Google Maps Fraud: How False Business Listings Hurt Your Business

This article by CNBC is a good primer on an increasing phenomenon: businesses using Google Maps in a fraudulent fashion to increase calls to their business. The article details the example of a telemedicine business that posed as an urgent care walk-in clinic to improve the SEO for their website. We’re sure you know how important a tool Google My Business is when it comes to improving your website ranking in local searches. But it’s easy to see how this can lead to abuses that can have serious consequences. In this case, a parent took a sick child to the fake clinic believing it to be a late-night alternative to a local emergency room. That’s not only bad for business but in cases like this, it’s negligent and dangerous! Google Maps Fake Listings: How Widespread Is the Problem? The CNBC article goes into detail about volunteers who track down fake […]

Eve Mendelovitch

Author: Eve Mendelovitch

About Eve Mendelovitch

You Can Now Add ‘Services’ to Your Google My Business Page

If you’re not a search engine optimization geek then you may not have noticed, but Google now allows businesses to add lists of services to their Google My Business (GMB) pages. The rollout appears to be happening quietly but also pretty quickly. We’ve tested a few GMB listings for our clients and it seems like about half of them have the option to add service menus. If this change sticks around, expect it to reach most of the North American GMB community in a few days. The change was reported on by various search engine marketing industry blogs over the last week. At LinkNow Media we’re always trying to find new ways to improve our clients’ local search rankings and we expect this will be a great tool moving into the future. What’s Changed? Have you ever performed a search for a laundromat near you? Go ahead and do it […]

Eve Mendelovitch

Author: Eve Mendelovitch

About Eve Mendelovitch

Local SEO Tips and How To Improve Your Small Business Rankings

Why You Need Local SEO and How To Improve Your Small Business Rankings

Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses It used to be when you started an organization, you did your advertising the old fashioned way. This meant newspapers, flyers, handing out business cards, sometimes just going door-to-door. With the arrival of the internet, these methods are now out of date. As of 2015, there were 3.26 billion internet users. This makes up 40% of the planet’s population! If a business owner wants to increase the traffic to their website or shop, they need SEO. Let’s jump into some of my favorite local SEO tips! Understanding why you need local SEO tips Just because you know SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization doesn’t mean you know why your business needs it. Just because you know the main purpose of SEO is a marketing strategy doesn’t mean you know how to begin using it yourself. When 93% of online experiences start with the use […]

Ray Keaton

Author: Ray Keaton

About Ray Keaton

5 Industries That Need A Local SEO Expert (but often don’t have one).

local seo expert

Is your profession one that needs a local SEO expert to survive? In today’s business world, every business can benefit from having a local SEO expert on their team. But for certain industries, a local SEO expert can make a huge difference and every day I meet people in these businesses that don’t employ any type of local SEO expertise. Industries that need a local SEO expert: the truth might surprise you! When you think about search engine optimization, the first industries that come to mind are probably tech related. But those are not necessarily the ones who stand to gain the most (even though they are the most likely to employ such expertise). So which ones benefit the most from local SEO know-how? Sure, everyone benefits from search engine optimization. But, service industries, those that are considered “immediate need”, require local SEO expertise more than any other. If you […]

Ray Keaton

Author: Ray Keaton

About Ray Keaton

Did Google Just Kill Customer Reviews in Google+?

Google Reviews

Google Changes the Process of Leaving Reviews for Businesses This week, Google began rolling out some major changes to Google+. For now, the old Google+ pages are still an option, but they will likely be phased out soon and we will be left with only the new, updated version. Most significantly for business owners, they have removed the ability for customers to read or leave reviews on a business’s Google+ page. Some are arguing that businesses are simply no longer welcome on Google+. But regardless of Google’s motivations, this is a big change, and it has left business owners and marketers around the world who have invested lots of time and effort in collecting customer reviews on Google+ scrambling to figure out how to keep collecting customer reviews or if it is even going to be worthwhile going forward. One thing is for sure – we are still seeing reviews in […]

Lauchlin MacDonald

Author: Lauchlin MacDonald

About Lauchlin MacDonald

Lauchlin is part of the content and marketing team at LinkNow Media. He has nearly a decade of experience in copywriting and editing, and spends way too much time on the Internet. He can be reached at lmacdonald@linknowmedia.com and @Lauchlin on Twitter.

Google removing inactive and unverified Google+ pages

Google Removing Inactive and Unverified Google+ Pages

Starting on July 28, Google began to shut down unverified and inactive Google+ business pages. If you are a small business owner, this could have a big impact on your customers’ ability to find you online. Read on to learn why this is important and what you can do about it. What are Google listings and why do they matter? Google listings are simply pages on Google+ for local businesses. They work a lot like a Facebook page – they show potential customers the name and address of your business, give customers a place to review your services, and give you the ability to upload pictures and run promotions. However, because Google uses this information in search results and in Google Maps, they have allowed anyone to create listings for businesses. Any listing created by the public doesn’t contain much more than the name and address of the business. If […]

Lauchlin MacDonald

Author: Lauchlin MacDonald

About Lauchlin MacDonald

Lauchlin is part of the content and marketing team at LinkNow Media. He has nearly a decade of experience in copywriting and editing, and spends way too much time on the Internet. He can be reached at lmacdonald@linknowmedia.com and @Lauchlin on Twitter.

Google Places Fraud Alert

Last Thursday, our Customer Care Department received a call from a client who had been contacted by a company named Futurology. The Futurology representative had told him that his Google Places Listing (the listing that we manage for him), was not “VALIDATED”. Understandably, the client who was paying us good money to help him optimize and promote his listing was quite alarmed. The rep then proceeded to tell him that they would request a NEW PIN from Google and that once he received it he should call them and provide the PIN so that they could “manage his listing”. Our Customer Care agent called the toll-free number for Futurology where the representative that answered the phone told her that since the “Manage This Listing” link was still present that the listing had not been “validated”. This is, of course, 100% untrue. Listings can be reclaimed any number of times as […]

Adina Costa

Author: Adina Costa

About Adina Costa