If you are like me, your personal phone receives multiple calls each day from spammers. Ugh. It’s the worst! How do they get your number? I call these “stupid spam sales calls” and I believe that phone numbers are sold to the highest bidder whenever you sign up for any kind of loyalty program – like at your grocery store, hotels, airlines – basically anything you sign up for. If they don’t explicitly tell you they don’t sell your email, then they probably do. Yikes. I’ve stopped giving away my email or phone number to “get points” anywhere. “Points” are not free.

What to do about Spam? BLOCK THE NUMBER RIGHT AWAY.

Each day I receive 2 to 3 calls and I immediately find that incoming phone number on my phone and scroll to the bottom and select “Block this Caller”. That way at least that same number can’t reach me again.

Spam calls to your business phone are increasing too. It’s unfortunate, and this affects everyone. Spammers disguise themselves as Google or some shady SEO company. There are just a few companies that do this, but they are super invasive and persistent. They are ruthless! When in doubt, just hang up and block the caller. Google will not call you to sell you anything. Mostly they’ll call regarding verification issues which you’ll likely already know about.

The Local SEO process of getting your business listed on the various online directories is great for SEO, but it can create more spam. Mostly email spam – so it’s best to use an email that is not your primary business email so you are not bombarded by emails from Manta and Pinterest, etc… Those are the worst. Bing will email you to “check your listings” and I’m sure that’s to show their advertisers that people are actually going to Bing. You DO NOT need to check Bing listings. Geesh! You can always be super diligent about “unsubscribing” from emails on those profiles after you get your business listed – but this takes time and diligence.

Directory submissions also will generate a few phone calls. I’ve found it best to just answer the call and be honest and strong with your “NO THANKS” message. Those calls will stop. You’ll get calls (and emails) from some young, tenacious Yelp Sales Rep in San Francisco. To end this, actually answer the call and tell them NO. Unfortunately those reps will sell you advertising even when it won’t help. They are not focused on helping your business grow – they’re focued on Helping Yelp’s revenue for the quarter only. I actually LOVE Yelp, but more on that later.

Yellow Pages will call you too now to “verify your information” but really it’s to sell you. You don’t need to verify anything. I used to appreciate the Yellow Pages onlline directory (YP.com) because their directory was easy to navigate and they had amazing customer support. But they were bought by DEX Media and so now they’re DexYP and so we can expect the worst. DO NOT Advertise on Dex or YP. It’s terrible.

Top 5 steps to reducing spam

  1. Block spammers phone numbers
  2. Unsubscribe from directory emails such as Bing & Pinterest (except notification emails from the big ones: Google, yelp, tripadvisor, angies list, etc….)
  3. Don’t sign up for rewards, points, or loyalty programs with your primary email.
  4. Create email folders/filters so your inbox is not cluttered with non-urgent notifications
  5. Take the Yelp sales call and politely decline – UNLESS this might be good for you. The new Yelp advertising options have improved.

If you need help or have further questions, give us a call.

Jeffrey Magner

Jeffrey Magner

Local SEO Strategist

Jeffrey Magner has been focused on Local SEO since 2008 and has worked directly with thousands of small business clients. Jeffrey founded Trumpet Local Media in Boulder, Colorado as a local SEO agency that was sold to Ramblin Jackson in 2013. Bighorn Local SEO has offices in Portland and Sisters, Oregon and offers monthly packages focusing on marketing strategy for local business owners. Our actual testimonials show how some of our clients feel about working with us.

If you are looking for a trustworthy Local SEO professional, you must do your research first! Take a peek at who we are and what we've been up to. We're based in Portland, Oregon but work with clients from around the country. We're good at getting Google to trust your business and understand precisely what you offer and where you offer it. Then it's up to you to simply be awesome with all your new customers.