Small Business Owners: That phone call is not from Google

Are you a small business owner getting calls from Google? Before you take that call or answer any questions make sure you know who you are talking to.

There are scams happening across Canada and the U.S. where small business owners are receiving a phone call from “Google” with a person asking them to verify their information. Once you “verify” your information they offer to improve your ranking in Google search results.

Here is some very important information from Google about phone calls:

  • Google does not charge small business owners for being added to Google My Business or to show up in the search results (it is a FREE service)
  • Google does not charge or even offer to you improve your Search Engine rankings
  • Google does not charge or even offer to manage your online business profile
  • Google will NEVER ask you for your password or verification code (NEVER give that info out)

For more info go to: Google My Business

Phone-Call-from-Google

That call from Google? It’s not Google. Watch out for this scam.

If you are a small business owner and get a call from “Google” about important information on your Google account OR they are calling to help you rank higher in Google, it is not from Google.

I got the call today. I was in a hurry and so I didn’t even think about it. The rep asked me if I was the owner of ______________ (business name – old business I had).  We had a very short conversation and I started questioning the rep. As soon as I started questioning her, the rep says “I want to help you rank higher in Google”. Ding, Ding, Ding! Red flags and alarm bells went off.

The rest of our conversation went like this:

ME: “I don’t believe you are Google”
HER: “It’s up to you.”
ME: “I don’t believe you work for Google or are from Google”
HER: “It’s up to you ma’m”
Click (I hang up on her)

Then I called the number back. Of course I got a call cannot be completed/number not in service msg.

google-phone-scam-not-google

Scammers are getting so much more creative. Google does not offer SEO (search engine optimization) services.

In fact, in 2015 and 2016 Google filed lawsuits against companies that were calling small business owners and claiming they either worked for Google or were subcontracted out by Google.

If you get a phone call and it SOUNDS legit, ask them if you can call them back. Do they give you a call back number? Or do they hang up on you? If you try to call back the number that shows up on your caller ID is it a real number or do you get a fast busy?

Whatever you do – do not give out your pin code or password or any information that is not listed on your business. They are phishing for information and trying to make a quick buck.

Search Engine Rankings & Google

The truth is getting ranked higher in Google is an ongoing process that you consistently have to work at and it involves real work!

Google has Google Adwords, Google keyword tool, Google My Business and many other great tools that will help you reach page one. It takes work but you can reach page one using strategic methods and tools.

If you are looking for tried-and-true suggestions and strategies to improve your business search engine results in Google here are some articles that can help:

Search Engine Optimization Strategies for Business
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Top 5 Must Haves for Your Website

When you first create your website (when you website first goes live) it takes 3-6 months before you will even find your business in the search engines. There is no such thing as quick results or overnight success with Google.

That is why Social Media can help get the word out! Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram are an ideal way for you to start building relationships with potential customers and clients, gain trust, establish yourself as leader in your industry, tell your store AND drive traffic to your website (thus increasing your ranking with Google).

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Krista Tannahill
Krista Tannahill is a WordPress web designer & trainer, social media consultant and online marketing specialist in Nova Scotia, Canada. Ki Digital Media specializes in digital marketing, training and support for businesses.

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