In the last month I’ve received a couple calls, to my cell phone, from a robocaller. When I answer a message starts:
Our records show that you have not optimized your Google listing. It is critical that you optimize your Google listing… Press 9 to be connected to an Google Listing Agent right away.
My Google Listing isn’t optimized? Of course this got my attention. Not because my Google Listing needs optimization, but because there isn’t really a thing called a “Google Listing.” Google is not a directory and search results are not listings. One might make the case that Google My Business is a “Google Listing,” but that’s not what it’s called. I needed to hear more.
Upon speaking to the “Google Listing Agent” I was informed that for just $100 dollars they would guarantee me Google domination for my website (nevermind that I have quite a number of sites and they didn’t bother to ask or investigate how said websites rank). The Google Listing Agent further informed me that I cannot do this myself because they have a “relationship” with Google and they “know how to” ensure first place rankings on google. When I asked him who signs his checks, both the person and the legal business entity, he got hostile and hung up on me.
As a professional geek, long time SEO practitioner, and certified Google Partner, I actually do have a relationship with Google. I talk to them all the time in fact, so I was deeply troubled by this Google Listing scam. I wonder how many people fall for this? I suspect a lot.
Google thinks this is a problem too, as they are suing Local Lighthouse Corp for the same practice. Perhaps it was Local Lighthouse calling me, or a knockoff trickster.
In any event, if you ever get a call regarding your “Google Listing,” or your website’s optimization, HANG UP THE PHONE.
Thanks for reading,
Screen shot of the actual lawsuit by Google against Local Lighthouse: