If you own a local business and get a phone call from a rep identifying himself as contacting you from Google (even if the call is coming from India), don't make the mistake of assuming it's yet another annoying phone scam. Mike Blumenthal has just reported confirmation from Google that these phone calls are legitimate and are part of Google's 2010 effort to clean up local business data quality. This unexpected new move from Google has three interesting aspects to it worth pointing out. The Good I fully support any efforts Google makes to clean up spammy issues in Google Maps and Place Pages. This latest phone call program apparently stems from a new policy of verifying community edits made to business listings. So, if someone tries to make an edit to your business listing, you may get a call from Google asking whether the edit that's been suggested is an accurate one. Frankly, considering the great silence that has historically surrounded Google Maps, I was amazed to hear of Google … [Read more...] about Don’t Hang Up! Google Really Phoning Local Businesses.
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Hey, The Verge. Can I just call you Verge? We’ve got a little problem. Apparently you’ve grown past your gadget roots. In doing so, you’ve stumbled into just labeling a wide swath of legitimate marketers as scammers. By the way, in doing so, you’ve made yourself out to be scammers as well. Postscript: Please be sure to read my follow-up post, The Verge’s “Scamworld” Profiles “Internet Marketing” Schemes You Should Avoid You know what I’m talking about, that giant feature article called Scamworld. It’s a good, scary, sad tale of scummy make-easy-money programs out there. I’d love it if not for this one thing: Raygoza is an Internet Marketer — a 21st century snake oil salesman. Here’s the issue. I’m an internet marketer, but I’m not a 21st century snake oil salesman. Neither are the thousands or millions of other people who perform internet marketing activites such as: search engine … [Read more...] about “Internet Marketing” Isn’t A Scam; Fix It, Please, The Verge
To some people, a phone number is a simple string of digits, as unimportant as any other string of digits on a website. To others, it’s a lifeline. A business phone number is a crucial element of web presence; without it, a whole host of potential customers will have no way to contact your business. And yes, while sometimes a phone number seems like more trouble than it’s worth, it’s actually worth a lot that you may never know.NAP SEOA huge element of local SEO is NAP consistency. No, I don’t mean making sure you’re taking a nice powernap at the same time every day, though that can certainly improve performance in the right situation.Your NAP is your Name, Address, and Phone Number. For a business, that means the name of your business, the phone number that reaches your business – either general inquiries or a support line – and an address for your headquarters.NAP is required for good local SEO. After all, with out a valid address and phone … [Read more...] about Does Switching Your Phone Number Affect SEO?
Washington state and Facebook have double-teamed on separate lawsuits against Adscend Media, a company that allegedly runs “likejacking” campaigns to collect money and/or personal information from Facebook users. As GeekWire reports, the practice was allegedly adding up to $1.2 million per month to Adscend’s coffers. Likejacking, or “clickjacking” as the official release from Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna calls it, is described as follows: Scammers design Facebook Pages to look like they will offer visitors an opportunity to view salacious or provocative content. They condition viewing this content on completing a series of steps that are designed to lure Facebook users into eventually visiting websites that often deceive them into surrendering their personal information or signing up for expensive mobile subscription services. First, Facebook users are encouraged to click the “Like” button on the scammers’ Facebook Pages, … [Read more...] about Facebook Joins Washington AG In Lawsuits Targeting “Likejacking” Scam
It’s little known that Google was never meant to be a company. In fact, in 1998 Vinod Khosla (one of the first investors in Google) managed to convince Larry Page and Sergey Brin to sell their technology to Lycos, Excite, or Yahoo, the leading search engines of the time, for a paltry million dollars so that they could go back to focusing on their research at Stanford University. While each company took the time to review Larry Page’s and Sergey Brin’s work, they passed on the opportunity of purchasing it. The companies were simply not that concerned with search quality; they figured their results were good enough and that they needed to differentiate themselves from the competition by other means. When the two friends decided to pursue their search engine anyway, they made focusing on search quality their top priority. They even put it in their mission statement: “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Google … [Read more...] about How Google Collects Search Quality Date