Crackdown on residential addresses for Service Area Businesses?

Phil Rozek

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Jul 26, 2012
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Hey everyone,

In the past week I've had 2 service-area clients with residential addresses get suspended. (Yes, they were "hiding" the address according to Google's guidelines). Is that just my lousy luck or our lousy luck? Has anyone else run into an unusual number of these issues lately?
 
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Linda Buquet

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There were hiding address and were still suspended???

That's concerning! I have not had time to really check the Google forum today.
I'm scrambling with this algo update which is MAJOR.

But if I get time I'll see if I see any scuttlebutt over there.

Thanks for letting us know Phil!
 

Phil Rozek

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One was hiding his address, and the other wasn't (but arguably didn't have to).

Thanks in advance for keeping your antennae out!

P.S. Yeah, the algo update sounds big, although I haven't personally observed any rankings shake-ups yet.
 

Linda Buquet

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Do you track any full packs or just clients?

I watch whole packs and record them so I can see all kinds of shakeups and changes, but if I was just watching clients - it could be they didn't move, just others around them.

You can see one example with algo screenshots in my post here.
 

george

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Jul 24, 2014
Messages
10
Hi,

We also have a couple of SABs with hidden addresses suspended. Both in the US and the UK.

We called the Google phone support and they were able to fix the US listing right away, didn't really explain why it happened, but said the algorithm is sometimes expected to wrongly suspend listings. So they fixed it, but 2 days later it was suspended again and this time the phone rep said she will forward our case to their team ot engineers... still waiting to hear from them.

Wondering if any of you guys has reached to the phone support and what they told you?

//offtopic I registered to comment on another thread, but though I could share my experience here as well.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks for sharing George.

I'm going to Tweet this to try to get more reports to see if it's a trend.

If so, I'll escalate this to Google and see if I can get any answers.
 

Linda Buquet

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Phil, did you follow any links in the suspension message if there were any? Where did they go or what did it say?

Did you call support yet? What did they say?
 

Phil Rozek

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Hey Linda,

Nope, we haven't called support...yet.

The links in the message were totally boilerplate: "refer to our guidelines."

I'll let you know what happens.
 
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I had a client suspended last week...a hotel in redwood city, ca. I called support and he cited a whole bunch of reasons they suspend listings...but when i pointed out that we had not violated any of those, he took a closer look and then admitted he really didn't know why the listing was suspended either. He created a support ticket and told me in a week or so it would/should be reinstated. That was Monday and as of today it is still not reinstated. I will give it another week and call support again.

NOTE: changing categories, suspicious website, too many edits, were some of the reasons he cited for suspension. It did sound like once a listing is suspended it is not easy to get it reinstated. He said most likely i will need to delete and start over if support cannot reinstate it!
 

Linda Buquet

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Sorry to hear Shonda.

Thanks for letting us know some of the reasons mentioned. Frequent edits, that's the second time I've heard that from support. (Which supports what I always say in training about not tweaking.)

I heard of a rather rare case last week where a listing was suspended for being dual claimed.
(Having a hidden merged dupe.)

This can happen with hotels sometimes if it's a big chain and this listing you are managing was claimed individually, BUT without your knowledge maybe it was already claimed in a corporate feed too?

Are there too many cats or a bunch that are duplicated when you check edit details? That can be a telltale sign.
 
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Interesting! I went into map maker to check categories and there are duplicate categories and 6 categories added in foreign languages that meal hotel Ξενοδοχείο 酒店 ホテル etc.

Should i delete those or call support and bring to their attention ?

Thanks, Linda - would never have thought to check that.

---------- Post Merged at 10:56 AM ---------- Previous Post was at 10:54 AM ----------

NOTE - it's not a corporate chain hotel so i don't think that is an issue.
 

Linda Buquet

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"it's not a corporate chain hotel so i don't think that is an issue. "

Well does not have to be a chain to be dual claimed. Someone else at company, ex-webmaster or SEO, all the other possibilities for dual claims still exist. I only mention corp cuz Hotel and sometimes that comes into play.

No I would not touch anything while waiting for support to review, reinstate. But if it does not resolve and you need to call them, then I'd bring it up. BUT I'm not so sure it's dual claimed based on your description. Would need to look at it. PM if you like and I will when i get time but booked all weekend.
 

Linda Buquet

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Phil just posted about this with more details.

<a href="http://www.localvisibilitysystem.com/2014/07/29/crackdown-on-service-area-businesses-the-untold-story-of-googles-local-pigeon-update/">Crackdown on Service-Area Businesses: the Untold Story of Google’s Local "Pigeon" Update? | LocalVisibilitySystem.com</a>

Head over to read!

