How to Handle Your Google My Business Listing Suspension

It’s happening more and more often. As we mentioned in an earlier blog article, Google My Business listings are able to be edited by anyone, from competitors who want nothing better than to take you down, to malicious SEO and marketing companies who want you out of the way so they can build up the positioning of their own clients on Google.

Parts of your Google My Business listing at most risk are your business name and / or address, phone number, hours, categories and website address. That can kill your business in a New York heartbeat.

When someone decides to edit your Google My Business listing, they click on Suggest an Edit. They have a choice of change name or other details such as name, location, hours, etc.
They also have a second, far scarier option. They have the option to “remove this place”. They can choose to mark your business as closed, nonexistent, or duplicate.

This will effectively be a nail in your coffin as your listing most likely will be suspended and could even be removed.

True non-compliance, which you may be honestly unknowing about that will get your Google My Business listing suspended are:

A) You are using a vanity url that forwards to your actual website. This is fine! BUT…… don’t use that vanity url in your GMB listing. Always use the actual website url in your GMB listing.

B) Your business name must be listed the same way it is on your business certificate from your state. Don’t inflate it with keywords hoping that you’ll get found faster. Instead of getting found faster, you’ll disappear because you got suspended.

C) Don’t hide your address.

D) Don’t create multiple listings for your business. If you run more than one “business” out of your house, make the listing for the one that is actually the business, such as your LLC. The other enterprises you run are actually divisions of the LLC.

E) Your business type is of sensitive nature. Better to check with us to see if your business is allowed on GMB.

F) No virtual office locations or mailboxes. Sometimes people do this to rank in multiple towns and counties. That’s what good quality landing pages on your website are for. Not your GMB listing.

G) You run an online business. Not a problem, just be sure to always have your business certificate available to show Google. The business name and address on the business certificate from your state MUST match the information on your GMB listing. Or else.

H) It is entirely possible you actually did nothing wrong and got suspended anyway. It does happen. Your industry may be one that gets spammed alot and the spam filter kicked you off.

The Google My Business reinstatement process is not guaranteed once you have been suspended. It generally takes a long time and a bit of back and forth with Google to become reinstated. And again, there are no guarantees.

GMB listings need to be checked daily. Business owners who are actually running their businesses don’t have time, generally won’t remember, and may not know what to do if some information has been altered by third parties claiming to be contributing an edit. Or worse yet, check in and find their listing has been suspended!

Then the business owner freaks out. Totally expected.

Our service monitors your GMB listing every day. We monitor for suggested changes, and of course for the dreaded suspension. If you get suspended we do not do what many website companies do, which is create another listing!! That just compounds the problem and the reinstatement, if it’s going to happen, just takes longer to happen.

We have a 100% reinstatement record. We understand what Google wants, and doesn’t want. Google will never tell you why you were suspended, playing the safe side that you were scamming the system so why should they help you get better at scamming? We get it. Our service knows what questions to ask, what to look for, and how to work with Google to fix the harm done.

Give us a call or text today at 201.753.1677 if your Google My Business listing has been compromised or suspended. We’ll help you get things back up and running.

Google My Business Listing Suspension Resolved Back in Business

On June 22, 2019 we wrote about how our Google My Business listing had been suspended by Google about a week prior to that. We are happy to report that our suspension issue has been resolved with a positive outcome in the space of just one month.

Google My Business Listing Suspension Resolved Back in Business

 

How was this accomplished? There are many horror stories out there about how it can take months to get this resolved and sometimes it just doesn’t get resolved. We were determined that we were not going to just let it go and become a statistic.

Our first few conversations with the team that takes care of this issue really did raise a spike in the blood pressure as the rhetoric from the team members was strictly based upon “you broke the rules, you are wrong, you have to comply with the rules” when we didn’t know what rules of Google’s we had broken. It took quite a lot of chain yanking to get them to reveal what actual rules we had supposedly broken

Finally we found out you cannot have two listings at the same address for two businesses. Especially if the address was not a commercial address but an at home address. With so many people working from home these days, who knew?

Our insistence that we broke the supposed rules innocently were completely irrelevant to the team. They just kept spewing the same rhetoric.

