You Can Report Robocalls Promoting Google Local Optimization

When I first started managing websites, a client once called me in panic. He told me that he had received a letter from someone that said he owed them several hundred dollars for submitting his website to search engines. Even though I was an online marketing beginner, I was pretty sure that the Internet didn’t work this way. I went to my client’s office where he showed me the letter. It was a crude looking invoice that said the charges were for “submitting your website to Google, Bing, and Yahoo”. After I assured my client that it was a scam, I did some investigating. I looked up the return address and found out it was for a storage lot near Niagara Falls. I called the owner of the storage lot and he seemed just as confused as I was. Either way, I let it go and told all my other clients to disregard letters like this.

Since then, I’ve noticed a lot of scammers taking advantage of people’s ignorance. When it comes to scams related to search engines, it usually involves trying to get people to pay money for services that are free.

What To Do About Google Robocalls?

In the last few months, our office has gotten numerous robocalls saying that our Google listing is unverified and we should press 1 to speak to a rep who can help us solve this problem. If this was from a legitimate company, they probably would have noticed that our listing is indeed verified and that we operate Spider Gourmet, an SEO company that specializes in this sort of thing.

3PRIME optimized google my business listing

At first, I just hung up when I got these calls. But then they became more numerous so I decided to do something about it. The next time I got a Google listing robocall, I pressed the option to speak to a rep. I asked him “Do you know that you’re calling an SEO company?” He feigned ignorance. I asked him politely, but firmly, to stop calling us. He got defensive and said I was being disrespectful. Not wanting to hear any more nonsense, I hung up on him. In the next few weeks, we still got several more of these calls but they eventually stopped.

Now, I’m a SEO professional and was able to know when I was being lied to. However, not everyone else is in this position. Our clients have also complained that they have also been receiving these calls. Many of my friends have also asked me about these calls as well. This enrages me because Google My Business (the service that handles your Google listing) is and has always been a free service. If you are going to pay to have an SEO company do it for you, it should be a company you know and trust, not one that relies on unsolicited robocalls. These companies using Google’s name are trying to get business, or worse, trying to steal personal information.

Recently, Google has taken notice of these robocalls:

“This year, we’ve received hundreds of complaints from users about illegal robocalls they’ve received from callers claiming to be affiliated with Google. They often promote misleading offers for improving users Google My Business profiles or search ranking. These calls are not from Google, and we’re making sure our clients know how to report them. Should you ever receive this type of call, you can report them directly here.”

To further help users, Google has set up a place to report these robocalls. If you receive one of these calls, be sure to write down anything about the call, such as the phone number, the company name, and any other identifiable information. Then fill out this form. By each of us doing our part, we can work together to put a stop to this dishonest practice.

Google’s Mystery Announcement is a mystery no more!

Well folks today our fearless internet overlord Google made some fresh announcements.

NEW Nexus 7 tablet  will be available in 3 models: the 16gb Wifi for 229, the 32 GB wifi model for 269, and 32 GB LTE model for 349. The Wifi Model will start shipping on July 30th, with the LTE model shipping in “coming weeks”.

Upgraded specs from the last one (which ran pretty damn nice for the $$):

Also announced today brand new version of jelly bean.  Version 4.3 is available today for all google devices and the samsung galaxy.

Key Features:

  • New to Android 4.3: advanced multi-user support, bringing in “restricted profiles”. Restricted profiles lets parents limit what their child’s account can do. (Same thing the kindle has recently been advertising.  Why you say? Cause kindle is android based silly.)
  • Bluetooth Smart, or Bluetooth low-energy.
  • OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics system, allowing for considerably more detail in games; according to Hugo, they’re the first to support it.
  • Watching 1080p content on a tablet is great, but most of the content you get today is actually standard definition. This is because the lack of DRM. With Android 4.3, Google’s introducing hardware-level encryption for DRM. The first group Google’s partnering with this is Netflix, allowing you to stream 1080p netflix content to your Android device.
  • The original Nexus 7, the nexus 4, the galaxy nexus, and the nexus 10 will start to get Android 4.3 today.

Another important update comes to the Google Play store which will begin carrying a comprehensive collection of text books from all 5 major publishing houses. Books can be purchased, or rented for 6 months at a time. Text books will be available in early august.

