Joy Hawkins did a really good article recently on 9 reasons why Google might suspend your business listing. Please take a moment read it – will help make the rest of this article make more sense.
There’s a 10th common reason I can think of:
10. Multiple Related Businesses at the Same Address
Let’s say you have an accountancy firm. You have another business that specialises in financial planning and another that is a mortgage broker. They started off as sidelines but became so successful you decided you’d be better off with three entities.
Or maybe you have a jewellery retail store and a watch repair business. Or an architecture firm with an interior designer on staff.
Either way, the businesses all share the same street address, have a common entry door and a common business owner. Sometimes they even share the same phone number.
Whether they’re set up as separate legal entities or not, Google requires you choose one, just one, listing to represent your business. So select the category that best fits the major part of your business.
And there’s one more reason that usually applies to agencies but business owners need to be aware of. Okay this makes it 11 – you get one for free.
11. If one listing on an account gets suspended, all listings can be suspended.
The key detail here is the page owner. And it’s just one more reason not to let your agency be the “owner” of your Google My Business listing.
One way how it could happen:
An agency claims or sets up your GMB listing. You trust them to do it as part of their overall Local Search services package, as they seem to know what they’re doing and you have hired them to lift your visibility in the community.
They use the same Google account address they use for all their clients – makes sense – keeps things simple for them.
This same agency has done work for businesses that fall into any of the 10 reasons listed in Joy’s article or this one, or has a client who is desperate to get into the local pack any way they can. Like they did with you, they claimed or set up the listings for those businesses too.
And then one day, it happens. One of the listings they have set up runs foul of a Google filter and suffers a hard suspension (removed from Google maps). Because the agency is the owner of the listing, all the pages on the account get suspended at the same time.
Insist the agency claim your listing using an email address you have control over. Use an email that includes your website domain, not a gmail or hotmail account. Once claimed, you can then add the agency’s email address as a manager of the page. That way they can keep their systems simple (one login to rule them all), and still do the page management you’ve hired them to do.
Further to Joy’s point 9…
You’ve done nothing wrong, but the industry you are in is cluttered with spam
The most common industries high in maps spam include (and not limited to) are below. This doesn’t mean you need to screen the agency you’re working with to make sure they haven’t worked with any of these kinds of companies. Lots of good agencies work with genuine, honest business owners who are in these industries.
- Bail bonds
- Carpet and other cleaning services
- Carpet Restoration Service
- Escort Service
- Fire Damage Restoration Service
- Water Damage Restoration Service
- Upholstery Cleaning Service
- Drug Rehab Center
- Air conditioning repair/installation
- Appliance Repair
- Auto glass repair and installation
- Commercial chimney sweeping
- Duct cleaning
- Home security installations
- HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) contractors
- Mobile auto repair
- Mobile detailing
- Party rentals
- Pest Control
- Pool Cleaning
- Garage door suppliers
- Lawyers, Attorneys
- Limo & taxi companies
- Moving companies, removalists
- Towing companies
If you are in one of these industries, you need to be sure you dot your i’s and cross your t’s when it comes to complying with the guidelines.
And know that even if you do, your listing may still get caught up in a filter. So you’ll need to monitor your page more closely. And if it does disappear from maps, contact your agency or seek assistance in the Google support forum. Pages in good standing can be reinstated.
If your are not in one of these industries, your best protection is to follow the guidelines and follow the suggestion above to add the agency as a page manager.