New Change: Google Removing Unverified Listings July 28th

Everyone, a friend of mine is a certified Google Photographer for Business Views, and he sent me this announcement from Google. Have any of you seen this? Any other insight on this change coming?
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UPDATE - Announcement from Google July 22, 2015

Dear photographers and agencies,

In the past few months, you may have seen some changes in the look of Google+ pages that have been associated with Google My Business (GMB) accounts. These changes, including how we treat business pages without owners, are part of Google’s ongoing effort to simplify people’s experience with our tools. We are constantly working to provide only valuable and rich content to our users.

On July 28th, Google will begin shutting down those GMB–associated Google+ pages that have not been associated with user accounts and are also not verified. You may find that some of your Business View tours also sit on such pages, but note that after this removal of unverified Google+ pages, the Business View tours will still remain available on Google Maps and Google Search.

Here are a few recommendations for informing any business customers that may be impacted by this:

Encourage your business customers to verify their listings if they wish to retain their Google My Business page. Information on how to do this can be found here.
If a business owner decides later that they would like to have a Google My Business page, please advise them to create a new page and verify their listing. The Business View virtual tour can be then transferred to the new verified listing. Please log a case to our support teams to request that images for your business customer be forwarded to the new GMB page.
Please point your business customer to their images in Google Maps.

Best,
The Google Maps | Business View team
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Greg Schueler

Local Search Expert
That sounds like great news! So all those unclaimed pages that rank in local search will go away and those that claim (and optimize) their pages will be left.

That should clean up a lot of the junk if I am reading that right?
 

JoyHawkins

1
Staff member
Administrator
Am I the only one thinking that this will actually make our (SEOs) jobs harder? For me, the unverified pages show me insight into bad NAP or things I need to fix for clients. Without that insight I feel like diagnosing is just about to get harder...
 
Am I the only one thinking that this will actually make our (SEOs) jobs harder? For me, the unverified pages show me insight into bad NAP or things I need to fix for clients. Without that insight I feel like diagnosing is just about to get harder...
Totally agree with Joy here. Sounds like great news, but interested to see how this actually plays out. If in fact, ALL these pages go away, hopefully when map maker returns, there will be a new feature to see old/bad/past data. :eek:
 

mborgelt

Top Contributor
We caught some signals of these changes early this week. Emails that we used for tests years and years ago (2009) have been getting getting deleted. I think Google is cleaning up some much needed mess on that front but am curious to see what happens to businesses with messy NAP histories. I am optimistic that these may disappear but finding an old G+ page is very useful for uncovering issues that would otherwise take a while to discover.
 

Linda Buquet

1
Staff member
Moderator
While TCs have been busy going back and forth speculating, waiting for a reply from Google, Mike churned out this post.

<a href="http://blumenthals.com/blog/2015/07/23/google-removing-all-non-verified-local-pages-from-plus/">Google Removing All Non Verified Local Pages from Plus? | Understanding Google My Business & Local Search</a>

I agree with his comments at the bottom, but also agree with Joy and everyone here.

Kind of a mixed bag of unknowns til we either get more info from Google, or see it in action once it actually rolls out.
 

Linda Buquet

1
Staff member
Moderator
We've been asking Google for clarification. Just got some, waiting for confirmation that I can share it.

Need to run my new puppy to the vet.

Stay tuned and I'll be posting an update once I have something to share. This is not quite what it appears at 1st glance tho...
 
I also agree with Joy, especially for clients with lots of old/extra names, addresses, numbers, etc. in the local search ecosystem. However, I think we still would have a handful of good ways to find old business data by:

1) Asking the client for old names, addresses, numbers (including security alarm landline number [ and old fax number), and old URLs.
2) Finding old data on other citation sites.
3) And there's the BBB trick where you can find additional (including old) phone numbers, web addresses, and names - Local Citation Cleanup Hack: Check BBB | LocalVisibilitySystem.com
 

Linda Buquet

1
Staff member
Moderator
Thanks everyone...

Essentially it sounds like what will happen is the unclaimed pages will no longer be viewable. The data is still out there, but will not show up as a G+ page any more. That business data will still however show up in search and maps (unless it's an SAB with hidden address). There just won't be a G+ Local page. The links from pack listings to the G+ Local page stopped showing up awhile back anyway.

So if a business has a bunch of unverified dupes or practitioner pages or old closed listings that are hurting their ranking - we will no longer be able to see those G+ pages to be able to diagnose the problems or do ranking troubleshooting. And Michael Cottam's dupe finder will cease to work. So we'll have to use Map Maker to do that type of research now I guess. But there will be no page to look at per se, just whatever data shows up in MM.

When all is said and done, it's not a huge change. However if the goal is cleaning up dupes, bad scrapes and unverified listings (which I'm all for) - since those listings can still rank in search and show up in maps, not sure how that's really cleaning up? The listing data will still be out there, it's just that there is no page? :confused: Maybe it's more about resources to host all those dormant pages? That would make sense I guess.
 

Linda Buquet

1
Staff member
Moderator
So what's this going to look like???

Just POOF tomorrow?

We should share a couple unclaimed pages and track what happens just for grins.

See if they go away.

See if anything changes to the way they show up in search and maps.

And be sure we can still see the record in Map Maker.
(Should be able to.)
 

JoyHawkins

1
Staff member
Administrator
Awesome idea Linda!

Here are a few

"Plumbers Uxbridge ON"
Screenshot: plumbers uxbridge on   Google Search.jpg

Evans D W Plumbing & Heating Ltd - https://plus.google.com/109481836526593724142/about?hl=en, Google Map Maker

P H Plumbing & Heating Ltd - https://plus.google.com/112869840599890717361/about?hl=en, Google Map Maker


Don Valley Mechanical Ltd - https://plus.google.com/113258358129890833439/about?hl=en, Google Map Maker


"Restaurants Newmarket ON"

4 Seasons = unverified.
MapMaker: Google Map Maker
G+ https://plus.google.com/102040754048861793444/about

Screenshot of branded search: 4 Seasons newmarket on   Google Search.jpg
 

Linda Buquet

1
Staff member
Moderator
Awesome, thanks Joy!

Could someone find a couple US? (Sorry too much pain to do it myself.)
Cuz you know sometimes things change here but not in CA or other countries right away?
 

Linda Buquet

1
Staff member
Moderator
Here is a slightly different take on this.

Joy in all your examples of there is no website. Only a link to the G+ page. It's odd to see so many like that.

joereadseo thinks it's already starting in the UK and explains the listings with the G+ page.

<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-local/35080-changes-map-pack-line-july-28th-rollout-uk.html">Changes to the Map Pack - In Line with the July 28th Rollout?? (UK)</a>

See his screenshot and theory above.
 

Linda Buquet

1
Staff member
Moderator
Thanks Austin!

I've been doing some checking and it appears this new deal already started today.

I'll try to do a post with screenshots if I have it in me tomorrow.
 

Linda Buquet

1
Staff member
Moderator
Like I said last night, after researching I think this already happened yesterday.
Or at least one phase of it, maybe more to come. See post here:

<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-local-important/35109-28th-google-local-page-removals-happened-27th-good-news-though.html#post67864">The 28th Google+ Local Page Removals Happened on 27th? Good News Though</a>
 

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