Why is Google Calling Me?

Google or SpamWhy is Google Calling Me?

This is a question we hear from clients somewhat regularly. And if you own or work for a small business, chances are you have gotten these calls too.

Some calls are automated and say something along the lines of, “This call is from Google. To verify your Google places business listing, press 1.” More recently, we have been hearing about similar calls, but with a live operator claiming to be working for Yahoo to “get small businesses placed at the top of the results.”

A quick Google search of the phone numbers these calls come from usually reveals a suspect fly-by-night company that says they offer Google Places placement services, or a company using suspect tactics to sell PPC services.

In some cases, shady telemarketers convince small businesses to give over control of their Google local listing, and then refuse to return it to the control of the business unless they pay a monthly fee for a year or more.

So the moral of the story is to always hang up on these telemarketers, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that straightforward.

Google DOES sometimes call businesses to verify information, and hanging up on Google can have dire consequences, such as the removal of your local/maps listing.

So how can you tell the difference?

1) Caller ID. The legitimate Google calls will come from a number that shows Google on the caller ID.  To be safe, ask the person to hold while you Google the number they’re calling from.  The shady companies claiming to be Google will almost always have dozens of complaints associated with that number.

2) The line of questioning is slightly different.  Google asks things like, “Can you verify your address?” and “Do you have an office at this address?”  The shady telemarketers say things like, “This is not a sales call, I only need to verify a few things so I can get you to the top of Google search.”  Any promises or claims of better placement are a sure-fire sign it’s a shady telemarketer.

If you have any questions about Google Maps results give The Primm Company a call at 757-623-6234.