BUT, the biggest announcement is Chromecast.  Chromecast is a tiny, itty-bitty dongle that runs a simplified version of Chrome OS.  Chromecast integrates into the apps you already use on your tablet, phone, or PC. You push a chromecast button, and it pushes that video to your TV. It’s like Apple’s airplay.  Chromecast will play friendly with the iPhone, not just Android.  You can continue to use your phone independently; once the video is playing on your TV, you can use your phone for other tasks. Even if you sleep the phone, the video keeps playing. You can pause/skip videos from the lockscreen.  If you’ve got multiple devices all connected to Chromecast, Chromecast won’t be tied to any of them. You can pause on your iPhone, for example, pick up your tablet, and immediately take control and begin playing from the same place.

On a side note to the Chomecast stuff.  Myself and another of other dev’s I work with spent a good hour today chatting about this part of the announcement.  The conversation was a bit of an emotional roller coaster ride.  At first we were all stoked simply because we had postalized that Google might announce this type of functionality because its been sorely missing for far too long.  But as we spoke more about how it worked and read in between the tech lines our excitement faded as a feeling of “MEH, its pretty cool but what about this, what about that..” set in.  Its a HUGE step up from the ill fated Google Q that was a major POS but the Chromecast is still missing actual screen mirroring.  WHY GOOGLE WHY!!!!!  So at this point your gonna have to wait for ALL of your favorite app developers to add the Chrome Play button to their apps BEFORE you can play Angry Birds on the big screen but hey for $35 its worth it if you don’t already have a smart TV, playstation, Xbox or Apple TV hooked up (Which covers about 90% of the population).

All that being said, I will let you know in three days time after mine arrives….HA

 

 

Webinar on 6/25 w/ Forrester: Wearables – The Next Frontier of Mobile

Ever wonder whats next for mobile?  Smartphones feeling old hat? Then why not make a smart hat or hop on the google train and code some GoogleGlass.

TUESDAY 6/25 we have another webinar focused on Google Glass and smart use cases for professionals that need to be hands-free (think policemen, EMTs, surgeons, firefighters, pilots, etc.). Joining us for the webinar will be Sarah Rottman Epps, Senior Analyst, Forrester (I’ve attached two of her reports for your reference).

Link to register (Hey its free): http://www.mutualmobile.com/webinars/google-glass

What is Not Provided in Google Analytics Keyword Report?

Here’s a question about the organic search report in Google Analytics we get occasionally:

Do you know of any reason why in Google Analytics we cannot see a search term that is gaining us clicks? For example, I was looking at April 1-9 and the number 1 search term for our business website is “not provided”. Just curious as to what this means.

“Not Provided” refers to a visitor whose privacy settings prevent their information from being recorded by Google analytics. The primary type of visitor who falls into this category is someone who is logged into their google/gmail account.

Managing Multiple Google Places Locations

Does your business have multiple locations? One of our favorite clients, Eagle Rivet Roof Service Corporation, has 4, 2 in Connecticut, one in Florida and one in Massachusetts.

One of our initiatives this year was to expand their local marketing. We recently got the MA roofing contractor page approved by Google and are proceeding with promotion. The Florida roofing contractor page has been online for a few months and we have gotten to #20 for “coral springs roofer“.

If you need Google Places promotion, please contact us today!

Google Buys Zagat, But What Does This Mean For YOU?

Here at 3PRIME we’ve taken a dedicated approach to Local Marketing. Much of the reason we’ve gone this route is because of Google’s focus on connecting users with local businesses. In large part, this change has seen the rise of Google Places, where businesses show off their location as well as reviews submitted by customers. Google has just taken a step to increase the importance of their local listings by purchasing Zagat Ratings. Continue »

Adding Google Plus One Button to your Website

Google +1 integration is pretty straightforward, although these can often be complicated by the fact that most businesses don’t directly manage their own web content or rely on a trusted, efficient vendor to update their website in a timely fashion.
Continue »

Google to offer credit card for Adwords

Providing small businesses the opportunity to quickly ramp up their advertising spending, that’s Google’s latest venture.

The Adwords Mastercard overview:

  • Launched & available as a “beta test” and were sent out Wednesday July 20, 2011 to select customers
  • Available should favor small and medium-sized business, but might be wider
  • Fairly Low 8.99 ongoing (not introductory) annual percentage rate
  • Issued by: issued by the World Financial Capital Bank
  • Attractive Credit Line, yet to be announced but likely based on adwords spend
  • No Annual Fee

Would you consider this for your business? Would you promote a new product or product line with it just to try it out? Need a new website to advertise? Call in the Pros!