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  1. #1
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    Name Change - Best Practices?

    I have a client that is currently attempting to rebrand (currently part of a franchise, but is getting out of it) so his business name is changing but he is staying at the same location w/ the same phone number.

    I did a bit of research and it seems as if MM recommended deleting and creating a new one for the new brand, but this was back in 2013 and I'm not sure if having the same number/address will affect anything (URL will be different as well after rebrand).

    Anyone have any (updated) insight?

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  3. #2
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    Re: Name Change - Best Practices?

    I have a client that is also rebranding. Though I did not see any replies to your post in April, I'm curious what you ended up doing.

    My initial plan was to simply rename the old G+ Page and MM listing but client went off on his own several months ago and created a new G+ Page. Now he cannot remember the login for the new page so we cannot access it. GMB phone support suggests deleting the old page (previous company name) and creating yet another GMB/G+ page for the new company, this time noting the login info.

    I am very hesitant to do this as I fear losing the reviews they have on G.

    Any insights you could share would be greatly appreciated!

  4. #3
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    Re: Name Change - Best Practices?

    Unless something has changed I don't know about, best practice for rebranding is the same as for moves.

    Change in dashboard. Now G might decide it's a big enough change that she'll create a new listing and mark the old as closed - which is not ideal. But it's up to her.

    (Oops since Charlie's post is over a year old, guess he's done whatever by now.)

    Hey Jim - my sweetest member.

    Depending on how much of a change it is - G may not want the old reviews to show on the new listing. Depends on a variety of factors. But if just a rebrand - same industry and owners - just new name - then basically the service is the same and the reviews should be OK.

    If you want to try to claim the existing listing to change it - you'll have to do the whole routine where you request ownership. That will go to the email he signed up with so might help him figure out log in. If not you need to wait I think 3 weeks, then can contact support to see if they'll give it to him. Would likely help if you are logged into his Gmail account that hopefully uses his domain email when you contact support and have a page ready to show them on the site that explains the name change - showing old and new brand.

    If you do end up having to create a new listing - reviews are in a separate DB and "could" be moved over by support - if you can convince them nothing has changed, but the name.

    Good luck Jim. Hope it goes smoothly!
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

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

  5. #4
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    Re: Name Change - Best Practices?

    Agreed with Linda. You would want to update the name in GMB. The last thing you want to do is start over with a brand new local listing. Listing age, and the authority that is built into a listing is an important ranking factor.
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

  6. #5
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    Re: Name Change - Best Practices?

    Hi Jim, it looks like your question's already been answered, but here's some extra reading if you want:

    Moving your office without losing rankings. A good article by Joy about making a major NAP change, applies to a name rebrand too.
    Moving Your Office Without Losing Rankings: The Local Business Owner's Guide

    Moving reviews across listings: this is Google's official blurb on when they will and won't allow reviews to be retained after a major business shift.
    https://support.google.com/business/.../3098204?hl=en

    5 Differences between Google My Business changes and MM changes: another article by Joy, this one talks about the differences in rules between changing business information in the two locations, and why in this case you want to make the change in the GMB dashboard:
    5 Major Differences Between Google Map Maker & Google My Business Guidelines

    Last, if you want to try and regain control of the listing the client made (and forgot the login for) follow these steps:
    https://support.google.com/business/.../4566671?hl=en

    I'm with Colan and Linda, renaming the old listing and keep it is what you should do. Given that there's a new listing that the client made though, I'm not 100% sure about the best route to take. I'd be inclined to change the old listing to the new NAP (following Joy's advice above in how to move without losing rankings), then call support and ask for a merge.

  7. #6
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    Re: Name Change - Best Practices?

    Keep in mind there is no such thing as "deleting a page". I hate it when GMB uses that terminology because people are expecting the page to go away and all that happens is it becomes unverified.

    Keep in mind that in order to use the moved feature, you have to have an unverified listing point to a verified one. So before you do this you will need access to both the new and old if they are both verified so you can unverify the old one.

    Joy Hawkins
    Owner of Sterling Sky
    Author of The Expert's Guide to Local SEO [, a 260+ page training manual that is updated monthly and contains advanced tips and tactics for Local SEO that actually work and drive results.

  8. #7
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    Re: Name Change - Best Practices?

    It didn't help that the client went "rogue" 6+ months ago (didn't tell me) and created a G+ page with the new business name, then forgot the login Still, took a deep breath and deleted the old business page. Then I found a snippet of the email address used to setup the newer page and after trying a bunch of possible passwords, we were in!

    Emailed the GMB support rep the user ID for the new page hoping the movement of the reviews would be piece of cake now. Nah, he came back saying that the changes in the business were too significant and would be removed.

    In the meantime I had gone into the GMB Community Forum where I saw a thread of posts on the topic last March from "Da' MAN", Colan Nielsen. In helping the user Colan included a link to GMB Help on "Moving reviews across listings". Way to go, Colan!!!

    I copied/pasted the relevant text in my reply to GMB support rep with a polite request that he rethink his position as our request conforms completely with Google's policy.

    The issue remains open but at least the GMB rep is now "open" to considering moving the reviews. He's having us jump through a few hoops, but we'll get it.

    Thanks Linda for your advice and moral support . And thank you Colan for the advice you gave Esra on the GMB Community Forum last March and for including that link. AWESOME!!!

    Thanks also James Watt and Joy Hawkins for chiming in. LOVE YOU ALL!

  9. #8
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    Re: Name Change - Best Practices?

    Go team! Glad to have been able to assist, Jim

    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

  10. #9
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    Re: Name Change - Best Practices?

    We're happy to help Jim. Our team rocks!
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

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

  11. #10
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    Re: Name Change - Best Practices?

    Just wanted to be sure the team sees these great compliments from Jim Froling.

    Joining This Forum Is The Best Thing You Have Done

    Thanks Jim for appreciating our team & all they do!
    We are thankful to have great members like you!
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

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

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