Fake Google Webmaster Support Phone Calls

Jul 2, 2012 • 8:32 am | comments (7) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Webmaster Support Phone CallsSEOs and webmasters have asked for phone support for webmaster related issues for a long time and I don't plan on Google to offer it anytime soon.

So when I saw a thread about someone from Google calling a site owner from a 650 area code, I was surprised. The Google Webmaster Help thread says that they received a call from someone who said they were from Google saying they have flaws on their web site that can lead to it being deindexed.

Here is what the webmaster said:

My boss received a phone call at the office today from the phone number 650-235-0000 warning us about a design flaw in our website that could cause us to be blacklisted from Google search in the near future.

If this is in fact true, we will act immediately, and it could be an authentic flaw in our website design.

However, we are in a highly competitive business, and we are concerned that the call may not have been authentic as the phone number goes to a busy signal when we try to call back, no contact information was provided, and we are receiving no warnings via email or Google Webmaster Central that there are any problems with our website.

Google's John Mueller said Google does not call webmasters with web-search related issues. In fact, the only way they communicate with webmasters if via email, with a verified copy of the email going to their webmaster tools account. Google also does offer in person advice at conferences and in the forums, but not via phone.

John said:

To the best of my knowledge, no team at Google calls site owners with regards to web-search issues on their websites. From the web-search & search quality teams, we will sometimes contact websites with regards to technical, quality, or malware issues, but this is always via email, with a copy sent to your Webmaster Tools account for verification purposes.

This is not the first time people pretended to be Google in order to hurt a competitor. We had this issue come up with fake Google emails back in 2007 and several times since then.

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Help.

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07/02/2012 01:12 pm

Ahem, all the latest link removal frenzy could potentially start a worse trend - fake Google reps calling site owners in highly competitive niches saying they need to remove a bunch of links not to get penalized - and advising to remove their actual best links...

Roger Dooley

07/02/2012 01:28 pm

Sounds kind of like an SEO prospecting call. For years, sleazy SEOs and SEMs have called naive site owners implying they are Google to get past the first few lines of defense. "I'm calling about a problem with your Google ads," for example. Eventually, it becomes clear they are selling a service, but the initial "misunderstanding" gets them to a decision-maker.


07/02/2012 02:54 pm

On one hand I understand why they can't interact with their customer base (it's really the webmasters & SEO's, not the people who click on ads, because without us, they would be nothing) due to the astounding number. But on the other hand, they are super wealthy; why not throw a few people a bone? Give a few people a decent job? Give their customer base a real live human to talk to?

Nick Stamoulis

07/03/2012 12:41 pm

I get messages like that all the time, and I own an SEO company! It never ceases to amaze me what some people will do to drum up business or try to hurt a competitor. I understand that the competition is fierce, but I feel like there is a very clear line that doesn't need to be crossed in order to be successful.

David Johns

07/11/2012 08:50 am

Why are you doing Paid Link on your site....and why google do not ban or penality your site?????

Barry Schwartz

07/11/2012 10:05 am

See http://www.seroundtable.com/links

Wiring Toronto

10/01/2012 09:28 pm

Fake Google reps called several times from 602-955-4192

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