How To Handle Suspect Company Robocalls Pretending to be Google

Google Does Not Do Robocalls

In the previous installments, we’ve explained how to set up a Google My Business page for your business, and how to make sure all of the information on that page is accurate and verified. We’ve also talked about the valuable insights you can get from the reports from Google showing how many views your page had, how many people clicked on your page, etc.

And this is valuable information for your business. More new potential clients are discovering your business and that is helping it grow. Of course, along with those new customers seeing your Google My Business page, there are also unscrupulous businesses and companies who see it, too.

Who’s calling me about my Google My Business Page?

Your business has increased visibility – which is obviously a very good thing for potential customers. But it also opens the door for robocalls. Don’t fret, though, Google has ways to prevent unwanted calls and to report them to Google.

What’s a robocall? Robocall scams are automated phone calls using recorded messages that may ask you to press a button to speak to a sales rep. Google doesn’t make these calls, so if it’s not a real person right from the start (and you didn’t request an automated call from Google), it’s not Google.

Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous individuals and companies who make these calls, even though they are breaking the law. Sometimes, robocalls falsely claim to be working “with Google” or “for Google” in an attempt to sell different schemes and online marketing services to unsuspecting individuals and companies.

These types of robocalls calls are illegal under U.S. law (unless you have given permission to receive them), and Google is never behind them.

4 Things You Can Do About Fake Google Robocalls

Here’s what to do if you receive an unwanted automated robocall:

1. Hang Up

If you receive an unwanted robocall from a recorded voice claiming to be Google or working with Google, hang up immediately. Do not press any key even if the voice recording prompts you to in order to speak with a live person or to be taken off the call list. Pressing a key may mean you will receive more unwanted calls.

2. Prevent unwanted calls

The Federal Trade Commission has established a Robocalls resources website with additional information about robocalls and steps you can take if you receive one.

3. Take steps to protect yourself in the future from these types of situations

• Check out the FTC’s tips on how to handle unwanted calls
• Check with your phone company to see if they can block calls from any problematic numbers.
• Register your personal number with the National Do Not Call Registry website or call 1-888-382-1222.

4. Report suspicious calls

If you continue to receive unwanted calls, you can submit a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. Go to their website or call 1-888-382-1222 to file a formal complaint. You can also submit a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission on their website.

Help Google track down robocallers

Google understands that these types of calls can be very bothersome and Google is actively working to try to put a stop to these calls. However, this isn’t always within Google’s control; for example, callers may use untraceable phone numbers. You can help Google track robocalls that falsely associate themselves with Google. Contact Google directly via this webform and include the following information:
• The caller’s company and contact information
• Any emails or documentation received from the caller as part of a follow-up
• Any additional information about the call

When might Google contact you?

You may receive a phone call from Google to verify your business or confirm business details for Google Maps or Google My Business. You may also receive a phone call about Google AdWords, Google Play or other Google products. Unless you specifically requested an automated call, a call from Google will always be from a live person, not a recorded voice. Any emails from Google should come from an email address ending in “@google.com.”

Advanced SEO Drives Local SEO, GMB Weirdness

Organic Website SEO Lifts Local SEO

While always assumed in a holistic picture of getting ranked, Local SEO expert Mike “Eagle Eye” Blumenthal spotted a change in Google’s help page “Improve Your Local Rankings on Google” that confirms the importance of Advanced SEO.

In summary, SEJ’s Matt Southern reports: “Your website’s ranking across organic search is going to directly affect how well your Google My Business page shows up in local search results.”

Google My Business Pages Lose Reviews & Other Info

Another sign the web is fluid and Google is a massive data warehouse where links can get shuffled, removing important information from being displayed that a simple Map step fixed, from citation authority Whitespark.

Fixing Your New Home Page and Your Business Listing in the New Phone Book

Making corrections and updating your Google My Business Page

In the first two parts of our five-part series on Google My Business – simply put, “getting my basic business information on Google” – we’ve explained what the service is, why it’s important and how to set up and claim your business’s GMB page.

This week, we explain how to fix errors and incorrect information on your GMB page. The information you provide plays a critical role in ensuring that business information on Google is accurate and up-to-date. The more accurate and up-to-date your information is, the easier it is for potential customers find you online and it helps keep your business’s information consistent across the web.

You can make changes or correct information such as Business Name, Address, Contact Info, Category, Hours, Introduction and Photos. Just recently, Google introduced the ability to set seasonal hours.

It’s highly recommended that you complete the information for your Google My Business as much as you possibly can. Logged into your GMB page you will see a progress bar for information completeness to help you.

