More threads by Scott ClientClicks

Oct 15, 2015
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I have a small business client who uses his personal cell phone as his only phone number. He doesn't yet have a GMB listing, but is eligible since he has an office location and a website.

He doesn't want to post his cell number online in GMB and in citations and suggested using a free Google Voice forwarding number instead.

I've never used Google Voice for GMB. Has anybody tried this with success? Since GV is another Google service, I'm assuming that G will connect the dots and perhaps see their GV forwarding number as a negative ranking signal compared to a non-GV number.

I have used RingCentral forwarding numbers for past client locations on GMB and that worked fine.
I use google voice for my GMB account that I forward to my personal line. I have not had any issues and have been using Google Voice for a couple years now.
The problem with GV is:
A. Number Availability
B. Numbers Looking Normal
I have found in different parts of the country and sometimes different states, no numbers available for Google Voice. On top of that if you get a number, it will look odd. I have two GV numbers and a Ring Central 800 number (actually it's 888), and if I want a normal number on demand, Ring Central is pretty affordable, I think $8 a month for local number add-ons. My clients are always remarking to me about how my numbers look different, "I have never seen that number from So and So city, but that's what my caller ID says".
If you're going to go the Google Voice route, make sure you check the number first to make sure it's not 'dirty'. That's a risk with any new phone number, but it I've had particularly poor luck with Google Voice in the past. Do a Google search for the number and see what comes up. If it looks clean so far, use the number for a month before posting it anywhere. If you don't get any strange calls from people wanting to buy drugs or something, then (and only then) you're good to go.

Google Voice has been on the downward slope for a while now by the way, and I don't know what it's chances are of being in existence for more than another year or two. I would personally also be very nervous about losing control of the number if Google decided to close shop and call it good, though that might just me being paranoid... I imagine Google would provide a way for people to transfer their numbers out. I know they currently do, just not sure what'll happen if/when Google Voice calls it good and closes shop.

I agree with Justin personally, if you must use a call forwarding number of some kind, a reputable call tracking solution of some kind might be a better bet, though obviously that's not going to be free.
Thanks to everyone for the good advice.

James - your fears of losing control of a phone number make sense. Years ago I used a voip service called AT&T Callvantage. After purchasing a bunch of forwarding numbers to be used for expensive print Yellow page ads for a client, AT&T decided to disband the service. They only had provisions to port out the main account number and not the additional forwarding numbers. That was not a fun experience!
Exactly... once that number's out there as part of your NAP, you want to make sure you OWN that number, and that no ugly surprises can damage an asset you've spent time and money building.

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