HunterP

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Our seo company submits or publishes articles for us on a regular basis that include not only our business name but a 1-800# that they own but is supposed to be forwarded to our local #.
I've read as much as I can find about tracking numbers, 800's ect but it seems to change often and opinions are varied especially for local business.

At the very least isn't this going to/is screwing up my NAP consistency, several years ago it looks to have been the #1 negative ranking factor.

It may be a minor or not so minor error considering all the rest of the mess they have us in, but I am trying to figure out if all the problems are something they can fix, or if it's time to cut and run.

Thank you for any and all insights in advance,
HunterP
 

Colan Nielsen

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Hi Hunter,

Unfortunately yes, the 800 number is messing with your NAP consistency. Plus, if you stop working with them what happens to the 800 number? Will calls to that number still get forwarded to you?

I would do whatever you can to have the numbers changed to your local number. Can you give us an idea of the type of submissions and articles they are creating? What's the volume?
 

Eric Rohrback

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Local SEO Guide created a pretty nifty tool to check for this - it's called NAPhunter.

Run your business through that and see how many inconsistencies you have.

Like Colan mentioned, are these like press releases, blog posts, directories, general article submission sites? What types of sites are we talking about?
 

HunterP

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Thank you for the reply,

They call these articles "PR Submissions" or "Key Word Articles" and are supposed to be writing and submitting to 40 "Proprietary websites" a month and to 10 "Strategic SEO websites" a month.
We have been working with them for almost a year so in theory hundreds but so far I've only found 5 published total.

The ownership of the 800# and who gets the calls when we leave their service isn't as much of a concern (I don't believe) because NO ONE calls the number except their employees when they call to check up on us. They have pressured us to put the number on our website but there is no need for that, we are a local business.

You can find examples of the articles written for us and other companies at this site, I am assuming the other articles were written and placed by the same company.
News for extended stay housing, corporate housing, furnished apartments, and temporary housing rentals
 

Eric Rohrback

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Kind of sounds like you've paid for a Private Blog Network. I would consider getting out of this deal, because it looks like they're doing this for a ton of companies in the same industry.

From the looks of the other companies listed on this site, they're all using an 800 number. That's most likely a way for whomever you're paying to track phone calls from the sites they own. Basically because these sites don't get real traffic (and are pretty thin page-wise), they need to try and prove value somehow... so they opt for spreading the 800 number they own around to use in reporting. Does that kind of sound like what's happening or am I off base?
 

HunterP

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I believe each company has their own 800# and yes they call it a tracking number.
The company is supposedly the largest and maybe only specialty seo company in our industry. (SEO services are just one service that the offer)
Under their services our top 10 keywords have risen quite a bit but our position in the local maps has gone to 2&3 to still 2&3 but "suspended for quality issues" on our GMB page, so not showing at all. They have been reporting to us for the last two months that the ranking on our reports for maps is wrong because of a G/glitch.
I know that this is not the only issue, but nothing has changed offline since we started with them.
 

Eric Rohrback

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Can you share your site? If you don't feel comfortable posting on the forum, PM the main URL and the GMB page.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Yes, anything permanent with your NAP is a problem because if you ever rebrand, move, or change your phone number (not sure why you would but you never know) then you're stuck with bad NAP.

That's why press releases with NAP are never a good idea as well as citations that don't have login info. Stay away from NAP that can't be changed. It will almost always come back to bite you.

And yes, I agree with these guys, if they're doing a private blog network I would probably get out. It depends on a lot of factors but that's a red flag for the rest of their strategy as well.
 
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I rank for competitors 800 numbers and make some of the other competitors irate for doing so. It's a strategy that has been very successful for my clients though.
 
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