Merge or remove a business?

Larry

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
28
I need some advice on how to merge two businesses or have an old listing removed.

My client is a dentist located in Ajax, Ontario. I am trying to get them to rank in the local map pack results.

Their listing is claimed and I am listed as the Primary Owner.

They purchased the dental practice for a previous owner in 2017. The previous owner has a listing with a different Name, but the same address and phone number.

I have marked the old listing as duplicate several times but it does not get removed. I have been corrected the names of several SPAM listings which seem to get published very quickly but I cannot get Google to remove this listing.

I have been able to claim the previous listing and so I am listed as the Primary Owner of both listings.

I see an option in the GMB dashboard to delete the listing, but I understand that this will only remove the listing from my account, and will not remove it from Google Maps, or the search results.

How can I merge the listings or delete the old listing?

Thank you for your assistance.
 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
3,208
Hi James,

You won't be able to delete the old listing because it did exist at some point. You can only delete listings that never existed or that are supposed to be private.

There are three possible solutions to your scenario.

1)Mark the old listing as closed
2)Ask Google to merge
3)Ask Google to "Move" the old listing into the new one

I would start by contacting GMB support and asking them to move the old listing into the new one. Explain that if you mark it as closed it will be a bad user experience because you want the old patients to know that there is a new office here and that it's not just a closed dentist at the address.
 

Larry

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
28
Hi James,

You won't be able to delete the old listing because it did exist at some point. You can only delete listings that never existed or that are supposed to be private.

There are three possible solutions to your scenario.

1)Mark the old listing as closed
2)Ask Google to merge
3)Ask Google to "Move" the old listing into the new one

I would start by contacting GMB support and asking them to move the old listing into the new one. Explain that if you mark it as closed it will be a bad user experience because you want the old patients to know that there is a new office here and that it's not just a closed dentist at the address.
Thanks for your advice Colan. Much appreciated.
 

Larry

Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2013
Messages
28
Hi James,

You won't be able to delete the old listing because it did exist at some point. You can only delete listings that never existed or that are supposed to be private.

There are three possible solutions to your scenario.

1)Mark the old listing as closed
2)Ask Google to merge
3)Ask Google to "Move" the old listing into the new one

I would start by contacting GMB support and asking them to move the old listing into the new one. Explain that if you mark it as closed it will be a bad user experience because you want the old patients to know that there is a new office here and that it's not just a closed dentist at the address.
Success! I contacted Google Support via this link. Google returned my call almost immediately. I only had to wait 2 minutes and was connected with a very helpful support representative who had me mark the old business as closed and then had me remove the listing from my GMB Dashboard. He then immediately removed the business from the Map Pak and it shows up.

Thanks again Colan.

Thanks for your advice Colan. Much appreciated.
 

karenmitchell

Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
3
Hi James,

You won't be able to delete the old listing because it did exist at some point. You can only delete listings that never existed or that are supposed to be private.

There are three possible solutions to your scenario.

1)Mark the old listing as closed
2)Ask Google to merge
3)Ask Google to "Move" the old listing into the new one

I would start by contacting GMB support and asking them to move the old listing into the new one. Explain that if you mark it as closed it will be a bad user experience because you want the old patients to know that there is a new office here and that it's not just a closed dentist at the address.
Hi Colan, this is my first time posting and I am hoping that this is ok. I have a similar situation to James

1) Original listing is for a long established business in our area and is ranked #2 and is still getting a fair bit of traffic
2) A new owner purchased the business and rebranded and set up a new page in February, this page is ranked around #9.
3) Have spoken to Google about merging the new listing into the old listing with the hope of merging the reviews and getting some of the ranking as well.
4) As the business is still at the same location with the same phone number, not wanting any of the listings to appear as 'permanently closed'
5) There are a few examples in our local Google search pack of businesses that have re-branded but still have the original page listed, some are years old
6) Have thought about getting in touch with Google to update some of these old listings but on the same hand wonder if it is too soon to change the original page for this business that is ranked #2 and still getting traffic.
7) The owner of the business has access to both pages, although has only just realised that she did have access to the original business.

What would your advice be? Really would appreciate your thoughts.
 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
3,208
@karenmitchell is the old listing still generating business and not causing confusion among potential customers? If yes, it would be wise to leave it as is until the new listing ranks higher.

With that said, as you alluded to, you may benefit from Google combining the listings/reviews etc. So, it's a tough call. If it was me, I would work to have Google move the old listing into the new one.
 

karenmitchell

Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
3
Thanks Colan. I have a general question now about our local map pack for hair salon's.

*The top listing which is an established business has not even been claimed, there are many in the top ten that are old businesses from years ago etc. It would be good if it could all be tidied up. Currently I am listed as a manager of the business that I am working with.
*Have you got any suggestions are doing a big clean up of our local area? How come the top listing is not even claimed? There are nine businesses above the one I am trying to rank, some have no reviews or anything.
#As from the above information, the business I am working with was previously a long established business in the area under a different name and at #2 or #3.
*Do you think that as the new and old have the same address that this could be keeping the new listing low? Just not sure when to move the two listings as it is still well searched.
*Thoughts on doing a cleanup (perhaps if I was removed as manager first) and thoughts on two listings with different names but same address/phone affecting ranking?
*I am thinking of suggesting to my client to alter her business name legally to include our local area, there is a business with the same name in another town anyway. By changing it legally we could then change the GMB and Facebook names etc
Thanks. Karen
 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
3,208
Hi Karen,

Claiming a GMB page is not a ranking factor in and of itself. So it is fairly common to see unclaimed listings ranking well. It is the actions that a manager takes on a listing once claimed that has an impact (optimizing categories, GMB landing page..etc)

When you say "a big cleanup" are you referring to how to deal with listings that are no longer in business or not eligible for a GMB listing in one way or another?
 

karenmitchell

Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2019
Messages
3
Yes, referring to businesses that have either closed down or rebranded many years ago.

The listing that I manage appears to be dropping in the rankings so thinking it may be a good time to move the old listing into the new one as it would seem that having two listings with the same phone number and address, even though a different name, will be hurting the rankings.

What are your thoughts on having a website with the listing, I have seen situation's where a listing is high even without a website. Is it true that using a Facebook page as a website address will harm ranking? appreciate your assistance. Thank you
 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
3,208
For the businesses that have closed you can report them as "permanently closed". Yeah go ahead and go with contacting GMB support to see if they can move your old listing into the new one.

Regarding having a website. You're right, listings rank all the time that don't have a website attached to them. I wouldn't suggest using a Facebook page or any other social media profile as the main website in GMB because it is against the GMB guidelines.
 

JoshuaMackens

Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
1,824
Hey Colan,

If you're moving an old listing (better ranking) into a new listing (lower ranking), would you be concerned at all about the ranking passing from the old listing to the new listing? I used to not be concerned about this at all but since Google is much more specific on listings they'll merge vs close, I'm curious what your thoughts are?
 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
3,208
Hey Colan,

If you're moving an old listing (better ranking) into a new listing (lower ranking), would you be concerned at all about the ranking passing from the old listing to the new listing?
It's a risk for sure. But I think being proactive about doing things the right way works out more often than not. That's been my experience with the big G.
 

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