Google Places Listings play an important role for any business looking to establish visibility online for products or services within a specific location. The advantage of creating a well optimised Google Places listing in combination with Local SEO, is visibility in the Google 7 Pack results. This could lead to an increase in traffic to you site which may result in more sales or enquiries.
Creating a good local listing is easy, however problems can arise when duplicate Google Places Listings are created. This often occurs when users forget to check if a listing already exists for their business or overlook to close an old location page following a business move. To confuse matters, Google may also create unverified listings based on data from various sources.
In this post we take a look at the process involved in finding and dealing with unwanted and duplicate Google Places Listings.
1. How to Identify Duplicate Google Places Listings?
The most obvious places to start is a search on Google Maps for you business name. You should also try searching for your phone number to spot any other listings.
Once you have conducted your search, take a look at the results and check if the listings relate to your current address? Are there any duplicates and is the information correct? If the addresses are similar or the same, consider keeping the listing with the most reviews as these have ranking value and are hard to come by.
2. Try to Claim and Verify Your Duplicate Listings
There are different methods to resolve duplicate listings, incorrect or old listing. I recommend that you take the time to claim the listings that you want to remove. This could be a simple case of verifying ownership of the listing if it is unclaimed or requesting access to the listing if it is claimed and already registered to another Google account.
The main advantage of claiming the listing is that you will then have complete control. Request for edits are also likely to take less time for Google to implement because you are the verified owner.
How to verify a listing
Verification can either be by telephone if the number on the listing matches your current details, or by postcard if the listing broadly matches your current address.
Submitting a request for manager access or ownership, can be a more lengthy and involved process if you don’t control the account that the listing was verified with. If this is the case then you will essentially be asked to write an email to the person who verified the listing and so do take the time to explain why you are requesting ownership and include a range of contact details so they can get in touch with you.
For further information read Google’s guide to adding a local business Listing.
3. Requesting Changes to a Verified Google Places listing.
Once you’ve you’ve managed to claim you listing, login to the appropriate Google Account, go to the page you want to amend and click on Edit Business Information on the About us page.
This will take you to your My Business page. At the bottom of this page please click on report a problem with this page.
Complete the information on the next page and if you are looking to close the listing or flag it as moved. Tick the Business Status (closed or moved) at the bottom of the page. Give as much information as possible stating that the listing is a duplicate or is an old address and ask them to mark the listing as closed.
Requesting Changes to An Unclaimed Google Places Listing
If you’ve managed to verify your listing or you simply don’t want to then just go to the duplicate or old listing that you no longer want.
Under the About tab, at the bottom of the Contact information column, click on the Edit details link.
You will be presented with the Map Maker page where you can suggest changes depending on what needs altering.
The map maker suggest an edit options are as follows
- Place is permanently closed – Select this option if your listing relates to an old address and you already have an additional accurate Google Places for Business listing. The listing will still appear on Google Maps but will be marked as closed
- Place is a duplicate of another place – Choose this option if the listing shares the correct address details for your business. Make sure that you give as much information as possible and include the correct Google places or Google+ Local URL
- Place does not exist or is private
- Some photos, reviews do not belong here
Once you have completed the information, then click submit. It is likely that Google will take a few days or even a couple of weeks to make your requested changes live.
You may need to complete this process more than once if you haven’t seen any changes within a couple of weeks. Google has recently attempted to make it easier to address duplicate Google listings easier but it is still more complicated than it needs to.
Why not let us know how you’ve handled duplicate Google Map listings?