Google’s algorithms often have weird sense of humor. One of these is the algorithm responsible for choosing what type of verification options would be available for your Plus Local (Places) listing. In the majority of the cases, there would be just the postcard option given, especially if your company doesn’t have an already existing listing. Once in a blue moon you might get to use phone verification (and that is why so many are interested in workarounds to make this happen more often). But what if you have some kind of automated phone system and the big G decides to strike? Google’s verification bot is not smart, so if it is requested to “click 1 for customer service”, it won’t. It will just hang up. Here are three of the most sound suggestions:
1) Use the troubleshooter:
In October 2011, a troubleshooter for problems related to Google Places was launched. You can use it for this sort of verification issues, too:
- Choose “I tried PIN verification for a single listing.”
- Choose “The status is not Needs Action.”
- Choose “Phone”
- Choose “My phone number was for a business line.”
- Choose “Yes”
- Fill in the requested information and hit “Submit”.
The downside of this option is that you would have to rely too much on the mercy of Google’s customer service reps, and sometimes they are not offering the best service in the market. However, this is the recommended method (by Google, not necessarily by me).
2) Use a workaround:
The system allows only up to 3 verifications per phone number. This means that if you fail 3 times, your only option left would be the postcard one. Do this if you feel postcard verification is the most suitable for your business.
3) Pause your automated system:
This one is obvious. It might have the positive side that you will get verified almost instantly (the whole process takes about 5 minutes overall), but at the same time if you are a business that gets at least a few calls every hour, it might mean a missed/unhappy client or two. Use it at your own risk.
Have you/your clients faced such problems? What “tactic” did you use?