Google My Business has shared guidelines for businesses to work with third parties – it shares the best practices to choose an SEO company.
“While Google My Business is free, third-parties often charge a fee to manage your listing. They can provide valuable services like keeping your listing up-to-date, providing you with customer insights, answering your questions, and responding to reviews. It’s important to understand the benefits you may be getting from a third-party so you can evaluate whether you’re getting the best return on your investment.”
Five best practices that have been shared are:
- Be Selective
- Work with one at a time
- Educate yourself
- Trust Experience
- Evaluate your performance
Google also warned about the deceptive behavior of some third parties and shared the red flags to watch out for:
- Not being transparent. You have a right to know how users are interacting with your business, including specific data like the number of views and clicks to your business listing.
- Guaranteeing placement on Google. It is not possible for third-parties to influence the order in which your business appears on Google Search or Maps. Learn more about local search ranking
- Claiming to work for Google. If a third-party representative claims to be employed by Google, ask for their name and request that they email you from their @google.com (not @gmail.com) email address.
- Making threats. Third-parties can’t remove your business from Google or access your listing without your explicit permission.
- Deceptive pricing. Malicious third-parties may not charge you using the pricing you agreed to. Always get an official copy of your agreement before working with a third-party.