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  1. #1
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    My places page suspended!

    I have a service area business with a hidden address, I've always kept the address hidden from Google places. Not so much because I'm afraid of the public finding me or knocking on my door, but because since I don't have a real honest to God brick and mortar storefront I was hiding it to carefully avoid suspension.

    https://plus.google.com/100274158469...ut?gl=us&hl=en

    My Places Dashboard suddenly showed my listing as rejected after being live for over a month, though it appears to still be showing up in search rankings the same as before.....

    I'm trying to figure out what if anything I might have done to precipitate this. I looked at the quality guidelines and didn't think I had any violated, but I did remove all the custom categories from my listing just in case.

    I hit the re-submit for approval button that was in the "red stripe of death" and the listing now shows as "pending", "being reviewed". But it still says "Account Suspended" at the top with the red stripe.....

    Then I got an email:

    Hello,
    Thank you for requesting a review of your rejected listing(s).

    Unfortunately, this process is no longer supported.
    You may create a new listing that adheres to our guidelines in order to
    show up on Maps.

    If your listing shows as pending, please check on Maps to see if it is
    live. In that case please be patient as we are currently overhauling the
    reconsideration process. Please also have a look in the Help Center at
    http://support.google.com/places/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=176520 for
    further updates.

    Cheers,
    The Google Places Team

    I feel like there's some mixed messages here. If my listing is still live, does that mean that it's not really suspended? Will it go back to normal if I am not violating any guidelines?

    I also noticed today that my address is showing on Map Maker, though it is hidden on Places. Is this normal?

    I had posted a link to my Places Page today from my website, encouraging my customers to leave a review..... is that not allowed? I've since removed the link just in case.......

    I also had a G+ page for my business (never verified it since address is hidden). I downloaded the Google + app for my smartphone today and experimented with it. (Trying to find a way for customers to leave a review from a smartphone......) So I also deleted my G+ Page just in case that had anything to do with it.

    Any ideas as to what may have caused the suspension?

    Thanks
    John Cunningham
    http://autolocknkey.com

  2. #2
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    Re: My places page suspended!

    Hi John,

    As I'm sure you know Google is extra strict about locksmiths.

    "but because since I don't have a real honest to God brick and mortar storefront I was hiding it to carefully avoid suspension"

    That sentence made me wonder about the location listed in your dash. Is it just your home? That's what it looks like in MM.

    Share with me the timing. Because at 1st it sound like this was a mature listing. Then you said "after being live for over a month."

    So when do you create and verify the listing?

    Many of your categories violated the guidelines, but you said you deleted the custom categories now?

    Yes I've brought up other listings, that had hidden addresses yet showed address in MM up to Google. I was concerned that businesses would get wrongly penalized. Not sure if that's the issue here.

    Making note of your CID which can come in handy for troubleshooting if the listing gets deleted. cid=7218353869923617014

    OK so most TCs in the Places forum say once a listing is suspended, it's dead and you have to start over and that's what that email and the help docs say. But then they also kinda make it sound like if it's live and pending there's a little hope? I agree it's conflicting.

    Let me know about the timing and then let's see if anyone else weighs in with advice. I've never had a client go suspended so don't have much experience with this type of problem.
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  3. #3
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    Re: My places page suspended!

    Linda,

    I think he is saying that the Account is suspended...not the listing.

    See below.

    As far as I know you need to start all over with a new account even.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Free Local Checklist
    51Blocks - "White Label" Google Places & Website Development/Hosting - Will Pay Good $$ for Wordpress website hosting referrals
    Wordpress Site Speed Problems? Site speed optimization is part of our hosting - 90's on Google PageSpeed Insights

  4. #4
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    Re: My places page suspended!

    Quote Originally Posted by mborgelt View Post
    I think he is saying that the Account is suspended...not the listing.
    Yep sorry that's what I meant. Account, not listing.
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  5. #5
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    Re: My places page suspended!

    Linda,

    I suppose google has good reason to be strict on locksmiths with as many unlicensed, phony, or at best 2nd rate "locksmiths" running around using bait and switch tactics, overcharging and damaging stuff. Then you've got the national dispatch only companies that pretend to be local to get customers, then try to sell them back to the real locksmiths as "leads". Only the good Locksmiths won't do business with them, so the customers end up with the 2nd rate wannabe "locksmith" who shows up with a crowbar. Sorry to go off on a tangent there........ just so it's understood that I'm more interested than anybody to keep the phony companies out of Google+Local.

    Yes the address in dashboard is my home address, I am a mobile only business. I first set up the listing and verified it in early September at a different address. I moved and changed my address in dashboard sometime in November. I finally got the pin in the mail and verified it and it was back up somewhere around Dec 15th. (I'd had several reviews before the move, but none of them reappeared) The listing has been fine since then until yesterday. The address has always been hidden from the beginning.

