How to Prove My Virtual Office Meets GMB Guidelines

Remedy12374

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
14
I use a virtual office for my GMB office location in Dallas and have been there for 7+ years. We have local staff that meets in-person with clients at this location and we are staffed during the hours posted on our GMB listing. Additionally, we have a business license in Texas filed with the Office of the Secretary of State with this business address AND have our LLC filed with this business address.

My GMB listing was recently suspended and I'm wondering if the fact that I'm using a virtual office is the reason. Is there a way to help prove to GMB that I have staff at this location and that we meet with people in person, or is GMB just banning all use of virtual offices. I do believe that after reading the GMB guidelines that we are 100% compliant.

Thoughts on this? I would really appreciate any advice. Thank you in advance!
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
2,848
You probably can prove that you're staffed there but it will take a while and you'll have to go back and forth with Google providing lots of photos and videos. If there are a lot of other businesses making the same claim it makes the process even longer.

My advice is to never use shared offices, especially if you are sharing them with others in the same industry (because Google also filters these).

The likeliness that your listing will get suspended again in the future is also very high if you stay at the virtual office location.
 

Remedy12374

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
14
Sure thing. Well, the listing has been taken down so not sure how to give you the info you'd like - but I'll provide the basics:
website: www.PerfectResumeTX.com
Address and phone number of 214-431-5296, 3131 McKinney Avenue, Suite 600, Dallas, TX 75204. Been using the same address for like 7 years. Same address and phone number appears consistently on our Yelp page.

I organically rank #1 for my industry (resume writing service) despite the suspension) but my 180+ reviews and GMB listing are gone.

I'm going to be uploading photos of the interior and exterior of the building to the suspended GMB listing, as well as a video of my full-time employee working in her office. When I apply for reinstatement, I'm going to mention that I've added this stuff, and also provide my official business license number - I'm registered with texas and my biz license has the office address on it.

I'm hoping this will be enough to get reinstated. One thing I don't have currently is any signage inside my office. We just rent a generic office space - but again, my employee works there full-time at the hours listed on the GMB listing.

Anything else I can do?
 

Eric Rohrback

Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2012
Messages
1,005
I'm thinking that we're looking at an issue with two things:
  • Location (being a virtual office)
  • Industry (Resume writing)
When I checked for resume writing services in my area (Pittsburgh), most of the listings I see have their address hidden. Did you display yours?

Now, you'll probably respond by mentioning again that you do see clients at your location. While that is correct, you do have the listing at a virtual office location which Joy mentioned is bad in Google's eyes. They basically flag those spots and nuke businesses using them without much of a thought. It's not always fair, but most of the time those offices are used for spam.

The office you're at may have other suites that got nuked, so now the whole building is tainted. When I Google the location, I don't see your company appear in the top organic, I see this page. A little below that I see this law firm.

Outsider looking in, this isn't good. I can't verify that your business is actually at the address you listed, and it could be someone trying to game the system (though we know you're not).

When I pop into the maps... it gets a little worse. Look who else has your exact address:
All things considered, the address is working against you and is not a long term sustainable plan. You're better off using a hidden address (home or otherwise), and telling clients to meet you there when you book an appointment with them.

I hope this helps.
 

Remedy12374

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
14
Wow, I was traveling on Friday and didn't see these responses until just now. First, let me say how much I appreciate your time to review and provide feedback! I really appreciate it. I agree with everything you've said and it makes total sense.

I have just 3 more small questions:

1. If I hide my address, while I still come up in Google Maps along with my competitors?
2. Since my listing has been suspended, it looks like I don't have the ability to hide my address - but I can go in and "delete" it. Then, when I apply for instatement - I can explain that I have a "service area business" and that I have deleted my address. Just to clarify - this is what you are suggesting, correct?
3. I'd still like to apply for re-instatement because I'm hoping to get back my 150+ 5-star reviews. But are you saying that I should just forget about the account that got suspended, and start a new listing that hides my address?

Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks for your feedback Eric, Tim, and Joy!
 

Remedy12374

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
14
Eric - just to make my question clearer and easier to understand? Should I just delete my address on my GMB listing, and when I apply for re-instatement say that I'm a service area business? Should I still provide my business license info or does that not matter?

Or, are you saying that I need to start over with a new GMB account, and hide my address on a new account?
 

Eric Rohrback

Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2012
Messages
1,005
I think you should still try to apply for reinstatement. That's a lot of review to lose, so it's worth the effort to try and get those back.

Hiding the address will not have a negative impact to your page. If you don't have a "real" office, that's what you need to do in this case.

If you don't have the option to change the address, then yeah it sounds like Google is only giving you the option to delete the address to move forward.
 

Remedy12374

Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
14
Hi Eric, thanks again for the feedback. My only question is this. I deleted the address on my GMB listing as you recommended, and then when I filled out the reinstatement form, it required me to provide an address. So, I provided the office address that I have: 3131 McKinney Avenue, Suite 600, Dallas, TX 75204. I explained in the reinstatement form that I want to hide my address and be listed as a Service Area Business. (of course this 100% contradicts mt first reinstatement request that explains my office is staffed).

I'm wondering if listing that same address will be an issue - even if the address is not shown on my GMB listing? Because that address is still affiliated with that virtual office company?

Or, is having the address of a virtual office company only a problem when you have the address visible?

On the reinstatement form, should I have listed a different address? I didn't think it would matter since the address isn't listed, but I'm curious if I did that wrong.
 

Eric Rohrback

Moderator
Joined
Oct 3, 2012
Messages
1,005
In the past I've seen the office address itself is the problem, but it depends how that space has been used (e.g., did Google already nuke that office space). I think these things might be treated on a case-by-case basis, and it will also depend on the person reviewing the account.

There's multiple other businesses using the same suite address, so I'm not really sure how the Google rep will interpret who is really supposed to be there.
 

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