If you haven’t heard, Google has been calling thousands of local businesses over the past few months to confirm various aspects about their business. Google’s main reason for calling lately is because they are looking for service area businesses (businesses that don’t have a physical location where customers can come to them) that have not hidden their address as per the Google Quality Guidelines. Calls may also be to determine if a business is using a fake location or to see if they are in violation of one of Google’s many other Quality Guidelines.
Many businesses have been complaining that the people conducting the calls have been hard to understand, and at times very rude. The calls originate from India, which also causes some confusion as the level of English on the callers end isn’t always that great. Some business owners have noted that the caller asks a quick question about their business address, and if they don’t answer quickly enough, the caller hangs up, and in some cases, zap, the Google+ Local listing is gone. As Mike Blumenthal said, “the calls are always very weird”.
For businesses that have a physical location where they interact with customers, there is nothing to worry about. For businesses that don’t have a physical location where they see customers, for example, a plumber who does all their work at the client’s homes, you need to be aware that you may receive this call from Google, and you need to be clear and concise when you answer their questions.
This is another example of why it’s so important to have your Google+ Local listing managed by somebody who knows the quality guidelines from front to back (there are many guidelines and they constantly change) and is up to date with the latest news in the world of Google. It’s a full time job, but worth every minute.
For more, check out Mike Blumenthal’s post on the issue.