We frequently hear from business owners who receive harassing phone calls from suspect individuals claiming to work for Google. The callers tell the business owner that if they pay a fee, their website will be moved to the top positions on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs). Although most people will recognize that these are scammers calling, many fall victim to the scam. They are fooled by misinformation and scare tactics.
Here are some typical claims and angles used by these scammers:
- Guarantees of top placements for important search terms
- Calls telling you that you must “update your front page listing” or they ask you to “claim your free website” on Google
- Variations on the idea that Google charges money for inclusion on Google Maps or Google My Business
This is a concern, especially for small businesses that don’t necessarily have the resources or knowledge to know that they are being tricked into something that isn’t legitimate. In the worst cases, the agencies who call do nothing at all – they just disappear with the money they are paid. In other cases, the individuals do take some actions to give the illusion that they are making progress on behalf of the owner, but wind up doing things that are more damaging than helpful to search engine rankings—and the damaging effects can last for months or even years.
What you need to know is that Google never guarantees rankings in organic search results or even in paid AdWords listings. If someone promises you such a thing, they are either making unrealistic claims or they are uninformed. It isn’t that good rankings are unattainable, but it requires long term work by people who know what they’re doing. If you are looking for more immediate results, Google AdWords is a faster way to gain focused traffic on a pay-per-click basis. It is very effective even if your paid ad isn’t necessarily the top ranking ad on the page. In either case, just be sure you’re working with a reputable company that has the credentials to show they can do the work properly and ethically. Don’t be fooled by fly-by-night companies making false promises. Always check company references and credentials.
To that end, Google does certify reputable agencies as Google Partners—a program that Millennium Marketing participates in. In general terms, the Google Partner certification means that the company is healthy, and with happy customers whose accounts are being handled using best practices. As a Google Partner, Millennium Marketing Solutions works hard to help our clients get the best organic search engine rankings and best results from their paid advertising on Google and other search platforms. We pride ourselves on keeping our promises and doing our best to deliver a strong return on investment for each account.
Protect your business from unscrupulous and inexperienced search engine marketing companies by asking the right questions and checking references. Reputable SEO companies explain to clients the techniques and methods they will use to get results and never promise specific rankings. Reputable companies won’t send you unsolicited emails or call you with claims of quick results. Find a company to partner with for search engine optimization should be no different from other important business decisions. Caution and effort are needed, but in the end the time spent is well worth it.
Only 23% of marketing agencies are Google Certified. We are one of them! If you have any questions about your Google SERPs, email the digital marketing team at Millennium at SEOfirstname.lastname@example.org and we would love the opportunity to help!