Just a quick post to give you a heads up while this is fresh in my mind.
I just received a phone call from a number in Reno, Nevada. 773-800-7882. When I picked up the phone, it was an automated phone dialer telling me to press 1 to be connected to someone immediately or my business will NOT show up in the Google searches.
Excuse me? You just didn’t go there, did you?
Of course I was offered the option repeatedly to press 1 to be connected immediately or press 9 to have my phone number removed. So, I pressed 9 every time I received the prompt, but never got out of the loop to hold for an available representative from “Google” with the reminder that if I don’t talk to the representative immediately, my business would NOT be found (they really emphasis the NOT part) on Google.
Then I chose to press 1 to be connected because now I was getting pretty peeved. This time I was prompted to press 1 if I were the business owner or the person in charge of marketing the business or press 9 to be removed from the call list. Again, pressing 9 did nothing but replay the same loop again about being the business owner yada, yada. There was also a line in the automated message that said, “You must be the business owner or person responsible for the marketing of the business to receive your free listing.”
I eventually hung up.
I’ve had these calls before from other companies. You can never get out of their sales pitch and their prices are shocking – to put it mildly.
The point of this heads up is that I’ve talked with Google’s representatives before. They always initiate the contact – via email – and I’ve called them. So don’t fall for the garbage that any caller is from Google unless you specifically see the words “Google” in the caller ID. The one time my rep had called me, it came directly from Google and appeared in the caller ID as Google.
Additionally, Google indexes the web, whether you pay for advertising or additional services or not. It’s what their search bots do in the normal course of every hour of the day. As long as you haven’t blocked the bot, it will eventually index your site. So Google would NEVER threaten you that your business will NOT show up in the search.
Google doesn’t threaten. Even when my website was hacked and there was malware on it several years ago, Google’s email to me was not threatening. It was very helpful in tone, telling me how to fix it and what to do next. Yes, there was a word of warning that I would be delisted if it was not fixed and that the website was blocked for the protection of visitors (understandable), but never, never did they threaten.
There are many credible SEO companies out there. And yes, we do that too. But, the one thing you don’t want to do is fall one of these phone calls. I’ve had clients spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, with companies that telemarket like this, only to pay me less to get more results. In fact, for what you’d spend with them, you’re better off spending it on Google Advertising! And no, I’m not getting paid to say that. It’s just true! Your hard earned dollars would go to better use and you get your own Google rep.
And Google, if you have alerts set up on Google for “Google” and you’re reading this, please find these people and shut them down for trying to impersonate you and giving those of us in the SEO service business a bad name!