Breaking: Linda gets Suspended by Google

Linda Buquet

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Guess what I did over the weekend???

Well I imagine the title & gif kinda gave it away...
I got busted by Google - Yep, I got suspended!


I think all consultants should get their own listing suspended early on in their career early on, so they know what it feels like! :p

What did I do to get suspended, you ask? Well it's very much a "cobbler's shoes" kinda story...

I haven't done consulting for a couple years and am getting ready to retire soon, so my business GMB page has not been a priority at all. Therefore it took me a full year since moving from SoCal to Utah, to get around to updating my page. (And I used to talk about how many SMBs set it and forget it with their GMB pages!)
Pot. kettle, black... :cool:

So I edited my address. (Making sure the settings were correct for hiding my address.) It said pending review. I edited my phone # and it said pending review. Then for some dumb reason I decided to remove phone just to see if it would take it. I've seen a few listings with no phone # and wondered how/why the system would even take that, so was just curious what would happen. Yep it took it, with no nag or error that phone is needed or anything. Listing still said pending. Interesting I said, then added my phone # back in. Checked 10 minutes later and saw my listing was suspended.

I share my little "cobbler's shoes" story, just to show how easy it is to get suspended. Normally a business would not notice til days later and would not remember what they did. They'd tell Google or their consultant, I edited this and that, just my address and phone I think. They didn't do anything nefarious, they just got suspended. :rolleyes:

So I challenged the suspension through the normal online form. The next day I got an email saying my listing was reviewed and reinstated. But I still have to go through a snail mail verification. Irritating... but good lesson I guess.

So that was my weekend. Haha! How was yours???
 

Scott Rawlins

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Now that's some funny stuff. See people, it can happen to anyone! :D Glad you got it worked out.
 

Linda Buquet

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Haha, ya Scott, shows it can happen to anyone.
I've been having fun laughing at myself all weekend.

I knew exactly what I did, what caused it and how to get out of it. The sad thing though is, the average SMB just freaks out and has no idea what happened or how to fix it. An atty I helped over at the G forum recently, literally thought it was a conspiracy and a competitor got him suspended and Google was against him and would not give him his listing back. Well sometimes when GMB suspensions happens, it's as simple as it was in my case. A tweak here or there can do it. :(
 

mborgelt

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Thanks for sharing this, Linda! Got a good laugh and a reminder that this job isn't easy. Sometimes clients and even agencies forget the attention to detail Local Search requires.
 

Jim Froling

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Linda, I know a couple of really good local SEO consultants that could help make sure that doesn't happen again;)
 

JoyHawkins

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Hey Linda,

The timing on this is hilarious. Sterling Sky got a hard suspension last week too. A guy I was helping wanted to leave us a review and I sent him to Facebook since our Google listing was just completely gone. It was some technical glitch and luckily I was right at a LocalU event sitting beside Google and pestering them non-stop about it. I think I might have drove Marissa nuts but she's a rockstar and got it reinstated for me.

Not gonna lie - the suspension experience is never fun.
 

Ampere

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Linda, I am a little confused. What exactly did you do that got you the suspension? Removing your phone number and re-adding it?
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Ampere,

Not sure. It could have been the phone # or too many small edits.
But again, pity the poor business owner who has to deal with this.
 

JoyHawkins

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Google often suspends listings that have abnormal activity that raises red flags. A move from California to Utah would be considered abnormal and often in cases like this they require you to create a new listing. That's likely what caused the listing to go into pending state. Once it's pending, Google's already "unsure" about you so making a bunch of other edits can easily auto-suspend the listing.

I've seen cases where locksmiths get their listing suspended just by making a minor edit in the dashboard since Google is now so mistrusting of their business type.
 

Linda Buquet

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Good points all Joy. Funny, if it was a client that had moved several states away I would have carefully researched. But I was just like "oops old address and phone, guess it's about time I updated that."
Cobblers shoes for sure!
 

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