Feb 7, 2013
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Hey Jim,

Tim, and the rest of the PEs are discussing this feature with Google later this week. I will bring this thread to their attention.
@Colan Nielsen, did the conversation result in any helpful information that you can share?

One thing we're wondering is if we utilize our own call tracking number on GMB, would enabling call history result in calls no longer getting tracked using our own system? If so, why? Because wouldn't the Google forwarding number used for a given call to a GMB profile have to connect to the business's phone number we've added from the GMB dashboard at some point in the call flow?

I would understand if this functionality behaved like Google Voice in this regard, but Google Voice is linked to either 1) devices and/or 2) other phone numbers. Since many businesses still use a landline device, that's not an option here. And linking with another phone number leads me back to the question above about calls eventually connecting to the business's phone number that's been added in the GMB dashboard.

Colan Nielsen

LocalU Faculty
Top Poster Of Month
Jul 19, 2012
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Hi Kerry,

My original understanding was that you could use traditional call tracking service and also enable the call preview Beta with no issues. However, Google recently told me that you should not enable this feature if you're already using a tracking number on the Google My Business listing. So as a best practice I would avoid mixing traditional call tracking with this feature.

Jon Hall

Jul 11, 2013
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I guess Google is now promoting Call History via email. Just had a customer ask me about it. The email concluded:
This is an experimental feature only available to a small number of users. Your business can be one of the first to try and give feedback.
Doesn't that just give you the warm fuzzies? LOL. Anyway, this thread was invaluable to me. Thanks @Colan Nielsen for starting it! I have a few contributions from my own research/line of work:

1. @freerunr There's no technical reason why you can't enable GMB Call History along with a call-tracker of your own. BUT doing so introduces another link in the daisy chain: a customer clicks "Call" and their phone calls the GMB tracker, the GMB tracker forwards to your custom tracker, and your custom tracker forwards to the business. All those extra "hops" introduce more and more latency in the call which can make for a conversation full of awkward pauses followed by talking over each other 😬 My guess is that this is the reason there's some discrepancy on whether or not you can/should use this feature with third-party tracking.

2. @Jim Froling it's been awhile since you asked, but for anyone else turning on Call History now, note that if you had 58 calls to a client in the past month but just turned on the feature today, those past calls did not go through GMB's tracking number and therefore won't show up in Call History.

3. Finally, while I agree with the sentiment that this feature has limited utility for anyone already doing call-tracking, you can imagine that A) it can easily be made more powerful if the Big G combines it with other capabilities in its wheelhouse like transcription, sentiment analysis, messaging, etc; and B) adopting it gives Google access to a trove of incorruptible data about your business performance.

What do i mean? As it is, turning on Call History gives Google visibility into whether people are completing their calls to your business, whether you're answering them, how long they last, etc. Now imagine Google adds call recording/transcription/sentiment analysis to Call History (if they're not already doing it behind the scenes--look at their privacy policy). @Contractor already noted the business utility of such features. But for Google, they're pure gold.

Bad news for SEOs: Google isn't going to rely on manipulable, public channels like GMB posts and reviews to rank businesses forever. They're reaching deeper into unpublished sources like calls, messaging conversations, C-SAT surveys, etc. This is very much evident in the design of GMB messaging, which I am now quite familiar with. And the thrust behind these developments is eloquently exposed in @Adam Dorfman's article for @gsterling's excellent Near Memo: Just saying.
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