Between a Rock and a Hard Place on Google Local - Rebranding or Moving?

Linda Buquet

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Considering rebranding?

If so, unfortunately you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
My best advice - just don't do it! ;)


Just in case anyone is unaware, if you rebrand, Google will often create a new page for your business and mark the old one "Permanently Closed". So if a customer Googles you to find phone # or whatever, it can look like you are out of business.

Check out this thread:

The Business has changed it's name and has a new GMB Page. I marked the old GMB page as closed. However the business still trades at the same address and phone number with same type of business.

Previous clients that knew it by it's old name might now think it's closed if they come across the GMB page.

Should I have marked it as permanently closed? Please any advice.
I replied:

Unfortunately you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
There is no perfect solution here!

Ideally you should have just changed the name on the old page, but that probably would have resulted in the same outcome. Google likely would have created a new page and marked the old one closed.

The old one MUST be closed because you can't have 2 listings for the same business at the same location. And even if it was allowed it would hurt your ranking.

As for potential customer impact - if there is a move at least instead of a permanently closed message you can get a relocated message on the listing with a link to the new one. But there isn't a tag that says name changed or rebranded.

You could contact phone support and see if by chance there is anything they can do, somehow link to the new listing? But I'm not aware of anything that can be done for name changes.

My best advice to businesses? Don't change your name and don't ever move. :rolleyes:

The Google Gods won't handle it very well.
In addition to the fact that Google really does not handle it well when you make any change to NAP, there is another ranking problem that can sometimes come from having a closed listing at the same location. See this:

<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-local-important/27109-can-closed-google-local-listings-kill-ranking-important-new-troubleshooting-tip.html">Can "Closed" Google Local Listings Kill Ranking?
Important New Troubleshooting Tip</a>


But the biggest problem is still that it can look to existing customers like the business is closed.

I recently asked Google again for a new listing tag:

If an existing customer searches for the old business by name, to get their number or check hours or double check location or whatever. It looks like they are closed and they could lose that client.

I've been getting lots of requests for a "Rebranded", or "Name Changed" tag - similar to the "Relocated" tag - so when I business just changes their name it does not look like they are permanently closed. Any way you can try to push that through for us?
No word yet, but will keep you posted.

In the meantime, just don't rebrand. ;) :(

Oh and moves aren't much fun either! Same rock and hard place to some degree. But at least there is supposed to be a "Relocated Tag" that links to the new listing. (When it works right.)

Tons more info in our <a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/moving-name-changes/">Moving or Name Changes Forum</a>.

Weigh in below if you want a "Name Changed" or "Rebranded" Tag

I will show this post to Google and it will add leverage to my request above.

<meta property="og:type" content="article"><meta property="og:title" content=""><meta property="og:description" content="">
<meta property="og:image" content="">
 

Linda Buquet

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I just added this above, but please weigh in below to show support for a "Name Changed" or "Rebranded" Tag, similar to the relocated tag you get when you move - so customers will be directed to the new page and won't think you are "Permanently Closed".

I will show this post to Google and it will add leverage to my request above.
 

cdawg2610

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being in an industry that goes through name changes (and having survived 7 buy/sells) I'd fully support a "name change" type of tag. I've been lucky to be able to have control over most of the Google+ listings when the change occurred, so it's a lot easier, but for those who I didn't come along to after, I'm still fighting with Google about "closed" listings that are under the previous name.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks for weighing it to add fuel to the fire Colleen!

I really want to get this changed for you guys, but need a few more votes to show Google you guys are behind this and really need it.
 

George Rhodes

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We need the equvilent of a 301 redirect for Google My Business.

I have a law firm client that is changing their name and moving to a new facility... Double whammy?
 

Linda Buquet

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Ruh roh - ya double whammy.

Sorry George, let client know it could be a rough ride on multiple levels.

There are lots of other posts in the moving and rebranding forum here that could help you along the way!
 

Jo Shaer

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I am in the same boat as George! Can Google just make it easy so we can show it's not a new business, just a change of name and address?
 

Andre Willis

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Timely post, Linda! I have a new client currently contemplating a re-brand, so a "Name Changed" tag certainly gets my vote.

Do you any have tips on how I can make a completing case to this client not to change names? Their top 25 citations are almost split down the middle between their full, current name (which is listed on GMB) and a shortened name (which they're considering for the official re-brand).
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Andre,

If the new brand is just shorter and still contains the same core words it may not be too bad.

But really rebranding is a big decision on so many levels and there may be other good business reasons they need to. When I said don't rebrand, I said that tongue in cheek.

I would just explain it could hurt their ranking and may create extra problems like dupes and citation clean up - which will be extra work and cost extra, etc.
 

Rich Owings

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This sounds great, Linda. Thanks for your efforts on this.

How do you get a relocated tag added to a closed listing, and can that be done even if they rebranded when they moved?
 

Linda Buquet

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Andrew just did a post with MUCH better advice than mine.

My advice was just DON'T ever move or rebrand. :p

<a href="http://searchengineland.com/acquire-new-location-not-screw-local-seo-220189">How To Acquire A New Location & Avoid Screwing Up The Local SEO</a>
 

DanLeibson

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Thanks for sharing this Linda!

Unfortunately, lots of multi-location nationals grow through acquisitions and are constantly closing old and opening new offices and avoiding this tricky issue is just not possible. We have had lots of success dealing with this issues by using a lot of the tactics that Andrew talks about and it is a core part of our service offering to larger companies.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks Dan,

FYI Justin also started a new post here about your post.

<a href="http://www.localsearchforum.com/local-search/31499-10-local-search-engine-optimization-steps-take-when-expanding-your-business.html">10 Local SEO Steps To Take When Expanding Your Business</a>
 

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