Discovering your Google My Business account has been suspended can leave you feeling vanquished. Not to mention, it’s a frustrating experience because Google won’t tell you what went wrong to maintain the privacy of its users.
While it’s not ideal, it’s important to know what to do if you get suspended. To help you have peace of mind during a stressful situation, we’ve broken down what you need to know about suspended GMB listings.
There are two types of suspensions, soft and hard.
This is when you login to your GMB account and see the “suspended” label indicating the account has become unverified. While speaking with Google, they’ll refer to your account as being disabled. You won’t have the ability to manage your listing, but it will still appear in Google and Google Maps. A soft suspension usually happens because of an issue with the user or Google account—not the actual business.
A soft suspension will not usually impact your ranking if it was wrongfully suspended and is later reinstated. However, you will likely lose photos and customer reviews.
Important: When an account is suspended, all the accounts managed by that user will also be suspended. For example, if an agency manages your account and they’ve been suspended from GMB, you need to remove them as a Manager before appealing to Google.
As you try to reinstate your GMB listing, you may get the following notification from GMB’s support teams:
“I would like to inform you that the existing business page under the account cannot be reinstated. Therefore, in order to make the business page live on Google you need to create and set-up a new business page for the location and get the page verified.”
This is a bit confusing, as you might think Google wants you to make a new listing. This isn’t exactly accurate. Instead, it wants you to:
Ultimately, this verifies the original listing, instead of making a duplicate
Hard suspensions are much worse than soft suspensions, as it means the listing itself has been removed from Google Maps. All your info, including reviews, will generally disappear and you will not be able to manage your listing.
No. The correct course of action is to contact Google My Business and get the listing reinstated—permitting it didn’t break any guidelines. The original listing will have ranking power attached to it, while the new listing will not. You could hurt your SEO and lose reviews and photos that need to be transferred by a Google employee.
As a rule of thumb, each business should only have one listing per location. Companies are not allowed to create multiple listings to cover their products/services. Here’s a more detailed breakdown per listing type.
Businesses with storefronts are allowed one listing per location. This includes hotels, shops, restaurants etc.—businesses who sell a service or good that primarily relies on the customer coming to them.
This type of business is allowed one listing per staffed office. For example, a law firm or marketing agency with multiple offices. Customers may visit these offices, but work can also be completed over the phone/via email.
An office where the company’s employees come to work during the stated business hours. These hours would be listed on GMB and supported by signage, operations and company documents.
Important: Businesses are not allowed to create listings for virtual offices, which is when a business provides services for a fee without providing dedicated office space.
Including industries like plumbers or locksmiths who work out of their homes, service area businesses are allowed one listing—in total. For example, if they had a dedicated office space and dispatched technicians, they can only list the office space. This would also bump the company into the professional services/offices category.
The only exceptions to this rule are for franchises and/or companies that have operations in multiple states/provinces. Franchises each have unique owners, so although they’re operating under the same business name (e.g. Mr. Handyman) each location has a unique business license. Service area businesses with locations in different states/provinces (franchised or otherwise) are allowed one listing per state.
Important: Service area businesses must use their home address for their listing. Virtual offices, P.O. boxes and mailing services cannot be listed as this is against Google’s GMB guidelines.
Yes, if you are a service area business that operates from your home office. You may not list your home office and a brick-and-mortar business.
Again, you may only have one listing on GMB. The listing should be for your brick-and-mortar office, as your home address would no longer be valid. In this situation, it’s best to update the address on your existing listing.
No. Only owners can set-up a GMB listing since employees may not always work for you. Creating listings you don’t have authority to represent (since you don’t own your employees’ homes) is against the GMB guidelines.
The only time two companies can be verified at the same address is if each are actually different businesses. This means they have unique business licenses and file taxes separately. It’s advised the two businesses also offer different services/products. Here are a few considerations:
Sometimes, there is an existing listing, say it was a previous tenant’s or has been registered under the wrong address. In this case, use the following guides respective to your business type.
The current owner has 7 days to respond. If they grant you access, the listing is yours. If you don’t hear from them after 7 days, reach out to Google for help.
If the owner declines your request, you’ll receive an email notifying you this is the case. It will also include a link to appeal the rejection. Do not delete this email.
You may click the appeal link and Google will attempt to reach out to the current owner. This process may take a while, but eventually it’s likely Google will remove the current verification so you can verify the listing instead. If you continue having trouble verifying your account, reach out to Google.
Important: This process does not work for listings that are part of a bulk feed owned by a corporate office, such as a franchise’s head office. Google won’t get involved in an owner dispute between a company and their franchisees. In this situation, you have to get the corporate office to add you to the listing.
From time to time, your business name, address or phone number might change. It’s important you keep this information updated on Google My Business. Use the following steps to ensure your listing is up to date:
Edit Your Information:
Important: Information that’s publically available from other sources can’t be removed.
You can only un-verify a listing if you are the owner. Managers will not see this option. Use the following steps to un-verify a listing:
Important: Although Google says you’re deleting the listing, this is not the case. Once a listing is published to Google My Business it can't be removed—only unverified. This process puts the listing back into an unverified state.
Advanced Verification is a process Google uses to ensure advertisers are not fraudulent. At present, only two industries in the United States have to go through the Advanced Verification process: locksmiths and garage door services.
This screening process involves a video interview with a Google employee. You’ll be notified if you pass in 5 to 10 business days.
If your business falls into one of those two categories, prepare the following to ensure your Advanced Verification screening is successful:
Important: Your business can’t be involved in fraudulent behaviour or misleading practices. This includes having multiple Google listings using different business names that connect to the same business.