What classifies a tracking number?


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Hello all,

New to the forum. Read some posts and thought this place was brilliant.

Anyway, I saw that if you have a tracking phone number as the main number you use that it's terrible.

I was curious if Google Voice counts as a tracking number, even if it's a local area code? Thanks all!
 

Tom Bristol

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I also have a related question. A doctors office we're working for just opened a satellite office in a neighboring town. They are there only 1 day a week, so they don't have a separate phone number for the location.

For Google+ Local, I know it's a good idea to have a separate phone # for the second location. I was thinking of either getting a Google Voice # or a paid phone # from a provider like RingCentral or Twilio.

My concern/question is - do you think Google has connected the Google Voice to their Local algorythim and are they smart enough to recognize a Google Voice number in their Google+ Local pages? If this is the case, I would think they might punish or lower the rankings of such a listing.

My thoughts are that they haven't connected the two systems yet, but they might in the near future.

Anyway, I think I've answered my own questions, but I'd be curious what other people think.

Thanks!
Tom

---------- Post Merged at 08:02 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 07:59 PM ----------

In answer to Josh's question, I believe the main problem with tracking numbers here are that they mess with the NAP consistency that is important for ranking in the local results. Lynda did a great post on this here:

http://localsearchforum.catalystema...h-engine-optimization-call-tracking-huge.html
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Tom and Josh,

Sorry don't have time to weigh in. Madly trying to get ready to leave town for family medical emergency. Hopefully others can jump in with opinions.
 
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Per the Google Quality Guidelines:

"Website & Phone: Provide a phone number that connects to your individual business location as directly as possible, and provide one website that represents your individual business location."

"
Do not provide phone numbers or URLs that redirect or ?refer? users to landing pages or phone numbers other than those of the actual business."

The more I look at think about this, the more I wonder exactly what is allowed. Technically the guideline requires you to list a phone number which directly connects the user with the business... A Twillo number would do that (technically). The main concern is NAP consistency. Are you willing to put in the time to correct duplicates, mixed up listings, etc? Are you willing to keep that number as a main number for the business across all the sites online? If you're starting as a fresh, brand new business, I believe it is possible to implement this approach. If you've been around for a while it's going to be a pain in the butt to change the NAP information across the web.

As I deal with this issue more and more, I've learned there are situations where this might work... Public opinion is that tracking numbers will tank your listing. Your listing gets tanked because of inconsistent NAP which creates duplicates and merges (ranking power gets split). Taking the guidelines at face value, it technically doesn't say "don't use a tracking number," it just says not to direct users to numbers other than the main business number.

Twillo seamlessly routes a tracking number to the business line... what the guideline's really saying is don't route to a call center/contact center before getting to your business... hmmm... I usually advise against using a tracking number (google voice, twillo, etc), because I know the work involved to make it successful would outweigh the benefits of finding out a few calls came from Google Local.
 

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