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    How to fool google in thinking I am a local business


    Today I got a call from a properties rental company tried to talk me into renting their virtual office. One of the points he mentioned was to fool google in thinking I have a local presence. His point was that google will rank a page higher for local page has a local location and phone number. Wow, that blew my mind off and how come I have never thought of that. I did some research and indeed found my competitor was ranked higher than me even it is not in my town but it has a "fake" local address and phone number. I guess google is not all that smart in this regard and probably is not motivate to police that. So my question: Is it worth doing that? After all the cost is pretty low. Per month charge is only $95, plus some phone forwarding fees. Experts please advise. Thanks!
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  3. SEO Since 97
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    You are local if you try to fool google.

    I think google sends you a postcard in the mail to help verify your location, I haven't heard of them going by a phone #.
    But that may have changed.
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    Google Can analyze the Location From Where you are adding that site For Example if you are USA and you Have Bussiness in UK or Australia then if you want to optimize your website as Local Business then There is a Chance to do that If you Know any one in UK you can give their address when they Recieve Post Card ask them to Scan that card and Mail it to you so that you can verify your listing with that uk address apart form this you didnt have any other option to place your website in google. because we cant fool google because it can analyze our Place if you want to Post you website in the place where you are staying then it takes phone number to verify.

    <snip>
    Last edited by dzine; Apr 4th, 2013 at 01:26 AM.
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    Having a local address adds authority to your site for ranking for that specific location but you can not fool Google. You are always online and with the stats of your browsing, SEO activities, IP, etc Google easily finds out your actual location.
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    Originally Posted by Test-ok
    You are local if you try to fool google.

    I think google sends you a postcard in the mail to help verify your location, I haven't heard of them going by a phone #.
    But that may have changed.
    You are right. I remember that. But with a virtual office the mail and phone can be forwarded. I just check my competitor. They claimed to have a factory on a local financial district where the virtual office is located.

    Again, I don't think google is smart enough detect this kind of activities. So I think the sales rep from the rental company had a valid point. Just set up a virtual office with real phone and address and they will give google the impression that you are a local business.
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    Originally Posted by alacare
    You can't fool google...
    I think the correct statement is: "You shouldn't fool google." Unfortunately google doesn't seem to be able to find companies using virtual offices and UPS mail stops to pretend have local presence. I have found few of my competitors are doing that. How do I know? I went to their advertised address and found they were not there.
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  13. Agency SEO
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    Google is smarter than you, don't feel bad though, for the last 6 or so years they have been smarter than me too. The days of building traffic based on lies you tell to Google are long gone.

    Figure out how to work within their system, you'll be much better off in the long run.

    Comments on this post

    • eddyf agrees : I know for a FACT that Yelp can detect a virtual office. If they can, Google can.
    • jsteele823 agrees
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    KP's right, learn how to play the game rather than trying to change the rules.
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    Originally Posted by KernelPanic
    The days of building traffic based on lies you tell to Google are long gone.
    I like this quote. I don't agree 100%, as I still see "lies" all over the place as a regular user of Google.... but it does point to a bigger issue at hand - should ethics be involved in SEO?

    If you think of yourself as an honest person, you're not going to spam local listings with fake and/or virtual addresses.
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    Originally Posted by jsteele823
    I like this quote. I don't agree 100%, as I still see "lies" all over the place as a regular user of Google.... but it does point to a bigger issue at hand - should ethics be involved in SEO?

    If you think of yourself as an honest person, you're not going to spam local listings with fake and/or virtual addresses.
    I agree that we shouldn't try to lie to google. Unfortunately lying still works in many cases. While I am not doing it, my competitors who use this scheme do benefit from their act. I just hope google is smart enough to detect that and hopefully someone from google are reading this thread and do something about it.
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  21. Agency SEO
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    Originally Posted by jsteele823
    If you think of yourself as an honest person, you're not going to spam local listings with fake and/or virtual addresses.
    I wasn't saying not to lie to Google because that would be dishonest, I was saying don't lie because you will get caught. Every time you place a link to your site for the purpose of increasing ranks you are lying to Google by violating their terms of use after promising you wouldn't.

    Comments on this post

    • jsteele823 agrees : Yup.... but I was just meaning if you're an honest person/business.... it wouldn't matter either way :)
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  23. SEO Since 97
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    Humans, honest..where?
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    Don't waste time trying to fool Google. I have built sites for companies using the technique (virtual office) and success varies. In fact, one of the clients i did this for got an address through a local UPS store. In this particular case, street view for their "local address" shows a big UPS storefront and not the company my client was. Because of the false information, the client got a number of bad reviews lo.

    Google Wins. Period.
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    I agree with Shobhit, when you manage your website, IP address will show it. Unless you hire some one in local place to manage for you.
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    I have a similar problem. I live in a tiny town just outside of a large metro area. I actually do work primarily in the metro city. My only address is my home. Originally, I wanted to conceal that fact, but now I don't really care so much about that point. I just want to show up in local searches for the target city. I don't feel that this is a "lie" as I really do work there. Many other freelance people work as I do. I guess we are just hosed?

    This is the first I had heard that Google uses the ip address of the pc you used to manage the website? I'm not sure how they could even collect that info. As for the website itself, mine is hosted somewhere in the northeast usa.
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