Handling Google My Business Suspensions

Google Suspensions are a Hassle

It’s been a stressful year, to say the least. From an economy-crippling pandemic to a divided presidential election, it may feel like you’ve been walking through a war zone.

So, when you open your email or log in to your Google My Business account and see that your newly or previously verified listings have been suspended, you might want to throw your device across the room.

This is an issue that many business owners and SEOs have been forced to face more and more often this year. To add insult to injury, the cause of these suspended listings is often arbitrary.

Man Angry at Computer

“Your listing has been suspended”


You Aren’t Going Crazy

If you’ve been questioning your own sanity lately or reading through the guidelines until your eyes want to fall out trying to find out what you were in violation of, don’t fret. You aren’t losing your mind. Google has been on a capricious suspending spree in an attempt to cut down on spam listings.

Don’t think you have anything on your listing that could constitute spam? You might be wrong. Or, you could be completely correct. Here are just three of many common examples of violations liable to slap you with a Google My Business suspension:

 

  1. Keyword-Stuffed Business Name.

    Keyword stuffing means putting SEO keywords that are not officially part of your name. For example, if your business is “ABC Security Services,” and you describe yourself as “ABC Security Services, 24/7 Locksmith” to get the keyword “24/7 Locksmith into the business name, you’re keyword stuffing.

    Keep in mind, your listing’s business name needs to be your business name, word for word. If you are a practitioner, it should be exactly how you officially present yourself. Google considers all keyword stuffing spam.

    Sometimes Google will even suspend a listing with a legitimate business name because it contains a suspicious amount of keywords.
  2. Editing a listing too much in a short span of time can trigger red flags for Google and lead to a suspension.

    Sometimes this can mean waiting minutes between changes and sometimes hours. To be on the safe side, we recommend giving 24 hours in between your listing’s changes 

 

  1. The company is an online-only business and/or is using a PO Box/UPS store address. Google will only view your business listing as legitimate if the address has a physical location. This does not include virtual offices or coworking spaces.

 

These are just some of the reasons Google will suspend your listing.

Getting the Issue Resolved

Before reaching out to support about a Google My Business suspension, you should always read through the guidelines thoroughly and make sure you are not in violation of Google’s rules.

Once you have read through the guidelines, issue a reinstatement request, in which you can explain the issue in greater detail.

When they ask for your listing’s URL, they are referring to the URL of your listing in the Google My Business Dashboard, not the URL of the listing as it appears in search.

example of the Google My Business Dashboard URL

Make sure to copy the dashboard URL



If you have had multiple listings of a single business suspended, be sure to simply link the dashboard URL’s of these listings in your reinstatement request details, rather than submitting a request for each listing.

However, it is important to keep in mind that sometimes a suspension is a random fluke on Google’s part.  

You may not hear back from Google Support for a week or longer, and if they choose to escalate the issue (they will notify you if they do) it can take even longer, so it’s important to just hang tight and be as patient as possible.

No matter what you do, do not send multiple requests regarding the same listing unless a month or longer has passed with no response. 

This is Not Anyone’s Fault

(If you’re a professional SEO practitioner, you might have the added complication of your client freaking out because their listing is suspended. You probably know this drill: you are likely to get the blame. If it helps, give them a link to this article to illustrate to your client that many other SEO professionals — and their clients! — are in the same boat. Thanks again, Google.)






 

 

 

 



 

 

Question: How Do I Add My Business to Google?

Business owners have a powerful tool available in their quest to get more visibility in Google. Introducing our free Masterclass on getting started with Google My Business. It shows you how to find, claim, and verify your business in GMB. If you’ve ever been confused and intimidated by Google’s free GMB service, this course is a great starting point. And it’s free!

google my business logo

Google Reviews: Why They’re Important and What to Do About Them

Why GMB Reviews Are So Important

What we’ll cover in this post:

  • The importance of Google reviews to your online reputation
  • How to respond to both positive and negative reviews
  • A step-by-step how-to on the process

In order to get the most out of your Google My Business listing, it is important to keep up with reviews on a consistent basis.

Responding to Google reviews is just as influential as the reviews themselves. It provides prospective customers with a feel for what you’re like, encourages more customers to leave reviews, and can sometimes result in people amending their initial negative reviews and ratings to positive ones.

gmb review example Responding to reviews will also help you to stay on top of your online reputation, make improvements where necessary, and identify strengths to focus on.

It is important to take special consideration when replying to negative reviews. Be professional and calm when responding to these while also providing either an explanation for the negative experience the reviewer had or a resolution.

If there is no explanation, or if you feel the reviewer is being dishonest or misrepresenting their experience, it is never a good idea to express this in your response.

In the case that a disgruntled person or business competitor is deliberately committing libel or slander there are further actions that can be taken, but that is a bridge to be crossed when the time comes, and going about this is to be resolved circumstantially.

How to Respond to Google Reviews

Here is a step by step guide on how to respond to your Google reviews:

Step 1: Sign in to Google My Business

Access the Google My Business dashboard by navigating to business.google.com.

 

 

If you own or manage your business listing but are directed to a page with a search bar in the center that prompts you to “Find and manage your business,” no need to fret. Simply click on the Google My Business logo in the top-left corner of the page.

 

 

Step 2
Click the three horizontal bars in the top left-hand corner and click on your listing from the “Locations” menu.

 

 

Step 3

To the left, you will see a panel containing multiple options (“Home”, “Posts”, “Info”, “Insights”, and below “Insights”, “Reviews”). Click on Reviews.

gmb diagram
It will then, at the top, show you all of your reviews which you can sort by All, Replied, and Haven’t Replied. To the right of these options, there will be three horizontal lines. Click on this to see further ways in which to sort your reviews if you wish to, such as ranking them from highest to lowest or vice versa.

At the bottom of each review, you will see an option to Reply. Simply click on this, type your reply, and click Post Reply. If you have already replied to a review, instead of presenting you with the Reply button you will see the option to either Edit or Delete your reply.

 

Responding to these reviews, good and bad, is essential for local SEO. We hope that this has helped you understand Google Reviews the process so that you can climb your way to the top 3.