I received a call today from phone number 571-279-8054 claiming to be Google. The beginning of the message was cut off, but stated, “To verify your listings press 1 or press 9 to be removed from the list. Again, press 1 to validate your Google listing.”
They first called on March 4th, 2015 and just now on March 19th, 2015. I suspect it’s a scam/phishing/marketing ploy, but maybe someone from Google can chime in?
For the record, I recommend not responding to the message in any way. Best case, they confirm that you are a human and are likely a sucker for their tricks. Worst case, you get charged some enormous fee for special phone usage. (like when people had missed calls from the Bahamas.)
Just spreading the word. Good luck. 🙂
Update (3/23/2015) :
In addition to the number above (571-279-8054) I just received another call from a local number (412-347-3486) stating that they were Google and I needed to press 1 to update my listing or 2 to be removed from the list. If this phone call really was from Google, I’d expect to see an associated email or other notification. Google is normally very good about these things, so I’d be surprised to find out this is anything other than a scam.
Update (3/24/2015) :
With a tiny bit of internet research, I’ve discovered that Google has a scam reporting page in place. Whether you’re receiving fake telemarketing calls like those above, or even text messages, you can learn more and report the issue at the link below. They also mention that Google does not make robocalls. So, any automated call or message claiming to be from Google is likely a scam.
Google just released the Gmail Priority Inbox and I already think it’s a fantastic improvement to email as we know it.
Gmail has always had the “star” feature to flag important emails, but if you’re anything like me, those emails just move down the list with all the rest, never to be seen again.
The great thing about Gmail Priority Inbox is that it puts those important emails right at the top of the list. To remove them, you have to actively remove the star or mark them as unimportant. This is a great way to increase your productivity. It is very similar to the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology which says you should either work the email, defer it for later followup, defer it to someone else, or archive/delete it.
The magic of the Gmail Priority Inbox is that it learns from your usage of Gmail. It remembers which emails you read and automatically marks them as more important than the ones you don’t. This allows you to follow up with those important emails first, and naturally makes the less important emails fall lower on the page.
This is just one of the reasons we recommend Google Apps to all of our small business customers. There is no other email service with these kind of features. Plus, the Gmail spam filter is absolutely unmatched by anything else in the world. We’d be happy to help you set up Google Apps for your small business. Just contact us with the form on the right. Or, if you’re more tech-savvy, feel free to check out Google Apps for yourself.
Either way, the Gmail Priority Inbox video is very entertaining. You can view that here: http://mail.google.com/mail/help/priority-inbox.html
The Google Apps homepage can be found here: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/index.html
Google is now offering a Google Analytics course for web analytics! Plus, if you want to get your Google Analytics Individual Qualification you can pay $50 to take a test. If you score at least 75% on the test, you become qualified. They say that this is proof of your Google Analytics competency, but there’s no information as to whether or not they will have a logo or graphic to display. I assume they do, or will soon.
Even if you’re not interested in the certification, there’s a ton of great Google Analytics information for beginners to advanced users.
So there you have it. Head on over to Conversion University to learn more about GA and take the course to prove your knowledge to the world.
(Check back for our Google Analytics Individual Qualifications soon!)
*** Update: Jason Green is now a Google Analytics Qualified Individual. ***
I love Google! They provide incredible services to the online community for free! Plus, they’re giving away Gmail stickers now too!
However, I agree with Brian Clark at CopyBlogger in that we shouldn’t use so much energy to game the system. We need to concentrate on excellent content that is useful to many people. Writing a bunch of blog posts only to fill your site with keywords might get you some random search traffic, but it’s not even close to having loyal subscribers.
1. You get 1000 visitors in a month thanks to the 200 posts you wrote that were strategically written to include buzzwords from the long tail and the short head.
– Super~ These people will give you about 10 seconds of their time before they see what you’ve done. Real people can easily recognize a post that’s stuffed with keywords or that was purely written to attract the search engines. You got a visitor, but they’ll never be back.
2. You have 100 subscribers that read every one of your posts. They visit your site and occasionally leave comments. Maybe a few of them have blogs of their own and like to comment about your posts from there. Yes, that’s an inbound link that will help your search rank. You didn’t get it by spamming the Internet with garbage. You got it by writing content that someone found useful. They found it so useful that they took time out of their day to write about it and give you a link. Now the readers of that blog, who trust what the writer has to say, click over to your blog. Snap! More subscribers. And the cycle continues.
A little more math to back up #2: If you write 10 high-quality posts per month and all 100 subscribers visit, that’s 1000 visits right there. Add in the link juice and the fact that it will naturally contain good keywords, and you can expect a ton more traffic than #1.
Moral of the Story:
Everyone please stop writing posts solely for the search engines! Yes, I’m guilty too, but I’m starting to come around. When writing a post pretend that you’re writing a letter to a friend. If you wouldn’t send this to a friend, then why would anyone else care to read it? If you don’t pass that qualifier, don’t write the post.