seo-scammersI’ve had several clients ask about so-called “SEO companies” who are cold calling and offering to “improve your search ranking” or “manage your business’s online profile”… “guaranteed”. So, I wanted to take a minute to provide some clarification and additional information.

In short, this is a scam to win your business. Without having inside information specifically from Google, Bing, Yahoo or other search engines, there is not a way that they can honestly guarantee first place results. The following article has some age to it, however, it is from a respected SEO company within the industry and much of the information is still valid today.

I also ran across this article today explaining how Google has sued several SEO companies for stating that their company was affiliated with Google when, in fact, they were not.

Hopefully, the above articles have provided a little more information on the SEO robocalls that you may have been receiving.

google-my-business

Been very busy with new work, and realized I had not updated with the latest info on having my Google My Business listing restored. In short, my listing has been restored with still no clear understanding as to what was wrong or how it was in violation of Google’s guidelines.

I started a thread within the Google Advertiser Community in the Google My Business> Basics for Business Owners forum about the removal of my listing, how it occurred, the phone calls, and other Google support methods I had tried.

I received a response from Priya Chandra, a Google My Business Top Contributors. After several attempts of my deleting, reclaiming, and Priya reviewing the information, we still were not able to get anywhere with having it reinstated. I also tried with another gmail account I had created sometime ago for the business, reclaimed and verified.

After almost giving up, Priya brought in a Google My Business Community Manager who suggested I appeal the suspension again through the Google My Business local business reinstatement request. I had tried this several times earlier to no avail.

The next morning, I received notice (see below) that my suspension was lifted and my listing was reinstated. My previous customer reviews were also restored with the exception of the one from that particular Friday when my listing was suspended.

“We have reviewed your request and have determined that your Google+ page is in compliance with our Google My Business Quality Guidelines and Google+ User Content and Conduct policies. The suspension of your page has been lifted and the business(information) will be live on Google Maps within the next few days.

If you are facing a problem with your business information not reflecting the changes on Maps, please accept the recent edits you’ve made by navigating to your Google My Business dashboard.

If you have any further questions please consult the Google My Business Help Center.

Thanks,
Google My Business Support”

I still have no idea why the listing was suspended, or even why it was reinstated, but I’m not arguing and was very thankful for the time and help that Priya and Liz spent to help resolve the issue.

google-my-business

Unfortunately, I have no new news, other than my listing has now been deleted after being suspended for two weeks. I’ve edited my listing to show a new cover photo, edited my business hours, removed photos, and resubmitted it for review. I then received the following email:

Thanks for contacting Google My Business support.

We will be unable to assist you in making the requested change. For more information on this topic, please refer to our quality guidelines: Guidelines for Representing your Business on Google.

While I understand this can be frustrating, we do not have additional information to provide on this issue. If you would like to appeal the suspension, make sure you’re entirely compliant with all the above guidelines. If so, feel free to access your account and follow the link provided to you in the red banner.

If your profile has been suspended because of a content violation, please log in to Google+, remove the content that violates our policies and then follow the on-screen instructions to submit an appeal to have your profile suspension lifted. Appeals are typically reviewed within a few days.

Regards,

Google My Business.

Not a very helpful email at all and makes it very difficult to correct the problem if you don’t know what it is. I’ve contemplated creating a new page, however, that means I will lose my current reviews I’ve received.

google-my-business

The Good News

I received an email from Google yesterday with regards to my reviews not appearing on my Google MyBusiness listing.  See below for details:

Hello,

Thanks for notifying us about your Google My Business listing or reviews not showing up on Search or Maps.

The issue has been resolved and your listing/reviews is now visible.

Your problem was investigated in detail, and the technical issue that caused it has been fixed. If you have any questions or continue to experience issues, reply to this email. Include your phone number to have a specialist to contact you by phone, or fill out this form.

Thank you for your patience, hope you have a great day ahead :)

And the Bad News

My Google MyBusiness for tangerinemoons has been blacklisted by Google. I submitted an appeal this past Friday, called Google on Tuesday, which was a very disappointing phone call. The only response I could get from the service rep was to review the MyBusiness guidelines and to edit my information. Even after I explained to her that I had done this, this was her only response. I asked if I would receive any correspondence from Google to let me know of an update, and her response … “Maybe”. Hmm. That’s interesting. Asked to speak to supervisor, and she stated she had no supervisor. I asked her for her name or a rep number, she stated she could not share that info. However, I received an email from the person a few minutes later with her name at the bottom. Hmm. That makes total sense.

I did have a client leave me a review on Friday, and their MyBusiness page was also suspended. However, I was able to submit an appeal and it was reinstated almost immediately.

I called again on Wednesday, April 14 and spoke to a service rep and he was a little more helpful. He explained that he understood the problem but he was unable to determine the actual problem that would have caused my page to be suspended. He immediately put me on hold while contacting his supervisor. (Hmmm. This rep has a supervisor.)

The supervisor came on and explained that my case would be escalated and for me to be patient and that Google would contact me to notify me of the issue. A much different conversation than I had had the day before. I apologized for the lack of information and the frustration for me and tangerinemoons. I explained that I just wanted to resolve the issue and if I had something that was out of compliance, that I wanted to correct it.

One item I might add. I do like the feature of being able to have Google call me for support. Both phone calls were immediately made to me after hitting the submit button.

So, I sit patiently. And we’ll see what happens.

Modern Tribe The Event Calendar WordPress Plugin

First, I need to state a disclaimer.

I have been using the Modern Tribes Event Calendar WordPress plugin, both the free and the Pro version, for many sites. I’ve also used the W3 Total Cache plugin on many sites, and it’s a great plugin for being able to enable and disable certain aspects of the performance.

However, I recently noticed an issue when hovering over an event on the calendar monthly view, instead of displaying the normal popup window for the details of the event, it would increase the font size of the event title and insert some code. (see below)

Event Calendar with Total Cache JS Minified disabled

Event Calendar with Total Cache JS Minified disabled

Modern Tribe with Total Cache JS Minified enabled

Modern Tribe with Total Cache JS Minified enabled

After several troubleshooting steps with WordPress plugin disables and enables, I discovered the issue was caused by a conflict with the W3 Total Cache WordPress plugin.

I continued troubleshooting and found the issue to be the enabling of the JS minification.

So, to save you some time, I’ll jump to how the settings should be set for W3 Total Cache in order for the two plugins to work with each other, if Minify is enabled from the General Settings tab:

  1. On the General tab > Minify section, select “Manual” instead of “Auto”
  2. On the Minify tab > HTML & XML section, uncheck the “Inline JS minification” checkbox.
google-my-business

In trying to locate the “Write a Review” section of my Google MyBusiness page, I discovered that the option currently does not exist within my listing. After submitting a help request to Google, I received the following onscreen message:

google

 

Will continue to update this issue as more details evolve.

 

 

 

I recently had someone approach me with a small issue with trying to post a slideshow of photos within WordPress. The catch was that we needed to do it without using a plugin(as this is a multi-user installation and the user didn’t have access to install plug-ins.)  They also had maxed out there space on their Flickr account.

So, going through several different scenarios, I found the following to be the best solution – a Picasa Album Slideshow. The following embed code can be used:

You will need to edit the code to enter your specific userid and albumid which can be retrieved from the Picasa Album URL.