Get "Special Price" to Appear in Google Maps, now!
I’m completely outraged, just come off the phone with a friend in Norway who told me about an agency in Norway who’s “selling” Google Local Business listings.
Basically they are convincing businesses that they have to PAY to appear in Google Maps and they are in fact “selling” the keywords, telling customers that they will get a place in the top 10 listings. That’s just outrageous; they are playing on people’s ignorance to in fact sell something that doesn’t exist. The story of The Emperors New Clothes springs to mind....
I mean, fine if they were selling the service to submit a company to Google Local Business listings because the business just don’t know how to do it themselves. But, these guys are actually claiming they created “Google Maps” in association with Google, and the business they are sellingto believe them!? YIKES! Does Google know they are going around claiming this? Do agencies have no integrity anymore??
Furthermore, they are telling customers they can in effect “buy” keywords they want to appear for. Hellooo it’s not PPC!! The really worrying thing is that in Norway most people don’t have a clue what SEO and PPC is, the Norwegian search engine marketing market is booming but it’s still very much unknown dicipline. I would say it’s similar to the UK 5 years ago (please don’t get offended if you are Norwegian), this is a very important stage for agencies in Norway to get it right.
Misleading people now can have MASSIVE consequences later. Imagine when these companies realise that Google Local Business Listings is in fact free, do you think they would want to deal with a Search Agency again? This particular agency is not only ruining it for themselves by misleading their customers but they are ruining it for all the Search agencies in Norway.
And it is in fact VERY easy to set up, it’s maybe THE easiest and most effective way of getting traffic to your website. Especially in countries like Norway where the search marketing services market hasn’t matured yet.
In fact, do you want to know how to set up a Google Local Business Listing? Don't just take it from me, here's Google telling you how:
Lastly, problems like this are rife, not only in Norway but in pretty much every country that are selling Search Marketing services. I think it again screams out for accreditations and best practise rules. Agencies across the borders should be working together to make sure companies gets a proper service, be proud of being in Search don’t let anyone shit on our profession!
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12 June 2013 / 13 June 2013