September 26, 2015

Beware of the “Google” Call

by Teresa Martin

Recently, I received a phone call from a client who’s website I had created a few short months ago. He had had a website that was generated by the Yellow Pages when he once placed an ad.  This website was the bare basics and he was looking for an upgrade and we did just that.  I had just finished up the project when shortly after he called and was a bit frazzled as he had received a phone call from someone telling him he was in danger of “falling off” of Google.  I know my clients are usually busy taking care of their clients, so I suggested he give me the number and I would call them back for him.  “You’d do that for me?” he asked.  “Sure, that’s what I’m here for,” I said.

Beware, don't get scammed

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

I called the number and received an automated response saying “Are you the business owner?” I stayed on the line.  When a real person came on the line, they name-dropped Google and again asked if they were speaking with the business owner.  I explained my position, and how I was helping my client.  What I found out was that this nothing more than an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) company doing a cold call in order to redesign a website and deploy some SEO tactics.  I don’t know if they were at all affiliated with Google.  But the word “Google” holds a lot of weight and we tend to listen when it comes to what we need to do to get ranked higher with their search engine.

I believe these calls are a result of Google’s algorithm change where any website that is not responsive (meaning that it will convert it’s design dependent on the device used to view it) will now rank lower in searches.  You see, my client’s previous design was from the Yellow Pages, and remember, I said it was the bare basics.  The companies will uses phrases like “You’re going to fall off the traffic cliff,” which may make a business owner believe that they are going to completely “fall-off” of Google, and quickly prompts a business person to want to take action.

Will you fall off of Google?  No.  Will your site be de-ranked from not being responsive?  Yes.  What this means is that if you were being ranked on the first or second pages (without purchasing an ad), then you may drop to the 4th, 5th, 6th or later page.  (If you purchase an ad, you will still be on Page 1).

The company calling had no clue I had just redesigned the site to make it responsive and add a lot more content.  When I explained I had just done this, the conversation was essentially over as they realized they weren’t going to get the fee they wanted to redesign and optimize the site.

confused about your website

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

So be aware.  And if you ever have a question, feel free to call me.  If I don’t know the answer immediately, I will help you find one!

What if I’ve already authorized one of these companies to redesign my site?

If you’ve already received a new site from one of these companies, then hopefully you are happy with your new site and getting some good results from your investment.  But keep in mind, that if a business owner should agree to allow these companies to redesign his/her site, then the business could potentially end up with TWO websites.  (I’m dealing with this now with a couple of  my clients.)  When this happens, your customers my wonder, “Which site do I go to? Which is the real, most up-to-date site?”  Many businesses will often own more than one domain name (or web address), however, there will likely be ONE site and the other addresses will redirect to it.  Having two entirely different sites leads to confusing customers and the added work of having to update each one if there is an address change or phone number change or business hour change, etc.  Will their new site be more SEO friendly?  Perhaps, but it will depend on what YOUR site is doing now for search engine optimization.  It will likely not anything to enhance your online presence.

Do you know how you rank in online presence?

YEXT highly recommends suppressing any duplicate site in order to help your search engine ranking.  Don’t know what YEXT is?  YEXT offers power listing for your website.  Why should you look into Power Listings?

  • Local information online is out-of-sync
  • 6% of listings change every month – locations opening, closing, hours, driving directions
  • 20% of local searches return the wrong information – for consumers, nothing is worse than finding incorrect info
  • 50% of local searches are mobile
  • Customers using multiple sources for local information – ecosystem is fragmented, you have to be everywhere

And BTW – StudioThought, LLC is YEXT Certified, so we can help you with your local search engine listings.  Want to know how you rank locally?  Find out by clicking here.

So again, I offer this friendly caution in regards to those cold calls you may have been getting.  We are always here to help.  Feel free to call, text or email anytime!  And if you want help in your online marketing, contact us for a proposal/plan.  We can give you a basic cost with additional options for your budget.  We realize small businesses are the back-bone of our country, and enjoy serving and supporting them.  Hope to talk to you soon!