As I begin piecing together a strategy for Malloy to gain a more consistent and visible web presence, I’m finding that there is a lot of work to undo. Some ancillary projects that I have been working on include creating business listings in the digital space. Google places and Bing business listings just to name a couple.
In my quest to get exposure for the company in these channels, I was required to verify that I was a genuine representative or owner of the company. Anyone who has set up an account through these search engines or other online entities knows what I’m talking about but for the lay person, this involves a phone call to or from the entity that you are listing with or entering some type of verification code on the site. In Google and Bing’s case, you can either get verified by phone or request to have a post card sent to you by mail that has a pin code in it.
If you have ever tried to set up listings at some of the less popular business listing sites such as Manta.com, Local.com or similar sites, you probably ascertained that the information contained in such listings should be somewhat consistent if not exactly the same as every other listing you have. The problem I ran into is that there were multiple listings, dozens and dozens in fact, that had out-dated or inaccurate information about Malloy. Specifically there was one phone number that seemed to appear on every defunct listing that called directly into Paper Receiving where no one answered the phone if it was an outside call.
The problem became apparent when I tried to verify the Google Places account and the phone number Google already had on file for Malloy called into that department. When I talked to the person on duty there, he claimed that the phone rings all the time from the outside and they just never answered it. After searching with the company name with that phone number in the query, I discovered the multitude of listings with that phone number on random sites like b2byellowpages.com and cityclique.com. Some listings had no options to delete or modify the information without paying for a membership. I have had some success with contacting these entities and requesting that the inaccurate or outdated information be removed but it is proving to be a larger issue than I first anticipated.
Needless to say it is somewhat easy to get your business line ringing with these online listings but substantially more difficult to get an inaccurate or misrouted phone number to stop receiving calls.