If you’re a small business owner, you’ve undoubtedly received robocalls from a company implying that it is Google, or is closely affiliated with Google, alerting you to shortcomings in your SEO. I’ve received these calls, as have many of my clients. Not only are these spam phone calls not from Google, they are, in most cases, illegal.
Google does not make robocalls, nor do offer to improve your search ranking or manage your online profile.
Robocall scams are automated phone calls using recorded messages that may ask you to press a button to speak to a sales rep. Google doesn’t make these calls, so if it’s not a real person right from the start (and you didn’t request an automated call from us), it’s not Google.
Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous individuals and companies who make these calls, even though they are breaking the law. Sometimes, robocalls falsely claim to be working “with Google” or “for Google” in an attempt to sell different schemes and online marketing services to unsuspecting individuals and companies.
These types of robocalls calls are illegal under U.S. law (unless you have given permission to receive them), and Google is never behind them.
Relief May Be On the Way – Google’s Beginning to Take Action Against These Companies
On September 16th, 2015, Google announced through a blog post that it was finally taking action against one of the robocalling companies. Mike Blumenthal on his Understanding Google My Business & Local Search blog, identified the guilty company as Local Lighthouse out of Tustin, CA – Mike also lists a summary of the filing details on his post (you can see the full Lawsuit filing below on the Slideshare deck).
The full law suit (from Search Engine Land):
What To Do When You Receive a Robocall
In the meantime, you’re likely to still receive your share of SEO robocalls. How should you respond? The easiest response is to simply hang up, but this doesn’t mean that you’ll be removed from the list. One client of mine simply told the human that he was eventually connected with, that he knew that they were not affiliated with Google and that he was going to report the call – this seems to have worked, as their response was to hang up and leave him alone.
Google also recommends:
- Check the Federal Trade Commission’s website for steps that you can take
- Register your personal number with the National Do Not Call Registry
- Report unwanted calls to the Federal Communications Commission, the National Do Not Call Registry, or Google.
Robocallers are designed to try to make you feel as though you have an urgent SEO issue. Best to just ignore them and discuss any concerns with your SEO specialist.
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