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SEO impact as a result of metered number use.

6:27 am on Jan 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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SEO Question..

Eager to find out if metered numbers impact or cause SEO positions/rankings to drop and trigger a penalty from Google when a different/unique phone number is display across the internet.
8:55 am on Jan 28, 2014 (gmt 0)

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cricketer, you may need to clarify for some of us (in the US, for example) what "metered numbers" are.

I just did some searching and think I understand that they are numbers assigned to connect to your regular business number and to measure caller statistics... but I'm not really familiar with the term, how these numbers are commonly used, how often they might change, etc. Please clarify.

Offhand, it sounds that they're information on a page that might change from time to time, and shouldn't affect organic rankings.

They might have more effect on Google local search listings, though, and I can see where changing them might cause confusion and require local business listings to be re-verified.

Again, please clarify the context of your question.
1:11 am on Jan 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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"metered" refers to when say a small business phone number used by a SMB and where the business listing appears on a business directory, the business directory will use a separate unique number to track how many calls/prospects they delivered to the business. Possibly used by USA PeopleSearch.
9:08 pm on Feb 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Hi Cricketer,

As long as the metered number is not in your source code, then you will be OK.

The proper way to use trackable (metered) phone numbers to track phone calls from organic searches, is to use javascript to re-write the original phone number in the visitor's browser with the metered number, but only when a visitor's referral string contains a url from the search engine you wish to track.

Your metered number service should be able to provide this javascript code block for you. It's typically less code than the GA script.

We've been doing this for many years, and have never had a problem.

The only time I see issues, is when an IYP (internet yellow page) site, uses a metered number directly in their listing for your business. Although it's nice for their own tracking, I've always found that search engines like to see consistency in business listings across the net. In these cases, I ask the IYP to set the business's phone number in the listing back to the business's non-metered number.

<I know a company that> provides a javascript code block to all clients which accomplishes the rewrites for each website. There are many other company's in this space that do the same thing.

Hopefully that helps.


[edited by: aakk9999 at 1:44 pm (utc) on Feb 3, 2014]
[edit reason] Removed specifics [/edit]