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Google Vampires

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Google Vampires

Post by milspec6 on Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:21 am

We all get a ton of marketing calls from robots wanting to sell us something regarding our google listings. Once I hear a delay and computer, I hang up, but today was a little different. Today, I received a call from a real person.

I didn't hang up immediately this time and decided to listen to the pitch. Nice enough caller who told me that my account was flagged for having a home address and missing meta-data....which of course they could resolve. They rattled off all my public information related to the site (address, phone, slogans, etc.) and then came the money pitch. For $300, they would resolve all the issues and do quarterly maintenance to keep the account clear of future flags. That is the point when I bailed on the call.

It does have me curious now though, is it that easy for people to flag a google listing? Is there actually a problem with my meta-data? Can companies like these flag a site just to create the market for their services?

There are so many vampires out there which reach into your pocket and if you don't pay them (BBB for example) they can damage your reputation or presence. The Mafia couldn't have done it better than the "legit" companies out there in what they do, but are our websites equally at threat? Is this a scammer or is this just another "legit" one of the many people that you end up paying off to leave you alone?

I am just trying to avoid last year by making sure that my website doesn't get messed with. We all remember that at one point, my business was listed as having a 0.3 mile service area!! I still don't know how that was changed or by whom, but needless to say, it crippled me on things like google maps.

This company was out of Arizona, by the way, and you know how those people can be. Razz
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Re: Google Vampires

Post by dp1 on Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:48 pm

Ha..ha.... we definitely know how Arizonans do their business, that's why I try to avoid them at all costs Razz

If they are small enough, they may do things like that, however I can tell you that's it's highly unlikely, even the most annoying one that I called names a few times in the past didn't do anything to try to ruin my listing.
The only likely scenario is one of your competitor might hacked into your google listing and changed that number to benefit them, I would make the password harder with 1 capital letter and 1 special character, instead of "i" make it "!", that makes it a "little" harder to crack.
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Re: Google Vampires

Post by milspec6 on Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:13 pm

That is what worries me Dp. We pay anti-virus protection to the same people who are sending out virus in the first place, but the day you stop, your computer will crash. I just don't want to deal with the same thing over website listings, but wonder if that is the case.

Just like these idiots that called me claiming that they would make all these improvements, they can't actually do that can they without my providing them admin control?

Just hate all this nonsense with websites. Makes me long for the Yellow Pages days again.
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Re: Google Vampires

Post by dp1 on Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:19 pm

If you have 5 - 10 minutes, please read this, I was blown away when I read it last night, no wonder banks, especially in LA are very reluctant to give me large cash withdrawal which I do from time to time in the last 6 years or so.

https://www.wired.com/2017/03/russian-hacker-spy-botnet/
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Re: Google Vampires

Post by Freemind1 on Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:59 pm

I got the same call today. It's about your google places listing, nothing to do with your website. I don't concern myself with the callers though.

My SEO is fine, I don't need them. My places page is fine. They can pound sand.

They are all just trying to get their hooks in our pockets.

You are already paying someone, aren't you?

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Re: Google Vampires

Post by milspec6 on Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:49 am

I felt the same way Freemind, I did pay a company to update my site to all the free listings (manta, yellowbook, yelp, etc.) and of course my webmaster.

I just keep wondering if I am missing something and don't want to spend months like I did last year with a major flaw that hid my website.
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Re: Google Vampires

Post by milspec6 on Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:30 am

I received another call from the same vampires trying to pressure me to pay a fee of $300 for their services. When I declined they switched into hard sell mode and raised his voice....terminated the call at that point. They proceeded to call 2 more times back-to-back from different numbers.

Hate predators like that and wish I could crawl through the phone. One of the reasons I no longer answer any calls from outside my area. It amazes me that businesses like these exist and manage to stay in business.
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Re: Google Vampires

Post by Freemind1 on Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:38 pm

So long as when a search is done for your services/service area and you pop up page one, you are golden.

P.S. I love the block feature of a smartphone. When I get calls from people I don't want, right to the blocked list they go.

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Re: Google Vampires

Post by milspec6 on Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:46 pm

Well, that is part of the temptation, I am not page one as far as I know. I am listed high on Yelp which is always on page one, so if they go there I am good.

This company wasn't going to do a damn thing for that $300 as far as I could tell. They just rattled off some changes that didn't sound all that important to me.
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Re: Google Vampires

Post by milspec6 on Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:41 pm

I think the SOB's messed with my listing. Using a free ranking site, it lists me as a "0" out of 10 which is normally a flagged or penalized site according to this source.

I hate that when I do a keyword search, the results are artificial as it remembers my previous searches, so I don't know what the reality is.

The season has just begun and I am already getting angry over this google crap. I am seriously close to pulling the whole thing down and operating old school only.
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Re: Google Vampires

Post by Freemind1 on Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:09 am

When I just did a google search for "carpet cleaning blair ne"
you are page one. The last one in organic, but still page one.

Yelp, yellowbook, and YP.com are all the top listings. Drifast is two above you.

IMO, no one out there is getting enough SEO juice. If you are still paying those guys to do your SEO, I'd be getting on their butts. You can dominate your small markets like I have.

That would be the ONLY thing I would pay someone to do, if you are unwilling to, is doing your SEO.

You can also boost your SEO, by paying for adwords with Google. It will instantly put you page one with places listings. BUT, that is a PPC campaign that can be expensive. Usually if you sign up for adwords, Google will give you a coupon for up to 150 bucks match, dollar for dollar, for advertising. Time it right and you can make good use of those dollars.

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Re: Google Vampires

Post by milspec6 on Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:17 am

Thanks for taking a look Freemind, I do need to improve that, but at least I have some idea of the reality now.
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Re: Google Vampires

Post by UtahTheo on Mon May 29, 2017 1:26 am

@milspec6 wrote:That is what worries me Dp.  We pay anti-virus protection to the same people who are sending out virus in the first place, but the day you stop, your computer will crash.  I just don't want to deal with the same thing over website listings, but wonder if that is the case.

Just like these idiots that called me claiming that they would make all these improvements, they can't actually do that can they without my providing them admin control?  

Just hate all this nonsense with websites.  Makes me long for the Yellow Pages days again.

Hi mate, have you verified your google my business listing via a postcard ? If not that do that, no one will be able to change your details after it's verified, plus verifying it gives you a big boost in map rankings. And it's free.

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Re: Google Vampires

Post by milspec6 on Mon May 29, 2017 11:14 am

By postcard? Do they send it to me?
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Re: Google Vampires

Post by Freemind1 on Mon May 29, 2017 2:06 pm

They did send me one, when I registered my business with Google Places.

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Re: Google Vampires

Post by milspec6 on Mon May 29, 2017 4:05 pm

Hmm, never got anything like that.
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Re: Google Vampires

Post by Mo on Tue May 30, 2017 12:04 pm

Yes they send you a postcard with a code that you enter to get the listing verified
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Re: Google Vampires

Post by milspec6 on Tue May 30, 2017 5:58 pm

Maybe it went to my web guy, I never saw it.
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Re: Google Vampires

Post by dp1 on Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:42 pm

The post card should and will go to the address listed in your Google place listing ( the free listing ), if you never had one, you should check your listing, may be it hasn't been verified ?
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