An Warning for Local Businesses…

Posted on 07. Jul, 2009 by in All Local Search Posts, Automotive, Business-to-Business, Food & Dining, Health & Medicine, Home Services, Legal & Financial, Maps, Mobile

In the past several years, I’ve seen numerous scams and questionable Internet-related sales pitches aimed at local businesses. One of the more misleading in recent months revolves around Google Local Businesss Listings (Google Maps).

Of course, assisting a business in “claiming” their business listing may be considered a legitimate “service” – but as a stand-alone SEM solution it’s certainly not the only consideration. Far from it!

Considering the process takes about 10 minutes and is a free process provided by Google, it’s debatable exactly what this “service” is worth. Unfortunately, many individuals and companies are now advertising this as something that requires payment. Most I’ve seen advertise a monthly recurring fee to be “included” in Google Maps, others charge a one-time “set-up fee”. They’re usually accompanied by a screen-shot of Google’s search results page. I’ve even seen an industry CMR advertising this service for $350! 

It’s this type of misleading abuse that makes the job harder for legitimate search marketers. It would be nice to see Google go after some of this stuff, if possible.

Other Google-related scams

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