New Service to Help Correct Malicious Edits on Google My Business Listings

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
3,208
Steady Demand has a new service for businesses who are looking for help monitoring and protecting listing changes from competitors to their Google My Business listings. They monitor for changes and make sure to correct them.

It also also designed to help businesses who are prone to get suspensions and they'll help you file for reinstatement at a reduced rate (They currently have a 100% success rate). Also, if you are not in compliance, Ben will work with you to bring you in compliance with GMB guidelines.

Do you have questions for Ben about this new service? Please post them here.


1568660581058.png




This post was brought to you by our promoted posts series.
 

SmallBizGeek

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2017
Messages
49
I cannot believe how easy it is to edit public listings.

A local business here where I live recently closed, so I marked the business as "closed" on Google Maps. The edit i made did not even go for review in some kind of moderation queue.

My edit was live within seconds and the listing was removed. Granted, it was correctly removed, but the fact it happened so quickly shows me it could just as easily been a competitor taking out a rival.

I tested my theory and marked another business as "closed" on Saturday. Sure enough, my edit was instant. I wait a while to see if it really was live. I even logged out of my Google account to be doubly sure.

Shocking. Naturally, I rectified my edit, but for a brief moment, I realised how delicate this Google local business ecosystem really is.

I immediately went and checked my own listing to make sure everything was as it should be. Some business owners never look at their Google listings, nevermind their GMB dashboard, and yet the phone could be ringing much less if this kind of thing goes on.
 
Joined
May 21, 2013
Messages
39
Ben Fisher successfully helped me with a slightly different issue, a client whose GMB had been verified by postcard PIN but was languishing in "pending" status for over 5 weeks, despite the fact that it was supposed to be visible within 3 days. Despite my best efforts in terms of contacting Google by phone and email, I was unable to resolve the issue. The folks in India that I spoke with kept saying that it was a technical problem and that they had "elevated the issue to their engineers." Needless to say, my client was not happy and assumed I was doing something wrong. Ben was able to solve the problem for me very quickly. If you are experiencing any issues with a GMB suspension or listing in "pending" status, I highly recommend that you work with Ben. Better yet, use Ben's GMB Listing Assurance Program to monitor for and fend off problems in the first place.
 

ssjd2000

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2019
Messages
19
My GMB was suspended today due to quality issues, but I have no idea what it could be.
How do we find that out and can Steady Demand help us know what needs to be corrected?
 

Heidi Powell

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Messages
13
We have a client whose GMB listing disappeared. It's been there for many years and had many good reviews. This happened right after they canceled their website with a major phone book company. The domain had to be transferred and was. There was no down time of their website in the transfer. We are thinking something malicious may have happened here as the phone book rep had control of the listing. Is there a way to contact Google to try and get it back? In the meantime they created a new listing and it is live. If the original listing still existed wouldn't the new one would have been flagged as a duplicate?
 
Last edited:

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
3,208
Hey Heidi,

The phone book company should not have been able to delete the listing. They may have changed it or unverified it but it's hard to say without knowing the details of the business you're referring to.
 

Heidi Powell

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Messages
13
Hey Heidi,

The phone book company should not have been able to delete the listing. They may have changed it or unverified it but it's hard to say without knowing the details of the business you're referring to.
Is it possible that I could send you that info in a private message?
 

Heidi Powell

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Messages
13
Thank you @JoyHawkins
As per our private conversation, I am sharing the full details...

NAP
Name: Whatcom Windshields
Address: 4120 Meridian St. #140 , Bellingham, WA 98226
Phone: 360-738-9795

DOMAIN
Website:Whatcom Windshields Repair & Replacement | Bellingham, WA | Auto Glass

FB
I’m including in case the conflicting info could point to a reason
Facebook page with wrong website URL listed, a different phone number & no account access because nobody knows who controls it:


MISSING GMB
Their "missing in action" GMB listing had been there for many years (In business since 1992). The last time we saw it in search was in August and there were 20 reviews. We don’t manage it for them. They just made the discovery a few days ago that it’s gone. They noticed a drop in business and went to see if they still showed up in search. I have a sort of cut off printout of the SERP with the listing showing and I will attach a pdf of it. Since we aren’t managing the listing, I didn’t go back to check on it after printing the page back in August. Happy now that I put it in their file for reference.


