What To Do About a Suspended Google My Business Listing
You wake up one morning and log-in to your Google My Business listing and you see that your business has been suspended.
Update March 20, 2020: Because of the Coronavirus, Google has stopped reviews, Q & A and several other Google My Business features until further notice.
As of February 2020, Google has gone on the warpath with suspending Google My Business listings. In almost every Facebook Group on SEO or GMB, the post are pouring in.
You probably have a lot of questions, but I’ve got your back. In this article, we’ll cover why Google My Business listings get suspended and what you can do to get your Google My Business reinstated.
Managing dozens of Google My Business listing and performing Local SEO for clients, I have seen a lot of things with Google over the years. We all know how important our GMB is to our business success, and when a clients GMB gets suspended.
All eyes are on me, the marketing manager to make things right.
Everyday, I look at my agency Google My Business dashboard and when I see this.
The first thing I do is go through the process of reinstatement. Having done this several times, I know it will be about 10-20 days before I get the email from Google Support stating the listing has been reinstated.
But, for my clients this amount of time seems like forever.
Let’s get into the article.
Why Is Your Google Listing Suspended?
When Google suspends a business listing, they are responding to any number of red flags, suspicious activity or policy violations.
Google will not give you the reason a listing has been suspended.Tweet
Here are common things that result in suspended listings:
- Information within your listing changed
- Primary or secondary categories (Google changed my clients category for them)
- Business name
- Phone number
- Website URL
- Management change or ownership transfer, especially when login locations change
- Changing to a service area with hidden address. This is after operating with a visible address.
Primary category is a high-risk industry
- HVAC/heating and cooling
- Other home services businesses
- Address violates Google policy
- P.O. Box, virtual address, FedEx/UPS Store boxes
- Forwarding URL
- Forwarding phone number
- Multiple listings for the same business/location (It is ok to have two listings at the same address)
- You do not have the authority to claim the business.
These are not the only reason for Google to suspend your business listing. However, they are the common reasons. This may help you find out why your Google My Business listing was suspended.
Other reasons I have seen Google suspend a listing are:
- Adding short code names
- Uploading spammy images
- Stuffing your listing with service areas or services.
- Review spam, comments and complaints
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How Does a Suspended Listing Affect Your Business?
A GMB listing suspension is nothing to worry about.
While a hard suspension does remove your listing from search results, these suspensions do not always mean your business listing is forever gone. Google will provide you with solutions to reinstate your business’s listing as long as you follow their process.
When Google suspends a listing, they are acting in the best interests of your industry, customers and Google itself.
Over the years, I will say this, Google doesn’t care about you or your business. They care about Google and the searches.
With an increase in spam and fraud listings over the years, Google has used listing suspension to weed out the spam and illegal businesses and show honest, businesses to searchers. A legit business will have very little trouble getting reinstated.
How Can I Get My Google Listing Reinstated?
In order to lift your listing out of suspension, Google may require you to provide proof that you are a real business that serves the community in which you cover.
Although I have never had to do anything more than contact Google to be reinstated, here are a few examples of the process of reinstatement.
They are like horror stories of getting your Google My Business reinstated. As if a small business doesn’t have enough to do.
- State business license (if required by the state)
- Professional licensing (if required by law)
- Proof of occupancy of location
- Utility bills
- Rental agreements/deeds
- Photos of the business location
- Business logo clearly visible
- Street address of the building/suite numbers on the door
- Company vehicles with logos parked at the building
- Tax identification papers
- Video verification
Yeah, I know what a pain in the ass, but your Google My Business is important to running your online marketing efforts.
To find out exactly what you need to provide, though, contact Google My Business Support.
There may be some cases in which Google will lift the suspension via alternative methods such as video or phone verification.
No matter what process Google uses to reinstate your listing, it should be a priority to follow their instructions and process. You’ll also need to be wait. With Google customer service is bad. Trying to rush the process can raise red flags and may lead to your business being permanently suspended or blacklisted.
You don’t want that.
I have seen two companies revenue drop in half from being blacklisted. One went belly up. The other had to reorganize everything and start over.
Not fun or cheap.
You will get an email from Google that looks something like this when they reinstate you Google listing.
Here is a reason why Google is doing this purge of listings. You will notice the spamming and stuffing of a business in the Google Map pack and local listings.
Greed will wreck you in the long run.Tweet
A suspended listing isn’t the end of the world. Right now Google is on the warpath and many businesses a crossed the US and world are getting suspended. Only to be reinstated a few weeks later.
Contact Google My Business Support and follow their process, and you’ll have a good chance of being reinstated and returning to your usual local search ranking in about two weeks.