Google listing now nearly impossible to find


Kristen

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Hello, I've experienced an issue with a client's website where one day we were seeing #1 and top rankings and the next, all rankings disappeared and the listing can't be found unless I actually type the business name AND city into maps.google.com. Even then, other cities far away from the city the business in outrank the listing, which is odd. This happened around the beginning of October.

Here is the listing:
BrightStar Care - Google+

Here is the business info as it appears in the dashboard.
tinyurl.com/listingissue

This company is a franchise and hired a company to manage the listings, but we opted out. However, we recently found that they were jointly managing the listing which was causing lots of problems such as duplicate listings and our listing kept defaulting to the incorrect business name, phone number and description. They are no longer jointly managing the listing now as of yesterday.

There is also an issue where we can't change the phone number and address on the website to exactly match the phone number in the google dashboard - at least consistently. We have it changed now, but the site tends to default back to a different number. This is how the franchise has it set up and there's nothing I can do about it evidently.

Please let me know if there is anything that stands out about the Google listing or the website itself.

Thanks in advance for your help!!!
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi pd995,

THanks for posting. We'll try to help. I'm pretty tired so can only dig in part way tonight and have some Qs.

What specific KW dropped? I was checking Racine Senior Care is that the main KW?

Address is hidden on the G+L listing? Your dashboard shows the address but I can't see rest of settings. Did you set to hide address? Why?

In screenshot it looks like Suite is on line 1 is that correct?

Have you checked all the MM edits? Lots of bot activity.
Was that you trying to correct the phone in MM?
Because the edits are still pending and then bot re-added the wrong #.
Plus in MM there is no suite.

(Don't try to edit in MM, it's complicated. Just fact finding right now.)

Plus up until recently they had City in Title, which is a major violation.
It's still in MM as a secondary name.
 

Kristen

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Hi Linda,

Thanks so much for your quick response. One of the keywords that dropped was "home care", among others.

The address was hidden because of Google's terms of service that stated businesses should hide their listing if they service customers primarily outside of their location. I understand they were penalizing listings that didn't follow this TOS. However, I recently changed this because I noticed everyone that was outranking us was showing their address.

And yes, the suite is on line 1. Should it not be?

I have never edited anything in mapmaker, all edits were made in the back end dashboard. Where do you go to see what edits have been made?

You mentioned "Plus up until recently they had City in Title, which is a major violation. It's still in MM as a secondary name."

Do you mean Racine was in the title of Google local listing? We've had lots of problems with Google displaying the incorrect information including adding things like business name + city, which I have no idea where that came from.

Thank you again for your help. I appreciate it more than you know!
 

Linda Buquet

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"The address was hidden because of Google's terms of service that stated businesses should hide their listing if they service customers primarily outside of their location. I understand they were penalizing listings that didn't follow this TOS. However, I recently changed this because I noticed everyone that was outranking us was showing their address."

Do they have a commercial office? Not home office? Is it staffed during business hours? Secretary or something? Then they don't need to hide address and should not. That rule is mainly for businesses like plumbers with a home office and if customer drove across town they'd wind up at an apartment, not office, and no one would even be there because the plumber is always on-site.

But even though their service is on-site, I assume they have an office where I could come in and discuss my Father's needs and talk to someone right? Since they show office address on the site, I assume it's commercial walk-in office?


"And yes, the suite is on line 1. Should it not be?"

Yes it's a guideline violation. Suite is supposed to go on line 2. BUT I'm not sure I'd change - at least don't yet. Changing can cause all kinds of problems like lost reviews and rankings BUT leaving on line 1 can cause problems too. (See how this listing was dropped in middle of ocean near Africa due to suite line 1.)
So it's tricky. On new listings set up right. On existing listing set up wrong, it's a judgement call that needs to be carefully weighed. SO DON'T CHANGE YET. Like I said I'm just fact finding so needed to ask. (FYI I cover all this stuff IN DETAIL in my training verbally by phone, it's just hard with my carpal problems to try to type out and explain all these things individually.)

