Fellow addiction treatment professionals… we have discovered a big problem!
Recently, Stodzy Treatment Marketing became aware of a new, unethical practice that is being used to steal phone calls and clients from treatment centers. This is done by tricking treatment center owners into switching the phone number on the Google My Business pages. (formally Google+)
Google My Business provides 50% of all local searches. Imagine if all the phone calls coming from your local business page were going to another treatment center. This is exactly what is happening.
How Is This Being Done?
If you go to a Google Business page, you can suggest edits to the owner of the page. Anyone can do this. It is a good open source policy that Google implemented to leverage the community to keep information accurate and up to date.
However, if the owner of a Google business page approves an edit, he or she is approving ALL EDITS!
So if you suggested an edit of changing the address, maybe changing the hours of operation and in there snuck in an edit to the phone number, if the page owner approves the edit he or she will also be changing the phone number. These phone numbers have been pointing to treatment call centers, most of which go under vague business names.
We have contacted Google to learn more about how this is happening. Stay tuned for more information as we continue to research how to avoid this from happening to your rehab center.
Also, Edits Are Automatically Approved If A Business Listing Doesn’t Have a Registered Owner
I know what you’re thinking. How could a Google business page be created without having a registered owner?
- Someone made the page in the past and forgot about it. This means that their email may have been deleted or not kept up to date and simply dissolved.
- Google sometimes scrapes other websites to populate their business listings to populate Google maps.
If a page does not have a registered owner, then suggested edits to a business page are approved automatically. Sometimes Google may deny an edit if it is clearly not accurate.
Take the Following Steps to Ensure This Hasn’t Happened to You
- Check your treatment center’s Google+ profile page.
- Make sure that the phone number listed is the correct phone number for your facility’s admissions department.
- Call the number from your mobile phone to make sure it’s your center’s number.
If you find that your number has been changed due to approving different edits, please update your Google My Business Page. You also may want to contact your legal counsel for further action. If you need assistance, call Stodzy today and we will be glad to help you in fixing your Google My Business Page and maintain ethical addiction marketing practices.