One valuable addition to your GMB page that is often overlooked is images. Google tracks how often your GMB images are viewed in search. You can and should add at least 3 images eachyou’re your identity (including your logo), interior, exterior, at-work and team or staff photos.

To submit changes to the business information – address, phone number, hours, and more – that you see on Google Maps, Search, and other properties, follow the steps below.

• Log into in your Google My Business page
• Click “Edit info” at the top of the page
• Click the section that you want to change, then enter the new information in the box that appears. Click the X next to the section you’d like to delete to remove it. (Note: It may take up to 60 days to delete the information you’ve previously added.)
• Click “Done editing”
Next installment …
Now that you’ve got your Google My Business page up and running and made sure all of the information is accurate and verified, now it’s time to look at the data. Next week, we’ll look at how to decipher the reporting and insights for your business via Google My Business.

The Local Difference – Consumer and Community Knowledge

It’s Our Town, Our Web

The local web is really nothing more than a reflection of it’s community, according to SEL’s Garrett French, and it’s one of the differentiators between what we offer and anyone else can offer. We know our community!

The Difference Is Local

Moz resets content marketing with The Brand As Publisher Master Plan, with the starting advice – “Imagine yourself as THE leading consumer magazine for your market.” CHECK! For the past 20 years or so? SEJ’s 5 Ways To Get Involved in Community reinforces this.

Our Community, Our Consumers

Content isn’t King?! Well, the consumer, and more specifically their intent is, according to SEJ’s Roger Montti’s 5-strategy overview of Google’s Search Quality Rating Guidelines.

Dominate the Snack Pack

[from Vendasta, our online monitoring and 10X partner]

Good overall view of what’s considered in our optimization packages — from Get Found to Advanced SEO.

 

Own and Track Your New Home Page

Claiming and verifying Google My Business

Last installment, we offered an introduction to Google My Business, which is the No. 1 source for getting your business found online. It’s likely the first thing consumers see when they search for your business online – essentially your new home page.

This week, we explain how to set up and claim your Google My Business page and why it is so important to do so.

Claiming and Verifying your new phone book listing

Google Search, Google Maps, Google + – all of these Google services display your business information, which includes everything from location and hours of operation to reviews and ratings. That’s why it’s so important to claim your business listings on Google and to make sure that all of your information is up to date.

Step 1: You need a Google account.

Sign in or create a Google account for your business and then visit google.com/business.

Step 2: Claim.

Once you’ve logged on, you can search your business by name. Search results will appear in a list as well as on the map and from those choices you can choose the business you’re trying to claim. If none of these results match your business, you can simply click “Add Your Business.” (You will then be prompted to choose your business type: storefront (restaurants, hotels, etc.), service area (taxi service, delivery, etc.), or brand (products, brands, causes, etc.).

Step 3: Verification.

To have control over your page, you’ll need to prove to Google that the business you’re claiming ownership of is really yours. You can claim your GMB page in step 2, but verifying your GMB is critical. Without verifying, you won’t be able to see key information on how often Google shows your business in search results and how often that leads to phone calls, website visits and requests for directions to your business.

You can verify it’s your business by:

  • Working with a Trusted Verifier: We’re one of a handful of trusted verifiers in our market and because of our long-standing relationship with Google My Business, we have a special app that will get you verified almost instantly.
  • Postcard Verification: This was the most common way to verify your business. If you select this option, you’ll see an image of the verification postcard with the name of your business and the address you supplied when creating the page. You’ll receive it in the mail after one to two weeks. Once you’ve gotten the postcard, go to the website listed (google.com/local/verify) and log in with the same account you used to request the verification code via postcard. Go to the Google My Business dashboard to complete your verification. Enter the code and you’ll be finished.
  • Phone Verification (available for some businesses): If this option is listed when you come to the verification process for your business, you can use this option. If you pick that option, make sure you’re able to directly answer the number you provided as your business’s contact point. You will receive an automated phone call with a computer voice, so don’t expect anyone to answer any questions. As with the postcard approach, enter the code from the phone message you receive from Google. After you’ve entered the code, you’ll see a screen asking you to review your information and make any last-minute changes, if needed. Then click “Done editing” and you’ll be finished.
  • Instant Verification (available for some businesses): If you’ve already verified your business’s website with the Google Search Console, you may be able to use this option. Make sure that you’re signed into Google My Business with the same account you used to verify your site with Search Console. Note that some business categories may not be eligible for instant verification

Next: How to Fix and Edit your Google My Business Page

In our first two parts of our five-part Google My Business series, we’ve explained what Google My Business is, why your business should have one, and how to claim and verify your business’s Google My Business page.

Next installment, we’ll take a look at how to fix and make edits to your Google My Business Page.