    My categories before account suspension yesterday were:

    Locksmith
    Car Keys
    Lost Car Keys
    Auto Locksmith
    Ignition Repair

    After re-reading the quality guidelines that say categories must be what your business "is" rather than what it does or offers, I deleted all the categories except "Locksmith". I'm not sure I can think of 5 categories of what my business "is" without saying what it does.

    Could these categories really be the reason for suspension?

    I never meant to violate the guidelines.... just hadn't read them closely enough.

    And would "Auto Locksmith" be considered spammy since it repeats the word "Locksmith"?

    Not sure what it means for an "account" to be suspended rather than just the listing....

    If I can still edit the listing and it still shows in search results, then what exactly has been suspended?

    Heres a screen shot after editing the listing:

    Name:  Resampled_2013-01-21_14-05-51_191.jpg
Views: 370
Size:  52.1 KB
    John Cunningham
    http://autolocknkey.com

  6. #6
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    Re: My places page suspended!

    Quote Originally Posted by John C View Post
    Yes the address in dashboard is my home address, I am a mobile only business. I first set up the listing and verified it in early September at a different address. I moved and changed my address in dashboard sometime in November.
    Are not supposed to just edit the address like that when you move. It can cause lots of problems BUT should not cause suspension.

    Quote Originally Posted by John C View Post
    My categories before account suspension yesterday were:

    Locksmith
    Car Keys
    Lost Car Keys
    Auto Locksmith
    Ignition Repair

    After re-reading the quality guidelines that say categories must be what your business "is" rather than what it does or offers, I deleted all the categories except "Locksmith". I'm not sure I can think of 5 categories of what my business "is" without saying what it does.

    Could these categories really be the reason for suspension?
    Yes those were minor violations BUT I've only heard of one person being suspended for violating that rule. Normally they don't suspend for that.

    HOWEVER just the past couple days I'm seeing a big increase in suspended listing complaints at the G forum. So think someone turned up a spam dial too high somewhere. We're seeing listings there suspended that we can't find anything blatantly wrong on. But we have not gotten to the bottom of it yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by John C View Post
    If I can still edit the listing and it still shows in search results, then what exactly has been suspended?
    Sometimes even if suspended listings still are live. I'm curious to see if your changes go live because I suspect the dashboard is dead and you've lost control of the listing and changes won't go through.

    I would def not tweak any more unless you find something VERY wrong. Because if (and there is only a VERY tiny IF) IF you really are under review and IF they ever get around to reviewing it, I suspect that every edit sends you back to the end of the line.

    But again, I don't want to hold out hope because most say once you are suspended the account is dead and you just need to deleted and start over with a new account.

    Maybe wait a couple days and let me see if anything shakes out with the other new suspended listings we are seeing at the Google forum. We asked Google why a couple were suspended and I have had time to check and see if anyone has figured anything out yet.
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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

  7. #7
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    Re: My places page suspended!

    It just vanished. 404 error.

    Not only that, I had an unusually high number of clicks on my adwords ads yesterday..... and an unusually low number of people actually calling me. I didn't even think that my ads were running because I never once saw one pop up yesterday like I normally do when I was checking search results.

    I had the ads set to show continuously until the limit was reached instead of evenly throughout the day. This adds up to someone intentionally clicking my ads till they ran out.

    So I paused all my adwords, then checked my place listing in search results. That's when I noticed it was gone.

    I've noticed several new places listings in the area have popped up in the last week or so for "Locksmith". All previously unknown with generic names and several of them listed more than once. Or listed several times with slight variations in each one. All WITH VISIBLE addresses. One of them at a UPS, one a virtual office building, etc. I suspect that they are all connected with a proxy phone number pyramid. I red flagged a couple of these recently that were blatant duplicates, and they were removed. Now mine has been removed.

    What happens at google when a listing gets red flagged by a user?
    John Cunningham
    http://autolocknkey.com

  8. #8
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    Re: My places page suspended!

    Sorry John, looks like it's gone. I searched for your CID in maps and MM.
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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

  9. #9
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    Re: My places page suspended!

    John is there any kind of link near the suspended message that sounds like a review or re-instatement or re-inclusion request? If you see one you can try it. There may be something new in that regard but I'm not sure.
    Is Our Content HELPFUL? Please pay the community back by sharing!

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon". ;-)

  10. #10
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    Re: My places page suspended!

    I clicked on that as soon as I saw it. I'm pretty sure that is what prompted the email I got saying that process is "no longer supported".

    I suppose I may as well just accept that it's dead and start over. If I lose 3 reviews and a month or so of google places business it's not necessarily the end of the world.

    My next question is: do i just delete the listing in the dashboard and then create a new one with the same info, or do I need a whole new google account with a new email address?

    And can I create a new listing using the same biz name, physical address, phone #, and url? Or is everything associated with the suspended account blacklisted forever?
    John Cunningham
    http://autolocknkey.com

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