Google Business Listing Scammers Hit The UK
by Jo Shaer, on September 15, 2015
One of my clients emailed me about a call informing them that your Google listing will expire today.
I called the number and eventually got a call back.
Online Content Management Services say that they are in partnership with Google and that by paying them £249, your business will show up in the A-G listings on the front page of Google. Its position will rotate with the other seven business who have paid to have their listing managed.
Now, for most business owners, the fear of losing their Google listing would be enough to pay up. But I've been working in this area for over 5 years now and I know that a similar scam has been rife in the US in the last few months.
The Google business listings that show up as A-G on the front page of Google for PC, laptop, tablets and mobile phones are FREE. Having said that, in most cases, we are now seeing only three entries in any local stack - as per the image above.
Google Business Listings do not "expire".
But I thought I would find out a bit more about what was being offered here.
Google Business Listing Scammers
When you say you are in partnership with Google, what do you mean?
We are approved by Google as part of their Management team to run this service and we prove that because, once you set up with us, you get an authorisation code from Google in California.
Yes, a verification code does come from Google in California to every business owner who sets up a Google Business Listing. It's Google's way of making the business owner prove that s/he does actually have access to the address that they have asked to be listed. I have spoken to Google's Local Business team and they tend to be based in India or the US. They can help you to sort out issues with your listing... for free. But they don't manage the ranking of your listing.
But I'm on the front page now without your help, why should I pay?
Well, yes, you can do it yourself but it will take 4-6 hours per day of your time so that's what our Google technicians do.
So what happens if I don't pay you this money?
Well, your business will drop out of the A-G listings and could fall to page 5 or 6.
I told him that he might want to rethink his choice of career as he was misleading business owners with a very shonky offer.
Talking with friends in the industry, these guys are not the only perpetrators of this scam.
People who call you up to frighten you and demand money should be ignored. Only trust the management of any of your online properties to a business that has been recommended for work done/results achieved by someone you know personally.