Google has a new type of listing available. I am not sure how long they have had it available or if they have been rolling it out in phases, but it popped up as an available option last week. Google Business.
It is basically a business listing that gives you the ability to give certain details about your business. In theory it makes you more visible in Google searches. Also, in theory, more information is available about your business right there in your search listing.
From the sounds of it, it is a replacement for Google Places – eventually. I personally liked how much easier and precise Places was to set up. It also linked directly to my already established business associated accounts. It was great.
The Business listing linked to my personal Google accounts. Not okay! It also created another log-in or account type in my log-in profile drop-down area. Not cool! Poor user implementation if you ask me.
Anyway…back to the poachers…
This morning I received a phone call about said account. That was the claim. Since I had just set it up, it was not a surprise. They said they wanted to verify the account. I wasn’t worried. I don’t typically give out private information over the phone for cold calls unless they have asked me a kazillion verification questions on who I am. They hadn’t. Just what my business name was. They pulled that from the business listing. It is public record.
Anyway, they wanted between $200-400 to verify a Google Business listing.
I had concerns. When I was setting up my listing, I researched it fairly thoroughly. There was no cost for the basic listing I set up. Were there any cost at all – ever? That I don’t know. I just know that what I did should not cost me anything to verify.
The good news is that I would have skipped on the service at that cost no matter what. I already have a Google Places account for the business, I honestly don’t see what the benefit of both is at this point.
When I explained to the lady that I would “be unable to do that at this time.” I heard a very quick click of the phone hanging up on the other end. Very abrupt. They are not even trying very hard to convince people to “verify” their accounts. They are simply moving on to the next unsuspecting victim.
Google is not behind this in anyway. Here is what they have to say about it: