Map / Local issue solved.
- I've had one instance where they called one of our customers to work out a duplicate listing in some random part of the state.
Here is the thing to remember, Google will never try to get money from you or enlist monthly services unless you're looking at and AdSense product. Thier #1 job is to produce the best search product possible.