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admin | Category: Trace A Phone Number | 19.01.2014
Google has quietly announced a change in its AdWords rules that means car dealers and automotive marketing professionals can no longer include their targeted phone number in a search engine advertisement’s text. We say “quietly” because the update is dated March 16, 2013 – a Saturday that came just three days after the company’s second spring cleaning announcement.
While that last part may be true, the more likely reason is that Google wants to monetize all those clicks and taps on phone numbers.
When a customer clicks the phone number on a mobile device that’s capable of making a phone call, you’ll be charged the same as for a standard click on the ad. As such, not only will this change affect anyone advertising on Google, but it will also affect users. It does make sense that they're doing to do it via PPC, however, if you were to use your Google Voice number in a PPC campaign, it would have also tracked it, but I suppose this is more streamlined, within one dB. Now it's going to cost you more to make the phone ring!  Please make sure your team is properly trained to handle those calls, otherwise you're just wasting money!
Please use the "Sign Up" link above to complete your registration form and become a member of the industry's leading Automotive Marketing and Internet Sales Professional Community. ADMPC is a Network for Car Dealers, Automotive Marketing, Advertising and Management Pros sharing Digital Strategies and Execution Tactics. Last month there were reports of errors in Google Maps listing for Duke Medical Center phone numbers.
When an additional report surfaced in Google Maps for Business Owners from NYU Medical Center, I decided to investigate the depth of the issue and see if was isolated to large teaching centers or was more widespread throughout the medical listings. The report from NYU reported not just multiple and wrong phone numbers but wrong map locations as well. When I found 5 phone numbers listed for a hospital, I spot checked by calling some of the numbers to see where they went and if the answerer had received erroneous calls. The fact that none of the medical facilities with 3, 4 or 5 phone numbers listed had yet to claim the record in the Local Business Center shows: 1)that there is a possibility that they will get cleaned up and 2)that it is a ways off. Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.Google Map's medical center phone data: Code Red!


I’d think there needs to be a way to get contact information directly from existing websites rather than the directories. This particular problem seems to afflict this vertical more so than others and I am not really sure why.
I scrolled through the other locations and it didn’t match the 2nd number in the G maps directory information. I would think that G maps specifically and other similar sources, like Y and MSN Local need to take a step to clean the data–primarily sourcing the information from the website and not any other source.
Of all sources of this ilk, though, Google insertion of maps is clearly seeing more traffic than any other source and is driving more calls off the G maps inserts.
That would be a big improvement…and were they to be successful G would be lightyears ahead of other local data sources.
According to Bill Slawski’s patent review they are attempting to do this, why so unsuccessfully in the medical arena escapes me. After all, with the increase in mobile usage, many people search on Google for a business with the sole intention of calling them. Note that your phone number will be clickable only on devices that allow a user to click and call (so, for example, your ad will not show a clickable phone number on iPod Touch devices).
Furthermore, call extensions can now be used without paying for a Google forwarding number. You need to stop "Lurking" on ADM and become a more genuine Automotive Professional by completing your membership registration.
Time will tell, but their brokering scheme will stay in place, this news just justifies it even more. It was only a matter of time, obviously showing a phone number in your ad can save a click in the pay-per-click model. ADM members have access to resources, connections and private events that provide them with a competitive advantage. Not only were the numbers often times wrong but Google Maps was listing as many as 5 phone numbers for a single facility, few of which went to the central switchboard.


Google’s new feature in the Local Business Center, allowing the movement of Map markers, will facilitate some corrections about location but not the problems with phone numbers. 18% of all listings showed 3 or more phone numbers despite low verification rates through the Local Business Center.
In very limited tests, the numbers went to a department rather than the main desk facility listed and noted receiving a fairly large number of wrong number calls. Another (perhaps more real world) test of the quality of this data would be to see if the single number that Google picks for these records in the Local OneBox is the correct one.
There were some records with additional detail providers (BBB, Talking Phone Pages) as well a some records with multiple phone numbers that had no recognized source for details.
Google though, by virtue of their market dominance in search and the inclusion of the local results on the Local Onebox gets more scrutiny than the others.
Perhaps meidcal centers have more to worry about than their Google listing or perhaps because they are somewhat outside of the profit incentives that motivates others to get their records squared away. To Google’s credit the Duke Medical Center situation was resolved rapidly on an individual basis.
Most medical centers have difficulty complying with Google’s protocol for record correction as they have multiple mail stops making delivery of the PIN card unlikely and multiple phone lines making a call for verification almost impossible.
And if you live in Fargo, ND it appears by Google’s account that there are more medical phone numbers than there are doctors. I think it is safe to assume that any facility with 4 or 5 (and likely 3) numbers listed probably has numbers not for the main facility or that are in error. This allowed a quick assessment of the extraneous phone number issue as all numbers were shown directly below the specific listing rather than in the pop up box. Ultimately, for the public to broadly embrace AND rely on local search, the issue of accuracy needs to be solved.



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