When this happened, we kept to our story which was entirely true that we broke the rules innocently, we have complied with the suggested fixes, and when we made further changes as suggested by the team, we kept getting suspended every time we initiated a team suggested change.

This escalated the entire issue to a higher chain of command in the team.

Finally we got a phone call from a knowledgeable gentleman who told me to go look at the listing. It was alive, well, and published. He told me to go in and edit the listing as I saw fit. I told him quite honestly I was afraid to even touch it because previously when I had made suggested changes the listing kept getting suspended. He insisted, so I went in and made changes to better fit the listing. The listing stayed live and valid.

This Google team member was probably one of the nicest individuals I had spoken with throughout this entire fiasco, and the most knowledgeable. He advised me that listings can get suspended either by the suggestions and input of others as well as by their automated system, and informed me of a few things never to change now that the listing was repaired and blessed by Google.

Besides the fact that you can only have one Google My Business Listing per address, he advised me to:

A) Never change the business name

B) Never change the actual address

C) Never change the main category for the listing (although you can add up to 10 additional sub categories to any listing as long as they are relevant to the business)

While this sounds easy enough, getting through the process to this point was an actual nightmare but it was a learning experience with a positive outcome so you cannot ask for more than that.

Are you having any issues with your Google My Business Listing? Has it been suspended? If so, give us a call or text at 201.753.1677. We will work with Google on your behalf to get the issue straightened out.

So Your Google My Business Listing Got Suspended What’s Next?

So one day you go into your Google My Business account to perhaps make a post or make an adjustment to your hours and what do you see? Your Google My Business listing has been suspended!! End of the world, right? Not so much. Keep reading.

Google My Business Listing Suspended

Google My Business gives you a free listing for your business complete with a spot on the map, categories for your business, the ability to post pictures and to actually post posts about your business. It’s a free service. Sounds great! 

Enter today’s spammers and scammers who make fake addresses, fake listings, hand out fake damaging reviews to legitimate businesses, and take down legitimate business listings by reporting them as duplicates, or out of business when they are not. Not sounding so great now………..

Google encourages “edits” to listings in the effort to make them hopefully more relevant and accurate. Which opens a door to the scammer, spammer and competition to use this editing power for harm instead of good. 

If your business does NOT see customers at your location, such as a consultant who goes out to meet with clients, or an at home internet business who sells and ships from the home but does not have a physical brick and mortar retail store, you are generally encouraged to clear your address on your Google My Business listing so that your home address isn’t out there for all to see. 

If you operate more than one business from your location, say your home, such as a husband operating one business and the wife operating another, you cannot have both businesses listed on Google My Business. So what’s the point of even listing your businesses on Google My Business?

These two types of scenarios, the one where you clear your address and the operating of more than one business from your home location is what Google has been targeting and suspending lately. 

You’re not dishonest, you’re running a legitimate business, but you are getting your listing suspended. Yes, you can contact Google and ask for it to be reinstated. There is no guarantee they will do so, and there is no guarantee they will constructively interact with you. 

So what’s a small business owner to do? The listing is suspended, you don’t know when or if it’s ever going to be brought back to life. And meanwhile like a fairly normal person you are kind of freaking out. 

It all boils down to doing things the old fashioned way, boys and girls. Good old fashioned search engine optimization done the way we did it quite a few years ago, before Google My Business was ever even a thought or a conception. Google My Business started in 2014. We’ve been doing search engine optimization long before that, since 2000. 

And how did we get our clients all over the Internet like splat back then? Good old honest search engine optimization with geo targeting and precisely constructed landing pages. All white hat, all transparent and all targeted at your desired target audience. No black hat seo BS. 

Honest, creative search engine optimization with geo targeting and carefully constructed landing pages has survived the test of time. It has survived innumerable Google algorithm changes, it has survived all of the trendy techniques of times past, and it survives today alive and well. 

So, if your Google My Business page has been suspended never fear. There is life after suspension. Plenty of life. And plenty of business that you can acquire just by making the move towards geo targeted SEO and carefully crafted landing pages. 

In 20 years of business there has been plenty of change and we have always successfully reinvented ourselves and our clients so we can roll with the punches and move ahead. We can help you do that too. 

Call or text us today at 201.753.1677 to find out more.