Here is listing in MM: Google Map Maker DO NOT EDIT THERE - It's really complicated.
But REALLY need to learn how to use MM as a diagnostic tool for research and troubleshooting.

Click Details, then History below. Then you can see all the changes that have been made. Some by Google employees and many by BOTS. Then click more at bottom to go to next page.

After you answer the other Qs above I'll dig back in to look at what could be affecting ranking but I'm buried so may not be for a day or two. (Bump this post to remind me if I don't come back to it. Trying to help lots of people here and at the G forum plus trying to keep up with clients too, so juggling lots of balls.) :)
 
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Linda -

"Suite is supposed to go on line 2. BUT I'm not sure I'd change - at least don't yet. Changing can cause all kinds of problems like lost reviews and rankings BUT leaving on line 1 can cause problems too."

Have you dealt with any cases where a business gets a new suite number, in order to differentiate themselves from other businesses in a building? I've been thinking about this lately and though it's slightly off topic, I thought I'd bring it up. In your experience, does adding a previously non-existent suite number hit Google as a complete change of address (causing losses like you described above in the suite line 2 famous problem) or do you think the business would be likely to maintain its reviews and rankings. Also, have you experienced it triggering re-verification needs?

Would love to know your thoughts.
 

Linda Buquet

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Hmmm, I do understand the Q and the type of situation you are likely referring to. But I can't think of any specific cases I've worked on to give you much of an answer.

I mean I've seen posts in the G forum where folks have asked "How about if I add a suite?" Either to help try to avoid merges or appear to be a separate address. I just don't think I've seen anyone talk about HOW they did it, what happened after they actually did it or IF it caused problems.

What I recommend is - use the handy dandy Notepad feature above to give yourself a reminder. Then repost this in it's own thread Monday. (Cuz no one hardly visits weekends.) Give a good short descriptive title. Then I'll tweet it to see if we can get some answers. I can also ask our 2 members that are MapMaker Google Expert Reviewers to weigh in as they would likely have some feedback for you.
 

Kristen

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Hi Linda,

Thanks for the heads up on the hiding address issue. Hopefully when all this gets straightened out, I'll see a bump in rankings.

They do have a commercial office, so I'll leave it as is. I've always heard the address should be hidden if the office is not the primary location where customers are served.

When would you suggest I change the suite number issue?
 

Linda Buquet

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Can you give me better idea of recent timelines?

Ranking dropped beginning of Oct?
When did phone get fixed?
When was address hidden?
When was address added back in?
Any other big changes shortly before ranking dropped?

BIG QUESTION - has the other company deleted this listing from their account?

When would you suggest I change the suite number issue?
Not sure you should. It's a double-edged sword. Changing could lose reviews and ranking. (But in this case I guess there are no reviews and they are not ranking anyway.) On other hand, not changing could cause other problems.

I'm clear on this. If you set up new listings put Suite on line 2. But listings that already have suite in the wrong place it's tricky to change and is an unknown as far as what will happen. I've seen a variety or problems happen when suite is moved to line 2. So I hesitate advising.
 

Kristen

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Can you give me better idea of recent timelines?

Ranking dropped beginning of Oct?
When did phone get fixed?
When was address hidden?
When was address added back in?
Any other big changes shortly before ranking dropped?

BIG QUESTION - has the other company deleted this listing from their account?

Not sure you should. It's a double-edged sword. Changing could lose reviews and ranking. (But in this case I guess there are no reviews and they are not ranking anyway.) On other hand, not changing could cause other problems.

I'm clear on this. If you set up new listings put Suite on line 2. But listings that already have suite in the wrong place it's tricky to change and is an unknown as far as what will happen. I've seen a variety or problems happen when suite is moved to line 2. So I hesitate advising.

Thanks again for the quick replies Linda. As far as timeline, looking at the impressions, it looks like September 28th was the last time the page got any decent impressions, so the 29th was probably when it lost rankings. The phone has been a back and forth battle of changing it to the correct number, so there's not any certain date when it was corrected.

The address was hidden around July, but I don't think that would be connected with the loss in rankings since the change was done awhile ago. I added the address back in on Friday. There aren't any other major changes that I can think of that would affect rankings.

