Google may be sending text messages to business owners to verify that the information they have listed in their Google Business Profile is accurate and up-to-date. This text comes from a confirmed Google phone number, but some local SEOs are worried that this is not really coming from Google. I did reach out to Google to confirm these are really coming from Google, but I have not yet heard back (I will update this story if/when I do hear back).
Molly Youngblood spotted this and posted this on Twitter saying she received a text message from a Google support phone number wanting to confirm my Google Business Profile. Here is a screenshot of that text (click to enlarge the image):
The 1-844-899-8101 phone number is a real Google phone number documented here by Google as a number Google uses to place automated calls from Google Assistant. Google wrote, “This article is about a Google Assistant feature that Google uses to contact a business.” “Google may also call or text to confirm your business details, including temporary closure or limited services due to COVID-19, so they are reflected accurately when people are looking for them on Google Search and Maps,” Google added.
So this seems legit and a real thing but I have never seen an example of Google doing this before.
Joe Youngblood, no relation to Molly, said “2 clients got the same thing, we’ve advised to ignore it for now.” So he recently got word of these texts, so maybe Google started to text businesses for this information recently.
Google has placed automated phone calls to verify information like this over the years, but texting, to me, is newish.
Everyone I asked thus far said this is new, and they have never seen this. Some are even suspicious that this might be a spoofed text number. Have you seen it?
Forum discussion at Twitter.