MY Comment:

"Thanks for bringing this up although I have to say, other than the couple reports at my forum I’m not hearing much noise. No uptick on this type of problem that I can see.

In fact one guy on G+ was saying the opposite. He’s seeing all these new listings ranking in the pack that are home based that he never had seen rank before.

Who knows! This Pigeon crap has me so frustrated. Just added some new observations in post #87 of my long Pigeon thread. But so far nothing matches up, adds up or makes any sense at all.

The SEland post indicated this was more about organic ranking signals but in many packs the top 2 listings have NO site and only an UNCLAIMED G+ L page. So organic factors don’t factor. (And it does not seem to be pure location or citations either. And not reviews because none of them have reviews either.) So just frustrating!"
 

Holly Pedit

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Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
4
Thanks Phil,
I read through the comment's on Linda's forum and am glad to hear I am not the only one seeing this. Yes they all have properly hidden addresses and have not been edited too often.

Found this -
https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038163?p=service_area&hl=en&rd=1

Go to Google my Business dashboard - edit - edit location. Read the "important information.
Basically they are saying you have to "set a service area." (Which was already done).

"What?s changed?

If you previously used the old Places for Business dashboard, you?ll notice that we no longer have the Do not show my business address on my Maps option. We will apply the correct address settings for your business based on your choices from the new dashboard and the nature of your business.

Note: Some verified businesses will require another round of verification for changes in address."

Really?
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Holly. Welcome and thanks for posting!

Can you tell me more?

Phil said: "Google has put the kibosh on all her service-area clients"

Holly, What does kibash mean? Suspended or deleted or ranking penalty or one of the other G+ spam or disabled warnings???

What does the warning say? If there is link to more info what is the link?


Holly, what industry?

How many listings? All the same company or different companies?

Can you check in the edit business details screen and be sure this was NOT checked?
"I also serve customers at my business address"

Did they have hours listed in dash?

Did they all have valid addresses in dash, even though hidden? No UPS store or PO boxes disguised to look like street addresses?

Could any of them have been dual claimed?

(Might have more Qs after I see the answers to the above.)
 
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Phil Rozek

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What does the warning say? If there is link to more info what is the link?


What industry?

How many listings? All the same company or different companies?

Can you check in the edit business details screen and be sure this was NOT checked?
"I also serve customers at my business address"

Did they have hours listed in dash?

Did they all have valid addresses in dash, even though hidden? No UPS store or PO boxes disguised to look like street addresses?

Could any of them have been dual claimed?

(Might have more Qs after I see the answers to the above.)
No need to try to troubleshoot this, Linda - but thanks.

Answers:

Google demoted the local Plus pages to non-local pages. The URLs are the same as before

The message in the dashboard: "Your page is disabled and won't appear on Google. Why?"

One company, one listing. C'mon, Linda :)

One is a type of contractor, the other is a rug cleaner.

Yes, they have hours listed.

Valid addresses: one residential, the other an office.

Neither was dual-claimed.
 

Holly Pedit

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2014
Messages
4
Hi Linda,
thanks!

I have three different businesses that this happened to. Was just on the phone with support. The man I spoke to had no idea about the update but when he spoke to his supervisor the answer was "we are aware of an issue with the area-based algorithm."

I think they know about it and will try to work it out. Or have. Because now I am seeing them again when I search for lawn care. However while in the dashboard and hit ?View Business on Google ?Google Search? the business is not there.

Thanks for the help. I m not going to worry about it anymore.

---------- Post Merged at 03:29 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 03:23 PM ----------

Phil,
Google demoted the local Plus pages to non-local pages. The URLs are the same as before. The message in the dashboard: "Your page is disabled and won't appear on Google.

By this do you mean that they demoted them, forcing you to go to "Google my Business?" I have two accounts like this. Would like them merged but understand that is no longer an option.
 

Linda Buquet

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Messages
13,308
One company, one listing. C'mon, Linda :)
Why did you say C'mon Linda???

On your blog you said: "Then Holly Pedit emails me to say Google has put the kibosh on all her service-area clients."

Based on what you said, I had no way of knowing if it was a single big chain of plumbers and all listings were suspended. Or if it was a couple unrelated indiv clients.

No need to try to troubleshoot this, Linda - but thanks
Sorry didn't mean I would troubleshoot her listings in particular. I just wanted more info to try to understand in general terms what could have caused it so I can see if I notice any patterns with other ones that come up or whatever...
 

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