New Change: Google Removing Unverified Listings July 28th

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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13,313
So yes, I was correct in the post above. We were unsure for awhile but got confirmation that this already did happen.

However there has been some misinformation and misunderstanding about this.

We've been going back and forth with Google to try to get a better understanding and here's the important difference that was not clear from the original communication (in post #1) from the Business View team.

ALL unverified pages are NOT being deleted. In fact again, the listing data may still show up in search and maps, it's just the G+ pages that will not be visible.

But this ONLY AFFECTS SHELL PAGES. Google calls it a shell page if it's an empty page created by the algo, pulled from 3rd party sources.

Pages created by a person WILL NOT be removed, even if they are unverified.

Here is an explanation Google said I could share.

I asked Google: "So if someone created a listing years ago that was a dupe or they moved, but in either case they deleted it from their dash. It's no longer verified BUT because they originally created the listing, it will stand?"

Google replied:

Anything not created by a person AND not claimed will be deleted. Pages created by humans will stay.

Example: So if the page was originally created by Kelly (k@gmail.com) and she deletes it in her dash, it will stay in the local pack.

If however, there was already a shell page on Maps for her business and she simply claimed that page when she verified, the page will be deleted (because its unowned and was created by 3rd party data).
There has been lots more confusion about this and has taken a lot of emails and going round and round for all of us to understand. So there is more to it, but the quote above is essentially it.

Does that help clarify or raise more questions???
 

Eric Rohrback

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Oct 3, 2012
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1,020
Did G provide a reason why they wouldn't be removing all unverified pages? Seems kind of silly to keep abandoned/orphaned pages if they're not claimed. The "Shell" pages at least gave us an indication that NAP data was messy somewhere, and gave us a way to prove it needed to be cleaned up. Still seems a little odd to me.
 

freerunr

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Feb 7, 2013
Messages
101
The "Shell" pages at least gave us an indication that NAP data was messy somewhere, and gave us a way to prove it needed to be cleaned up. Still seems a little odd to me.
Agreed. The clarifying statement from Google seems to imply that they are wanting to rely on business owners more than third party data, and maybe that's further motivation for businesses to claim their listings. But if Google was going to remove all "shell" pages from Maps that were not generated by a person nor currently claimed, that would include a LOT of businesses, because I'm assuming there are still tons of listings for legitimate business that have not been claimed on Maps ("Let's Put Our Cities on the Map" seems to still be ongoing). Does that provide the best user experience? Maybe I'm missing something...
 

Linda Buquet

Moderator
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Messages
13,313
Thanks guys.

Due to all the confusion around this issue, Google just gave us some additional clarification.

In summary, “shell” pages were automatically generated by Google for certain locations that had never been claimed by a user. Instead of displaying that data on a Google+ URL we will be redirecting those requests to Maps.

Users have been able to find automatically generated Google+ “shell” pages for locations that had not been claimed by an owner. The links to these generated pages will soon stop showing up in search results and additional links to these “shell” pages on other Google properties will also be removed. In the future we will no longer automatically generate pages for unclaimed locations.

The guidance is still the same: business owners should claim their business and complete verification to edit their business information.
 

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