Be Careful Who You Work With: A Google Maps Horror Story

Jeff Berman
January 7, 2011

scream.jpgOne of our current clients had hired a company to perform Google Maps search optimization prior to coming on board with AttorneySync.  The company had been working with our client for 6 months or so prior to the start of our relationship.

According to the firm, the results from the local campaign hadn't been very impressive.  Since the firm's contract with the local search agency was expiring at the end of the year, we advised them to finish out the term and then we would take over the local optimization.  However, when Google made a change towards the end of October to how they displayed local search results, the importance of the firm's Google Places listing took on a more prominent role.  We advised the firm to let us take control of the local campaign in November and we would perform the additional work as a component of our service.

This is when the trouble began.

The law firm contacted the local search agency and asked for the login information for their Google Places account and a few other local profiles that had been setup on the firm's behalf.  The agency not only refused to give the firm their own login information, they had the audacity to tell them that the information they added to the Places page was proprietary and was owned by the search agency.  In addition, they requested additional money (thousands of dollars) as a "buy out" in order to give the login information up.

Needless to say, the firm now has a mess on their hands.  While there are outlets they can pursue to help resolve the issue, it's an annoying situation to have to deal with.

What Steps Can You Take To Protect Yourself?

As always, you should perform due diligence before you hire a service to perform marketing on your behalf.  Speak to references.  Ask more in depth questions than did you get higher rankings.  Ask about the customer service and how the agency is to deal with.  Do they respond quickly?  Are they responsive when asked to do something?

In addition, make sure accounts are being setup under your email and logins or that you are supplied with the login information right upfront.  In the case of Google Places accounts, once you give up the pin number, the agency will be able to connect your Google Places account with any account of their choosing.  This needs to be an account you own or at the very least an account you have access to.  

Photo by Paul Bence

Jeff Berman
Jeff Berman, is co-founder of AttorneySync. "Properly marketing a law firm online is about producing relevant content that helps a prospective client understand your expertise and how you are able to help them. Finally, it’s about getting that content found by the people you are trying to help."
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Let's Discuss Your Growth

Helping law firms grow profitably with digital marketing and can prove it.

Barry Conybeare

We are so impressed with AttorneySync and their digital marketing services. We started with an audit of our digital presence and hired them thereafter. Fixes to the website and other platforms quickly followed and we have seen a substantial increase in online traffic, new client calls, and new client contracts. Strongly recommend AttorneySync!

Let's Talk

How can we help?

More From Our Blog

June 8, 2023
On Local Law Firm SEO Rank Tracking and Reporting

Over the years, law firm prospects have sent us reports from just about all of our competitors. Unfortunately, even today, some law firm marketing agencies still mislead their clients via "reporting." One particularly egregious example comes in the form of ranking reports. Which prompted this LinkedIn post. To my surprise, I received a lot of […]

Read More
June 7, 2023
On Attribution

John Wanamaker supposedly said "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half." In an an effort to figure out "what half is working," attribution was born. Coupled with a transition from traditional, offline ads to digital media, attribution became the holy grail for analyzing advertising spends. But […]

Read More
March 22, 2023
I asked ChatGPT to Recommend a Personal Injury Law Firm

I recently asked ChatGPT, "What are some of the top personal injury law firms in Chicago?? Actually, first I ask "who are some of the top personal injury lawyers in Chicago?" ChatGPT couldn't handle that one, so I modified the prompt. ChatGPT listed five very well-known firms downtown. Can you guess the other four? That's […]

Read More
February 17, 2023
My Take on Google Search's Guidance on AI-Generated Content & Law Firm SEO

If you're like me, you have some degree of AI, ChatGBT, Bard, exhaustion. Now don't get me wrong, this is stuff is remarkable and is changing, well, a lot. But before you hook up the ChatGPT API to your WordPress API and crank out 10,000 pages, here are a few things to think about. Let's […]

Read More
February 16, 2023
Google Adds New SEO Best Practices for Links

If you know me, you know my opinions about links and SEO advice from Google. If you don't, here's the TL;DR: Meh, links! Meaning, all things being equal, links still remain a competitive difference maker for ranking. Take Google's SEO advice with several grains of salt. Google has no economic incentive to help your site […]

Read More
February 1, 2023
Authenticity & Engagement

The best marketing advice I can give you is to be authentic. Of course, you don't find that very helpful in terms of meeting your growth goals. So, you might decide to game the system. As I'm writing this, one of the more popular ways to gain the system is to pay for engagement. This […]

Read More
January 19, 2023
ChatGPT for Legal Marketing

The following post was written by ChatGPT. ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a state-of-the-art language model that can generate human-like text based on a given prompt or context. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way that businesses, including law firms, market themselves to potential clients. One way that a law firm could use […]

Read More
May 26, 2022
SEO Expectations for Law Firms

How long does SEO take? When can I expect to see results? What results should I expect to see? These are all reasonable questions that we field from lawyers every day. And, like many legal answers, the answer is: It depends. Yes, I know that's not the answer you wanted. But it's the most honest […]

Read More
May 6, 2022
Who Should Do Marketing?

And how much time should they spend doing it? I recently had the privilege of chatting with Tyson, Jim, and Conrad for an upcoming episode of The Maximum Lawyer Podcast. If you're not familiar with The Maximum Lawyer community, you should definitely check it out. Jim asked a really great question about who should do […]

Read More

Let's Discuss

Questions or comments? Let's discuss on social!
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram