Google places issues and the dreaded 650 phone call


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racebum

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about one month ago i received a call that i assumed was a solicitor, turns out it was google, shortly there after my places location is gone, one of them at least.

after getting help in the google forum and writing to the local help email i get this in reply

Hello,

Thanks for contacting Google. After looking through your account and submitted issues it appears an Adwords rep was supposed to inform you that we have queued your listing up for reinstatement and are working on finding a permanent solution to prevent incorrect removals from occurring. We don't have a concrete timeline which we can give for this but we are aware of the problem. I'll do my best to follow up with you once your listing is reviewed.

Regards, Christian
The Google Team


what's the average wait time for something to happen? i'm still dead in the water


 

Colan Nielsen

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Really depends on a bunch of factors.

I've seen 1 month to 6 months+ before a listing is reinstated.

Again, there are many factors that would determine how long it could take.
 
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Hi Racebum,

Colan is correct...there is no standard timeline for this kind of thing. You could see action tomorrow, or it could take months, unfortunately. Sorry to hear of the hassle you are going through. I, too, am curious about the contents of the phone call.
 

racebum

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the phone call was basically:

hi this is google maps and we need to verify your address and ask you a couple questions.

me: we don't have a google maps account but we are in google places. if you were actually google you would know our address...click

shortly there after one of my my places pages vanished. linda told me about the hidden address catch and googles new policy probably being the reason for the call. that day i changed my address to hidden and tried every trick known to get my places page back to life. poking it, adding specials etc.

then i wrote google and they replied back with what i posted above.

the other thing about our business is that we have two places pages on the same url with different internal pages and in different cities. since google is now doing this service area radius thing i made sure to include this and tell them we really NEED to keep our main address {the one they killed} and if need be we can delete the second. my reasoning was that being as transparent as possible was a perk for getting this resolved.

haven't heard anything about it, just got the email that more or less said sorry we made a mistake, at least that's how i read it
 
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the phone call was basically:

hi this is google maps and we need to verify your address and ask you a couple questions.

me: we don't have a google maps account but we are in google places. if you were actually google you would know our address...click

shortly there after one of my my places pages vanished. linda told me about the hidden address catch and googles new policy probably being the reason for the call. that day i changed my address to hidden and tried every trick known to get my places page back to life. poking it, adding specials etc.

then i wrote google and they replied back with what i posted above.

the other thing about our business is that we have two places pages on the same url with different internal pages and in different cities. since google is now doing this service area radius thing i made sure to include this and tell them we really NEED to keep our main address {the one they killed} and if need be we can delete the second. my reasoning was that being as transparent as possible was a perk for getting this resolved.

haven't heard anything about it, just got the email that more or less said sorry we made a mistake, at least that's how i read it
It would be helpful to have a link to your business to help troubleshoot. It sounds like you have issues with duplicate or merged features. This may have been the reason for the call as they were attempting to figure out which listing was the correct one, etc.

However, given your comments it sounds like they your hanging up on them with a retort caused them to respond in kind by nuking your feature. I'm not sure why you wouldn't just tell them your address? Or explain that it was hidden and you don't feel comfortable telling someone you don't know your address?
 

racebum

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It would be helpful to have a link to your business to help troubleshoot. It sounds like you have issues with duplicate or merged features. This may have been the reason for the call as they were attempting to figure out which listing was the correct one, etc.

However, given your comments it sounds like they your hanging up on them with a retort caused them to respond in kind by nuking your feature. I'm not sure why you wouldn't just tell them your address? Or explain that it was hidden and you don't feel comfortable telling someone you don't know your address?
you're assuming i knew it was google. that was not the case. it's unheard of for a place like google to call small business...well unless you're on these forums. below is the dashboard, tried to post it larger but files are limited in size for attachments at 850px, you should be able to ctrl+ to zoom in. the top one, which is our main location is just dead with the no longer support this location message

i've had that places listing up 3-4 years. the only people calling claiming to be google are solicitors who often start with that pitch. fairly sure someone nailed it for not having the address hidden. another friend of mine had his listing kicked the same day and he also works from home with a service business.

site url is

Carpet Cleaning Hillsboro Oregon | Mountain View Carpet Care

secondary is

Carpet Cleaning Beaverton Oregon | Mountain View Carpet Care
 

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you're assuming i knew it was google. that was not the case. it's unheard of for a place like google to call small business...well unless you're on these forums. below is the dashboard, tried to post it larger but files are limited in size for attachments at 850px, you should be able to ctrl+ to zoom in. the top one, which is our main location is just dead with the no longer support this location message

i've had that places listing up 3-4 years. the only people calling claiming to be google are solicitors who often start with that pitch. fairly sure someone nailed it for not having the address hidden. another friend of mine had his listing kicked the same day and he also works from home with a service business.

site url is

Carpet Cleaning Hillsboro Oregon | Mountain View Carpet Care

secondary is

Carpet Cleaning Beaverton Oregon | Mountain View Carpet Care
Looking at your site its clear you likely got dinged for hanging up on them combined with running a Service Area Business from your home without a store front for a business that doesn't typically have storefronts. You didn't hide your address. Having two locations (with phone numbers that are hidden in images) for essentially one business location listed on your About Us page is also is spammy in Google's book. I'd stick with one feature, delete the least legit one from your dashboard and check the language on your site as you write "we don't cut corners." If I were someone calling from Google I probably would have nuked at least one of your features as well.
 

racebum

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so that big blabber of text is saying a service area business is suppose to have one location now?

okay, again, recent, again, wasn't the case 3-4 years ago

i wrote the whole deal out to google help and haven't heard anything besides what i posted back. if i can get our main location revived i can delete the other and just have my partner start his own business {the other address} i let him work off the beaverton phone number since this page was ranking and it seemed easy enough to do.

that said, based on the reply they sent me i can't quite figure out where your replies are coming from even though i do see the point. their reply was that they are que'ing for resubmission even using the words "incorrect removal"

isn't it likely they would have mentioned some of this, especially since i pointed it all out in the email i sent them?

my whole question was on time frame. it's one of those things that if i don't get fixed very soon i'm forced into starting yet another business and getting another phone line to be ranking by summer when things really take off.

i just wonder what in the flying fk google is doing calling small businesses. don't they have any idea that it's one of the biggest ways we get scam solicited? an official email either saying to expect the call or "please hide your address" or a list of new rules would be so much more productive than the countless threads of service business owners not actually knowing it's google and hanging up on them.
 

racebum

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Hi racebum,

FYI all, here is the post at the Google forum with more background info and posts from other folks that were involved and tried to help.

650 253 2000 called, places listing is no longer valid

Sorry I'm too tired to weigh in tonight, just wanted to fill in some blanks with things that have already been covered over at the G forum.
thanks again for the help, at least i'm getting replies and working though it. it's just down to what kind of time frame i'm looking at now and what if anything needs to be fixed.
 
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so that big blabber of text is saying a service area business is suppose to have one location now?

okay, again, recent, again, wasn't the case 3-4 years ago
Four years is an awful long time on the internet. I'm sorry you didn't realize it before now, but you do need to check on everything that is online, as the internet is constantly evolving.

i wrote the whole deal out to google help and haven't heard anything besides what i posted back. if i can get our main location revived i can delete the other and just have my partner start his own business {the other address} i let him work off the beaverton phone number since this page was ranking and it seemed easy enough to do.

that said, based on the reply they sent me i can't quite figure out where your replies are coming from even though i do see the point. their reply was that they are que'ing for resubmission even using the words "incorrect removal"

isn't it likely they would have mentioned some of this, especially since i pointed it all out in the email i sent them?
To be honest, I think they were just being good customer service people and saying "So sorry" since they saw you now had it fixed up. You definitely had multiple violations.

my whole question was on time frame. it's one of those things that if i don't get fixed very soon i'm forced into starting yet another business and getting another phone line to be ranking by summer when things really take off.
Most people would be up before then, but no one is going to give you that guarantee. However, yes, you cannot have two locations for a SAB without a storefront within a single metropolitan area. If you are going to have your partner split off into a separate company, it would need to be a clean split; as in you will need separate vehicles with separate names, separate business cards, separate websites, etc. You can't simply have him set up another business name to get another listing and then send out Mountain View Carpet Care crews. Reports back to Google of that would get both listings taken down.

i just wonder what in the flying fk google is doing calling small businesses. don't they have any idea that it's one of the biggest ways we get scam solicited? an official email either saying to expect the call or "please hide your address" or a list of new rules would be so much more productive than the countless threads of service business owners not actually knowing it's google and hanging up on them.
You are not the customer within Places. Google has basically offered you a silent partnership... you are both using Places to make money off of the end user. Part of the partnership was that you wouldn't pay anything, but you were responsible for keeping your listing up to date, and Google would do the rest. Over time you have not kept your listing up to date and now are in violation of the guidelines in multiple ways. Places/Local has not received any money from you and certainly does not have the budget to chase after tens of thousands of violators who have stopped updating their listing. Google could have simply deleted your listing. They called you to be sure; that is actually more than they had to do.

Once you're back up, obviously you should monitor the guidelines more often. I'd say that applies to every resource you are using, not just Places/Local.
 

racebum

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Four years is an awful long time on the internet. I'm sorry you didn't realize it before now, but you do need to check on everything that is online, as the internet is constantly evolving.



To be honest, I think they were just being good customer service people and saying "So sorry" since they saw you now had it fixed up. You definitely had multiple violations.