NEW GMB
The GMB listing created a couple of days ago is live. It hasn't been verified and is displaying "claim this business”. They are waiting for the verification postcard to arrive. I would have stopped them from creating a new GMB listing if I had known in advance they were doing that. It feels to me like it muddies the water. I feel so bad this has happened that I started to add images to the listing but stopped myself from doing so. If by some form of magic we can get the original listing back I will add images to it in honor of celebration. (Let me know if you think there is a chance and I will tell them NOT to verify it yet.)


WEBSITE HISTORY
We sold Whatcom Windshields a new website on September 6, 2019. Their website provider at the time was ~Yellow~Book’s~Hibu~ (from here forward will be referred to as “Provider”). The website Provider was also in control of our client’s same name domain (housed at Tucows) and in control of their GMB. A few days after the sale, a written, signed by the owner “website cancellation letter” and domain ownership transfer request was sent to their “Provider” by Registered Mail return receipt requested (mailing request was as per the “Provider’s” written instructions on how to cancel). The letter was received and signed for on Sept. 12, 2019. *I am attaching jpg images of front & back of the signed return receipt.


TICK TOC
By the end of October we were still waiting for their “Provider” to send the transfer code for the domain but nothing was happening. The owner had email & phone communication with acknowledgment of their website cancellation but the “Provider” was not making available the domain transfer codes that had been requested. With the website we built being long overdue to deliver, we published the site Oct. 24, 2019 on the dot net version of their name. This was meant as a temporary fix until the dot com transfer was realized. After repeated phone calls to the “Provider”, eventually we were sent the transfer code. After entering the transfer code it took over a week for the transfer to complete which is longer than transfers from other providers have taken in the past. Finally, the transfer was completed on November 18, 2019. But hold the horses…as soon as we had access to the DNS I went to republish the website on the dot com but got an error telling me that the domain already existed on the platform. What we discovered was even though Whatcom Windshields had cancelled their website, the “Provider” had left the domain attached to the website which was also built on the same platform we use. In order for us to publish the site using the dot com domain the “Provider” needed to disconnect the domain from the old website. Yeah right. Chances of that were slim and none. Instead, the platform developers worked with us and provided text which we added as a DNS record which verified ownership of the domain and we FINALLY were able to publish the site on the dot com and set the dot net as an alternative.


Through all of this, we were not aware that the “Provider” also had control of our client’s GMB Listing. We were made aware of it when they discovered the listing has disappeared. Now, there are only two things that make sense to me that could have happened: 1. The “Provider” purposely sabotaged the GMB listing or 2. Because the “Provider” never disconnected the cancelled website Google saw two website versions (dot com and dot net) and removed the listing as a punishment. Without control of the listing there’s no way for us to know if any communication was sent by Google.


There you have it. Can something be done about this or for a better choice of words "undone"?

Screenshot 2019-12-18 02.42.06.png


Screenshot 2019-12-18 02.42.30.png
 

Attachments

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
3,208
This is my suggestion.

It looks like you need to request GMB reinstate the old listing. I'd suggest contacting GMB support. Give them this URL as it contains the place id: Google Maps

You can also mention there were a ton of reviews on the listing. They should be able to get them back as well.

If you want to post this over at the GMB forum, I can also ask Google to do it for you but you'll need to list the details of the listing in a public thread. Community forum - Google My Business Help
 

Heidi Powell

Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Messages
13
This is my suggestion.

It looks like you need to request GMB reinstate the old listing. I'd suggest contacting GMB support. Give them this URL as it contains the place id: Google Maps

You can also mention there were a ton of reviews on the listing. They should be able to get them back as well.

If you want to post this over at the GMB forum, I can also ask Google to do it for you but you'll need to list the details of the listing in a public thread. Community forum - Google My Business Help
I think I read your other reply too fast! Multitasking and missed where to post...on my way now, thank you!
 

  Weekly Digest

Weekly Digest
Subscribe/Unsubscribe

Trending: Most Viewed

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...

  Local University Guide

Google Product Exert


Top