Business Name Change - How To Handle Their Google+ Local Page?


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I am working with a business who recently changed their name. Everything else stayed the same - same address, same telephone number, etc.

They still have the old dashboard and a listing that may or may not be claimed (I'm working on getting more details from them). Assuming their listing isn't claimed, what is the process on something like this? Do I claim the listing and then during that process change the business name? And if it is claimed, do I go in and change the business name?

Thanks,

Travis
 

Colan Nielsen

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I am working with a business who recently changed their name. Everything else stayed the same - same address, same telephone number, etc.

They still have the old dashboard and a listing that may or may not be claimed (I'm working on getting more details from them). Assuming their listing isn't claimed, what is the process on something like this? Do I claim the listing and then during that process change the business name? And if it is claimed, do I go in and change the business name?
Hey Travis,

It depends on what the name change is. If it's a minor change, you can claim the listing and make the change after you verify it. If it's a minor name change and it's already claimed then just edit in the dash.

If it's a major name change or major rebranding then you need to create a new listing and mark the old one closed.
 

Linda Buquet

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If it's a major name change or major rebranding then you need to create a new listing and mark the old one closed.
Colan - why do you say that?
I was just coming to ask the same thing.

Not saying Colan's advice was def wrong. Rebranding instructions have not been spelled out well.

But my advice has always been to follow the same rules as we do for moves.

The instructions changed and you no longer have to open new/close old. You just edit existing.

Here is the latest change on moving procedures:
Business Moves - Procedure Changes Again - Just Edit Local Listing Now

Is that your understanding for rebranding too Keenan? Just edit the existing listing?
No longer need to open/close?
 

Colan Nielsen

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Unfortunately, as Linda mentioned, the rules aren't entirely spelled out on the places side of the house. So again, I think it really depends on the degree of the change.

I usually refer to the Map Maker guideline on this one - https://support.google.com/mapmaker/answer/1096113?hl=en#name


Another thing I have been noticing is that major NAP changes, like an address change to a new city, Google splits off a new listing anyway.
 

JoyHawkins

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I agree with Colan - the last I heard, we were supposed to still create a new listing for a rebrand. We both heard this from Joel last year at Local University.

Linda - I also just forwarded you a private thread confirming this.

Also, here is another public thread addressing this - Google Groups
 

Linda Buquet

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OK thanks both of you for clarifying. Like I said I was never crystal clear about rebranding. Sounds like maybe Keenan was unsure as well. Appreciate the link to the MM guidelines Colan shared and the link you shared as well Joy!
 

Keenan Glass

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"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is." -- Slick Willie

Or in this case, rebrand.

If the experience has not changed, then it is not really a "rebrand" in my understanding of how Google looks at it. It is simply a name change and you should edit in the Dashboard.

I would suggest you update the online data sources first. It is certainly possible Google will create a new page anyway.

If the experience has fundamentally changed as a result; Bob's Pizza becomes Bob's Burgers, then you should create a new listing

If the listing hasn't been claimed, then I would claim it first.
 
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O.K. my head is officially spinning here...lol. So should I close and open a new listing or just edit the existing listing?

I'm not afraid to say who my client is. They are an art school in Reno, NV. Their old name was Kids N Art - with their website being KidsDoingArt.com. Here is their listing:

https://plus.google.com/104483544905270702833/about?gl=us&hl=en

Their new name is Drawn2Imagine and their old website redirects to their new site: Drawn2Imagine.com.

Nothing has changed otherwise. Same art school. Same owner and teachers. Same address. Same telephone number. They just changed to a totally new name/brand. They had to do this because their old name was trademarked by another company.

In this case, what should I do? Edit the existing or close it and start a new one. I'll be doing new citations for them as well to reflect the new name and new web address.

Travis
 

Linda Buquet

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They still have the old dashboard and a listing that may or may not be claimed
Just re-read and am confused. If you can see that it's the old dash, then there must be a claimed listing or they would have no dash. And that listing looks claimed.

Read that Google thread Joy shared. It's pretty intense:
Change the name of my business

Seems like lots of conflicting opinions between
Google management, TCs, RERs - even conflicting Google guidelines!

If it was unclaimed it would be an easier call. Since claimed I'm torn over which way to go. On one hand same owner and experience. On the other hand I can see Greg's point about the potential of bots changing the name back or creating a dupe, if you don't close old.
 

Keenan Glass

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Coin toss.

In this case, it probably doesn't matter. There are no reviews to save, few citations that I saw to update.

Isn't the listing showing the owner's cell phone number and not the business number?
 

Linda Buquet

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Good catch on the cell # eagle eye! :p

That makes it even more sensible to close/open if both name and phone are wrong.
 

Tyson Downs

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I have two dentists going through a rebrand right now.

I've only done 1 of them so far, and the new places dashboard allowed me to change the name with no verification required, and so far it hasn't changed back (you know how it likes to change itself back to stuff).

I used Linda's trick she teaches in the Google Places training and fortunately no postcard verification was needed. You know how tricky those postcards can be to get sometimes.
 
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Thanks everyone! I'm glad I asked...lol. I was expecting a clear cut answer one way or another. Only Google would make it complicating.

I'll definitely just close it and start a new one give the name AND phone number change. Thanks for catching the phone number;)

Travis
 
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I finally got the login details from the client for this listing and as soon as I logged in, I got a big splash page that the dashboard had been upgraded! This is the first client I have that has the new dashboard so I'm pretty stoked.

At any rate, I'm very tempted to just change the business name and phone number. What's the worst thing that could happen if I did? Either it will accept my changes "as is" without having to re-verify or it will send out a new post card (which the client could care less).

It just doesn't make sense that Google would want the listing closed and a totally new one created. Why wouldn't they just want you to edit these things??

Should I roll the dice and just make the edits and see what happens or do you still advise I close the listing and start a new one?

Travis
 

JoyHawkins

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Travis,

The reason why I recommend against this is because usually when businesses re-brand, they want to completely get rid of their association with the old brand.

Although keeping the information associated (editing the listing) would be better short-term, because the listing would rank higher, long-term it would result in more NAP inconsistency, more "Google overwriting your information" which results in old info appearing on your listing, and more MapMaker issues.
 

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