More threads by Chris Ratchford

Chris Ratchford

Jul 18, 2012
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I just got a phone call from a person with a very hard to understand broken english accent. I knew immediately that it was someone from Google verifying my business.

I took control of the conversation early in the phone call. I interrupted her question of "Is business a storefront" and asked her what exactly she's going to do with the data.

She claimed that this was for Google Maps. I asked what about Google+ Local /Places. She said it had nothing to do with those... only Maps.

I asked her a number of questions about how many businesses they are calling, if there's a trigger that causes verification... She didn't know and I think she got a little frustrated, so I backed off :D.

Not much info I got from her, but I'm surprised that Google is still using these tactics of outsourcing to offshore call centers.
Thanks for the heads up on this Chris. Yes, it is irritating that the calls that come through are obviously outsourced. They also don't seem to have received very good training either, judging from the responses that you received.
Yes it's still really bad!

I can't believe they still ask that horribly deceiving question: "Is business a storefront?"

How will a plumber or pet sitter truthfully answer that question? The correct answer is NO!

What happens to the unsuspecting SMB next - after they say no this is not a storefront?


So unfair!
Exactly, Linda.

I knew it was Google because I missed their called yesterday... Googled the phone number (650) 253-2000 and came across a who-called-me list.

I read through the messages on that list and people were pissed that Google deleted their listings.

My dentist clients' front desk people think I'm a telemarketer and I already have a relationship with the doctor. I couldn't imagine what they'd do if one of these outsourced companies called them. :eek:
They hang up on them half the time. Because they are slammed with all the bogus callers PRETENDING to be Google.

The good thing with Dentists is that's not an industry that's targeted by the moderation calls since they are not a service area business.

But with SABs that hang up on Google they often get deleted.
Just an FYI, most of the internal people with which we deal that people generally think are Google employees are actually outsourced. I wouldn't be surprised if Jade is outsourced; the Map Maker community managers are not employeed by Google even though they work in the building, have email addresses, and present themselves as Google employees. I used to have a similar job and did the same thing. That is just a fact of the tech industry.
Thanks Chris for the update on this.
Usually when our clients claim they are receiving calls from Google, my first assumption is that the caller falsely claimed that they are Google or they work directly with Google.
Its good to know that Google is still doing these calls because it helps me respond to clients and help them determine if the caller was from Google or just a pretender.
Just wanted to update everyone. Google deleted my G+L Biz page- only after two days of the verification call.

I'm not upset since my business does not have a storefront (I work out of my house).

But I thought it would be good to show you two screenshots of what happened.

1. Google deleted my G+L Business page. Technically, the moved it back to a G+ Business page ( Only the logo is still present. All the pictures are gone.

2. I can't edit the G+ Biz page:



I'll be sure to report back when the listing is able to be edited.




So had you MERGED? Even though you are you home based?
And was address hidden on the G+ L page?

If your address was properly hidden you should not have been deleted.

BUT if you had MERGED even though address hidden that was the problem.
You were not supposed to merge. So the merge may have created the problem for you.

Part of the concern that comes up too with businesses like ours is the question of whether it's an online business that only works remotely via phone and email, in which case Google does not think it qualifies for a local listing at all.
I just verified a Google + Local page for a client and updated a few things. They already have good ranking, but I removed one of the doctors from their listing title - it was Doctor Name & Doctor Name. The second doctor was no longer there.

Anyway, someone from Google called them immediately within a few hours and asked for the business owner. The owner, being a dentist, couldn't come to the phone as he was with patients. The staff are convinced they won't be able to get the owner to the phone if they call again.

Any tips on how to handle this? (other than just get the owner to the phone)

(btw Linda this is not the Orlando client)
It's off Tom, when you say "I just verified a Google + Local page for a client and updated a few things." You may have done it wrong and there are a couple different problems that could have been caused, depending on exactly what you mean.

If you mean you verified the Place page (as opposed to verifying the G+ biz page) and if you mean you verified AND changed name at the same time, doing it that way often makes your changes split off into a new dupe instead of changing the listing you think it's going to change.

The other potential problem and I don't know if this is why they are calling. But techically for a complete name change you are supposed to close old and open new. (That MAY have just changed yesterday, I'm waiting on confirmation from Google management.) AND I'm not sure if deleting 1/2 the name is enough in Google's eyes to constitute a name change that needs to close/open new.

(I cover both issues in detail in the training you've been wanting to take.)

Hmmm, have not run into this as far as a Google moderator call over a name change - so am not absolutely certain... (no telling how some of these moderators will interpret things.)

But what I would do I think is have the office manager on HIGH ALERT to drop everything and take the call if Dr can't come to phone. Instruct staff that when Google calls to simply say "please hold while I get the Dr." - DO NOT LEAVE THEM ON HOLD LONG. Then have the office manager say "This is the office manager. The Dentist is with a patient but I'm in charge of all marketing details." (If in this case she is savvy enough to deal with it.) And coach her beforehand on the issues I explain here.


Although some of those tips are more for service area businesses. Key points in this case are to feed her and have her rehearse short, to the point answers. Sometimes if you go into a long complicated explanation they either don't understand English well enough OR they don't have time to listen. Give her something to say to verify the name change. I don't know full situation but depending on the issues something like "the other Dentist is no longer working here so we deleted their name leaving the existing Dentist's name. You can verify this is a correct name by looking at our web site."
Linda - what you said about splitting off into a new duplicate may have happened.

Originally, once I confirmed the page, I clicked the See your listing on Google link and it gave me the error of "We currently don't support the location". However, the old listing (with both names) was still active. Now, when I click the See your Listing on Google link, it shows listing I created without photos. However, the old listing is still active and ranking #1. It's not of much concern the doctors as they are still #1 and it's not very competitive (for a periodontist).

Lastly, it looks like one of the photos I added to the new listing actually ported over to the active listing. Strange.

Excellent advice about what to do over the phone. I'm going to do that.

When that new claim/edit at same time split happens if NAP is similar enough they will merge back into one in 4 - 6 weeks usually.

FYI clicking the link to view listing from dash sometimes does not work for up to a month after verifying. So best thing with new listing is search maps for (555) 222-3333 phone in that format. (If phone is same for both.) Then you'll see whatever is live even if link in dash is still borked.
"Don't be evil," huh. I think creating a language barrier just to save a few bucks is pretty evil. Geez, at least pay broke but English-speaking college kids to do it. Create a job or two here in the US.

Cheap bastards.
They're calling pretty much everyone, but it's not a really a sting operation as some think, it is more like their version of "trust but verify". Newly +verified listings are likely to receive a call.

But as far as I know, they don't ask for the owner, they just talk to whoever answers the phone.

Google is aware that some callers have language issues, but they don't seem to think that's the norm, rather the exception.

The calls are coming from a data quality team to ensure the Maps data is accurate and up to date. The caller is tasked to only get the information they need and get off the phone immediately. Expect this initiative to go on for quite some time.

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