Most people would be up before then, but no one is going to give you that guarantee. However, yes, you cannot have two locations for a SAB without a storefront within a single metropolitan area. If you are going to have your partner split off into a separate company, it would need to be a clean split; as in you will need separate vehicles with separate names, separate business cards, separate websites, etc. You can't simply have him set up another business name to get another listing and then send out Mountain View Carpet Care crews. Reports back to Google of that would get both listings taken down.



You are not the customer within Places. Google has basically offered you a silent partnership... you are both using Places to make money off of the end user. Part of the partnership was that you wouldn't pay anything, but you were responsible for keeping your listing up to date, and Google would do the rest. Over time you have not kept your listing up to date and now are in violation of the guidelines in multiple ways. Places/Local has not received any money from you and certainly does not have the budget to chase after tens of thousands of violators who have stopped updating their listing. Google could have simply deleted your listing. They called you to be sure; that is actually more than they had to do.

Once you're back up, obviously you should monitor the guidelines more often. I'd say that applies to every resource you are using, not just Places/Local.

pretty much nailed what i've come to realize

it's mostly why i joined this forum. google specifically seems to keep evolving and changing things up. had i kept up i would have deleted the one location and hid my address. i don't want to make that mistake again falling victim to not keeping up with the times

could be worse i suppose. there are people in prison for violating laws that didn't use to be laws

that said, is there anything i can do to speed this process up? we've been down since dec-7

would absolutely LOVE another call since i now know they actually do call people...
 
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The people that call are not support, I refer to them as the Quality department. Only support can reinstate you. You are already in contact with them and will have to work with them. If they've said you are good to go and just have to wait, then there is nothing further to do but wait.
 

racebum

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The people that call are not support, I refer to them as the Quality department. Only support can reinstate you. You are already in contact with them and will have to work with them. If they've said you are good to go and just have to wait, then there is nothing further to do but wait.

is wait pretty much what you take from the email i posted on the first page and post of this thread?

that came from the local-help email
 

racebum

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and another cryptic email from google

"Hello,

The review process can be a time consuming affair and we are working on improving the times but for now we have no timeline to offer.


I do recommend deleting the secondary location from your account as the review team will likely see that as a violation. All you need to do is log-in to your dashboard, click delete, and choose to remove the listing from your account."

so it appears that google recommends going from one account with mediocre ranking to none rather than fix the original issue. i'm really at wits end at how to to communicate that the two just need to be switched. hillsboro needs to be live and beaverton canceled it took them seconds to kill hillsboro, i just don't quite get it.

i'm about 30 days from closing down completely and starting another business. phone has stopped ringing and i'm going under

for the next 2 weeks i'm going to spend at least 4 hours a day calling any google phone number that i can find. not going to go down without trying ...

what would happen if i just edited the address for the one live listing we have and changed the web url? would they just send a re verify post card and all would be well?

could it really be that simple to fix?
 

Linda Buquet

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I do recommend deleting the secondary location from your account as the review team will likely see that as a violation. All you need to do is log-in to your dashboard, click delete, and choose to remove the listing from your account."

so it appears that google recommends going from one account with mediocre ranking to none rather than fix the original issue.


No what they are saying is you need to delete Beaverton from account or you are considered to be in violation. Maybe if you get in compliance it will help once someone is ready to review your case again or once they figure out how to bring the hillsborough listing back.

i'm really at wits end at how to to communicate that the two just need to be switched. hillsboro needs to be live and beaverton canceled it took them seconds to kill hillsboro, i just don't quite get it.
That isn't going to happen. They don't switch listings. They also don't delete listings from your dash.

They are telling you YOU need to delete the 2nd one from your account. Then your account will be in compliance and whenever they can get the 1st listing to go live again... well you are at their mercy waiting for that to happen. But in meantime you have control over what's in dash and the 2nd listing needs to go.
 

racebum

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which kills off the few calls that come in. that's the catch. do i kill beaverton and reduce income that much more or.... i don't know what

also, why can't they switch listings? they killed hillsboro, how hard would it be to revive that one and kill beaverton

or just change the beaverton address to hillsboro? what would happen if i did that in the dashboard by the way? what would actually happen if i delete the dead hillsboro location and alter the beaverton one to the hillsboro address and change the url and phone number? if that triggers a post card that would be downright speedy compared to the stress waiting game

i'm not sure how much it matters, at this point i'm considering closing down. as i learn more about this it appears that it could be months, maybe never, i can't survive that long

talked to a few other guys in the industry and only one has been revived. he received another call from the 650 number and was up within the hour

the rest are starting new business names and starting from scratch again

it's been a month since they deleted me, i'm now living on savings and not working, not sleeping worth a damn and mapping out how much time i have before i lose my house
 

racebum

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few of the numbers i found if anyone else wants to try them too




if anyone else knows of a live person in places post it up, cell phone numbers, home numbers, work extensions etc
 
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