jvaquino

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Hello Local SEO Experts,

I want to get some advice regarding this situation.

I have a client who has this business located on Rochester NH, and without telling me he created a new G+Local listing using his friend's home address in Dover NH and used the same phone on what we used for Rochester. Then Google flagged it as "suspicious/fraudulent". My client said that Google removed it. Now, they still want to create that GP listing using his friends address but now he want to use phone # from twilio. My question is: Is it ok to use twilio?

Thanks
 

Linda Buquet

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The question should be, is it OK to set up a listing at a friends house?

No.

If he's already in violation for a fake location, then the phone# is kind of a moot point.
 

jvaquino

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Thank you Linda for the response.

How about if he uses other address and not the address which Google flagged. Is it ok to use twilio for his phone #?
 

Linda Buquet

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It's not a matter of that address being flagged it's a matter of setting up fake locations where the business does not exist that's a problem. If he sets up a different fake location it's still a violation.

And real businesses don't use Twilio. They have real phone #s.
 

Laustin1878

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If this is considered hijacking the thread, I can start another. Being that it's related, it may be beneficial to keep it in the same thread.

The VoIP is an interesting question and I have not seen it come up anywhere. Is there anything against using a local number via VoIP? Can it hurt a business and their SEO efforts?

There are many upsides to VoIP aside from optimization notably affordability, portability if the business moves among others. While optimization is very important, there are also other important factors for a business. I can't see Google punishing a business for something like that but I don't know considering they are against PO Boxes. A little different but I can see the relationship. Is there anything in writing about this?
 

Linda Buquet

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If this is considered hijacking the thread, I can start another. Being that it's related, it may be beneficial to keep it in the same thread.

The VoIP is an interesting question and I have not seen it come up anywhere. Is there anything against using a local number via VoIP? Can it hurt a business and their SEO efforts?

There are many upsides to VoIP aside from optimization notably affordability, portability if the business moves among others. While optimization is very important, there are also other important factors for a business. I can't see Google punishing a business for something like that but I don't know considering they are against PO Boxes. A little different but I can see the relationship. Is there anything in writing about this?

Now this is just my gut and my opinion, nothing I've heard from Google, but knowing how they think...

In the real world nothing is wrong with VOIP just like nothing is wrong with having a PO box for your business OR a Regus executive suite.

The problem is that so many spammers, fake listings and other rule breakers use all 3 options, so I think it could possibly give you an auto red flag or sometimes can even just black list you.

The only time I have EVER heard Twilio come up in convos is situations like this, where someone is trying to game the system.

When I Googled "Twilio" "Google Places" I found this.

blackhatworld DOT com/blackhat-seo/white-hat-seo/235552-google-places-advice-not-getting-banned-immediately.html

So he was unable to even get a listing started using a Twilio #, but then again it could have been something else he did that was the problem.

But again I can't say I have any 1st hand experience and am not saying Twilio is bad per se. But like any tool it can be abused. And if lots abuse it then it can cause a 'potential' red flag with Google.
 

Adam Steele

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Shamefully, it is these thread that always catch my eye and lure me in. I can't help but share my experience, even if it incriminates, and fosters hostility towards me. Oh well.

So here's the thing: this is reality. Some of the biggest companies in the world are doing this, though perhaps not via Twilio specifically, but similar services. I can't think of any businesses off the top of my head, but I have heard of plenty in the past. It is a scalable, inexpensive, trackable, etc approach to local phone numbers. These are real locations, no different from the mom and pops.

Twilio is getting a bad wrap here because it is indeed a popular, easily accessible and inexpensive route for spammers. Like other services, I can grab a local phone number, place a redirect, setup tracking and voicemail all in under 1 minute and all for $1. I've used Twilio for 3 years now, mostly for clients with legitimate offices, and it works beautifully, on so many levels. It provides the client with more features and flexibility than they would ever receive from their local phone provider.

OP, Linda is right though. Tsk, tsk, tsk. You know better! End of story : )
 
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