by John Daulton
Is That Really Google Calling My Shop?
“Hello, my name is Dave or Joe or Ishmael or whatever, and I’m calling from Google. I want to help you with something really important even though you kinda suspect I am lying right now …”
You know the calls. Some dire Google problem is looming for your business, then follows something about helping you manage your Google page, your online or web presence, your online reputation, your search ranking, your SEO, your business being taken off Google Maps, or some other prediction of doom and despair for your business.
You mostly don’t believe them, but then again, what if, right?
Here’s the short answer to whether or not that really is Google calling you:
If you don’t care how or why I know this, you can stop reading here and just trust that a marketing guy from a reputable automotive marketing company has this stuff figured out. Go forth and hang up on those snake-oil salesmen guilt free. Tell them off, mess with them, say bad things about their moms. Whatever. I mess with them all the time, and it amuses the heck out of me. If you don’t want to waste time on them, then skip that and just hang up. Either way is fine. And you’re welcome.
Some of you out there may need a bit more convincing, however, before you can feel comfortable hanging up. I don’t blame you. And even though you already suspected those calls aren’t real, it can make you worry. I mean, what if, just maybe, that really was Google that called?
The thought that your shop might get taken off of Google Maps or might never show up in search again is a scary one. So for you, I will expand on how and why I know that ain’t Google calling you.
Let’s start with what Google itself has to say. They literally have a link on their support page that addresses this very issue. LINK HERE. If you don’t want to go read it, I’ll break it down for you. I can do it quickly, because there are only two reasons Google MIGHT call.
Reason 1 Why Google MIGHT Call
They might call to verify your business or the details of it for the Google Maps entry. As in, is this business here? Is this the right address and phone number? Is it an automotive repair facility?
They might call for that. But that is really unlikely. Because it’s Google. They already know who and where you are. Knowing that is literally how they built an internet empire. So the odds are this kind of call will only happen if your business is brand new, and it is not on Google yet (because they haven’t found it), and you tried to add it yourself … and you did it wrong somehow. That last part is pretty unlikely because it is so easy to add a business yourself that you’d have a hard time screwing it up—yes, even you, the guys who always tell me they suck with computer stuff. It’s that easy.
But let’s say you did do something wrong. Fine. When the call comes, you will know it really is Google because you were the one in there messing around with it to begin.
Furthermore, if you do have to add your shop to Google yourself, they won’t be calling to sell you anything. They won’t call to sign you up for an account. They won’t ask for money. And they won’t ask for passwords or anything else. Period.
Reason 2 Why Google MIGHT Call
They might call if you have a Google account and are doing paid advertising directly with them. But, again, you will know it is them, because you are doing business with them. So I don’t see how this even needs to be discussed. But since it is on Google’s page about why they do and don’t call, well, I am covering it.
So there you have it. Those are the two reasons, right off their page why they might call, with some explanation from me, your friendly neighborhood marketing guy. Here’s some more fun, if you are still reading at this point:
Why Google WON’T Call
1. Google will not call you to get you to pay for inclusion in the Google My Business page.
If someone is calling and, for a modest fee, going to help set up your “Google Page” or your “Google Plus” page or your “Google Places” page or any other variant set up for you, hang up.
It doesn’t cost money to set up your business on Google. It is free. In almost all cases I come across, it’s already set up and just needs to be claimed. Here’s a link to their instructions page LINK HERE. But even if it is not already set up, like for a new business as I mentioned above, it’s still free. You just need to do one extra step first. Still easy, still free.
2. Google will not call you to sell you search results help or “SEO.”
Google does not call to “help” you with your search results. Anyone claiming to be from Google and offering to help you get better SEO for your website or “manage your SEO” or “manage your online reputation” gets a free pass to hang-up land. <click>
Now, as a side note: that is not to say there is zero benefit to having someone help you manage your online reputation or SEO. But that’s a whole different topic, so I won’t go off the rails on it here. I’ll do a follow up on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and give some guidance there for the automotive repair business angle on this. But suffice it to say for now, no reputable SEO provider will call you up and pretend to be Google. (And yes, it is possible to find a reputable one, as long as you manage your expectations properly and know what you are looking for.)
3. Google will not ask you for your passwords or last four of your social or anything else. Ever.
Google does not call to offer help with random Google stuff. This is just like calls claiming to be from your bank or credit card company, you know, someone offering to help with some problem, but … we just need to verify your information first. Nobody does that. Including Google. You already know that, so trust your instincts.
So there you have it. If Google really was calling you, you’d know they were going to call because you would have initiated some kind of request, change, or advertising recently. Which means, bottom line, that ain’t Google calling.