Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Don't try to pull a fast one on Google

Have you ever used Google to look for a local business, like when you want to order pizza or find a place to shop or need a specialty shop? Did you get the full results where it shows you the map and everything on the results page? When I'm looking for a local business I'm more likely to stop by if a simple Google search gives me a map to your front door and I'm more likely to call if your phone number comes up at the top of the page.

So as webmaster I thought it'd be a good idea to set this up for Vol State. We've already got an account because I use Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools to keep tabs on the Volunteer State Community College website. Setting up the info and even adding photos from around campus was super easy, I've got to commend Google for that. But I did run in to one small problem.

I had to specify a primary phone number, that's easy, the main camps trunk line is published on our home page, 615.452.8600. At the end of the process, it wants to verify your data by phone. It's an automated call that prompts you to enter a verification code that shows up on the screen when you're done. I didn't want to drop an unexpected call from Google on our switch board operator.

So I went back to our details and listed the number that comes directly to my desk as our primary number, then the main trunk as the alternate number. Then I had Google call me. After the verification it told me the changes should take effect in the next 4 weeks or so. Ok, good. I'll just go switch the phone numbers back around now.

Only Google wants to verify that change as well. So I'm back to square one and choose the verify by postcard option. I'm not sure how long it will take that verification to kick in. But chances are the first couple of weeks of February Google will be publishing my direct line as the primary contact number for the whole campus.

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