And yes, I have double and triple checked that the other company has deleted the listings. I think this has been a major cause of problems from day 1. Finally, they get it and they've deleted the listings completely.

You know, I think at this point, I really don't have a whole lot to lose when it comes to the debate about changing the suite number to line 2.

One other odd thing is that when I look in the back end at the local analytics, it shows more actions than impressions. They show 5 actions, but 0 impressions on October 5th for instance.

If you have any insight on this, I'm all ears. Thank you again for your help.
 

Kristen

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Hi Linda, just wondering if you've had a chance to review my feedback. One new update on this is that my other client in this BrightStar franchise has seen the "we currently do not support this location' message. I'm wondering if these issues for both these businesses have to do with the suite number being on line 1, not 2.

I was working with a Google employee on this other franchise's place page, trying to get the information corrected, so perhaps instead of helping me fix the issue, he flagged the listing?
 

Linda Buquet

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Sorry jumping around trying to help too many folks at different places. :eek:

One other odd thing is that when I look in the back end at the local analytics, it shows more actions than impressions. They show 5 actions, but 0 impressions on October 5th for instance.

If you have any insight on this, I'm all ears.
I've seen this reported on the G forum often but don't remember the explanation. But from what I remember there is a reasonable explanation and it's nothing to be concerned with.

Hi Linda, just wondering if you've had a chance to review my feedback. One new update on this is that my other client in this BrightStar franchise has seen the "we currently do not support this location' message. I'm wondering if these issues for both these businesses have to do with the suite number being on line 1, not 2.

I was working with a Google employee on this other franchise's place page, trying to get the information corrected, so perhaps instead of helping me fix the issue, he flagged the listing?
Should not have flagged or removed listing just for that reason. Was city in title field or anything on this one?

Well the ticket there is, if you are already connected with support you need to reply back, let them know and ask for help since they are already familiar with that case.

Because the troubleshooting path for undiagnosed "do not support" issues, is to be sure you comply with guidelines, then use troubleshooting to reach support and report listing missing so they can investigate. But if you already have a support rep then you can bypass all that and not have to wait in line and just reply back to support via email.
 

Kristen

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Thanks Linda. I don't think there was anything at the time they evaluated the listing like the city in the business name. We've never done that, but there have been all sorts of names for this business that have spontaneously appeared over the past few months.

The one thing the Google support rep said is that we have multiple listings in the account, which we had marked as suspended. I was taught to claim the listings and then suspend them but the Google rep said you should report them as a duplicate listing instead of claiming/suspending them.
 

Linda Buquet

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I was taught to claim the listings and then suspend them but the Google rep said you should report them as a duplicate listing instead of claiming/suspending them.
Many were taught that way. It no longer works and is no longer recommended AND can cause problems.

This guy just posted at the G forum today: Account Suspended for the second time - Google Groups

"The first time our account was suspended due to having multiple location registered in the account. for example every time we found a duplicate listing we would claim them and suspend them which caused us to get our account suspended."
 

Kristen

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That's interesting. It sure would be nice if we had a single resource that we could count on for regular Google updates when they change their policies! :)

They could probably reduce so many issues claims if they released an ongoing list of updates.

Thanks again for your help. I was poking around on the Google forums today and your name kept popping up! You do spend a lot of time helping others, you are very generous with your time.
 

Linda Buquet

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That's interesting. It sure would be nice if we had a single resource that we could count on for regular Google updates when they change their policies! :)

They could probably reduce so many issues claims if they released an ongoing list of updates.

Thanks again for your help. I was poking around on the Google forums today and your name kept popping up! You do spend a lot of time helping others, you are very generous with your time.
True about Google and updates. IF there are any that they share, they will normally post them as stickies at the forum so good to keep eye out there.

I'm not so sure I'm that generous. I think compulsive is more like it. Just kinda driven to help people to the point that sometimes it's like a curse. :eek: I always have to fight with myself to make time to take care of clients and am trying cut back on all my volunteer work. :p
 

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