Google+ Local Listing Removed?!

It is important for local business owners to keep an eye on their Google+ Local listing (or your Google Places for business listing) because, unfortunately,  your listing may all of a sudden disappear for no apparent reason.  If your listing does disappear, the first thing you should do is check the Google Places quality guidelines to ensure you are in compliance.  If you are in compliance with the quality guidelines, your listing being removed could be the result of a malicious effort by your local competition… yes that is correct… your competition maybe able to successfully have your Google Plus listing removed.

Whenever I mention to a client or potential client that it is possible for their competitors to have their Google Plus listing removed I always get the same response, “Wait… my competition can have MY LISTING removed?!  How in the world could they do that?!”.  Well the fact of the matter it is pretty simple and quite common… common enough that the New York Times published an article relating to the issue over a year ago.

If your competitor, or their SEO company, is not exactly ethical and has the “know how” they could have your listing removed within days.  This is done by simply going to Google Maps, finding your listing, and then “reporting a problem” stating that your business is closed or your business does not exists.   If this is done a few times in a few days, it is possible that your listing will be deleted by Google.  You can also expect drop in your Google search engine rankings as well.  It is extremely frustrating when/if this happens (or that it is even possible), but please let it be known that this is correctable.

Since this issue has happened to several of my clients on several different occasions, I am familiar with the process of fixing this issue.   Below are the steps I took to get my clients’ listings back up:

  1. Click Here to go to “Get Bad Listing Data Fixed” from the Google Places Quality Guidelines.
  2. Select “My listing no longer appears on Google Maps or is incorrectly marked as closed.”
  3. Enter the email address associated with your Places accounts.
  4. Enter the complete physical address of your business listing.
  5. Enter the last time your listing appeared on Google Maps. (enter the last time you are aware of)
  6. Hit Submit.
  7. The email account associated with your Google Places account will receive an email from Google “local-help”… this email state some along the lines of “feel free to respond to this email to clarify anything or give us additional information.”
  8. Respond to this email with concrete evidence that your business is in fact open, active, and at the location your listing says it is.  For example, send a picture of your store front with your “address numbers” and business sign clearly visible.

From my experience if you follow the process above your listing may appear back on Google within a few days… but I have seen it reappear as fast as 24hrs later.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to give us a call or send us an email.