The emerging conventional wisdom is that call tracking should be uniformly included in search and other online marketing campaigns. However in a column today at Search Engine Land, David Mihm strongly argues that call tracking is not a good idea:
To maximize your rankings on Google Maps, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local, your business’s Name, Address and Phone number (“NAP,” to borrow a Localeze-inspired acronym) should broadcast the same rock-solid signal on every platform. Think of them as your business’s thumbprint. As Gib Olander of Localeze says, they are “not the place for advertising.”
Remember, as Brownbook’s Marc Lyne pointed out, that “you don’t own your business information.” For instance, what happens if you give your business a unique tracking phone number at a directory that Acxiom happens to spider for its own index? That number is now considered authoritative by Acxiom, and gets pushed out to every partner that’s leasing Acxiom’s data. Meanwhile, infoUSA and Localeze probably still have your main line. You now have two different thumbprints.
In a perfect world, Google, Yahoo, and Bing would be smart enough to see that the business name and address information matches, even though the phone numbers differ. They’d “count” all of them as citations for the same business, but continue to display the Local number you’ve given them in the Local Business Center. But given some of the issues with Google’s merging algorithm, do you really want to take that chance?
I’m not an SEO expert so I’m not able to dispute or speak to these issues. I wonder if anyone wants to read what David has said and comment or address his points?