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.