Remnant or Shell Google+ Pages? The Different Ways these Local Pests Get Created

Linda Buquet

Jun 28, 2012

We've been having a great discussion at the Local Search Pros Google+ Community about all those random pesky Google+ pages and all the different ways they get created.

The post also will help you learn to identify some of these pages and figure out how they were generated so you know how to get rid of them.

I wish Google would let me embed posts from my own community so I could put it all right here but they don't. So here are a couple choice quotes.

Lloyd Silver
Is this something like a pre-Google My Business local page that wasn't converted?

Can you tell if it's claimed/verified? Not sure if the website verification checkmark means that in this case.

And if it's a duplicate of a Google My Business page and they don't have access I presume just contact support for help?
What many don't realize is that unverified listings in dash and even suspended listings in GMB.... create G+ pages. Bare remnant pages basically.

See this old post with examples and how some of these end up getting created:
Nick Rink
Think some of these were created pre Google My Business. The ones I've seen were Pages created by the business owner before they realised they already had a Local Page. They claim & verify the official Local page and the one they originally created gets left dangling out there unverified and lonely. Best option is to just put it out of its misery!

Thx for the link to that old post +Linda Buquet , super useful ☺
Jeff Slater
We commonly refer to these as "Shell" pages. It is most likely leftover from Old Google Places. Lots of these pages slipped through the cracks when Google overhauled every Places listing into Google+ Local, especially if the business created a new G+ or GMB page in the last couple years.

If I had to guess, I would say they are pages that were once verified on Google Places with a separate account from the one currently used to manage the verified GMB page. Google Places used to allow multiple accounts to verify the same listing, and it's easy to guess how that could lead to problems.

Some glitch causes them to appear as shell pages rather than the unverified GMB pages that have the map showing instead of the cover photo. That's why I guessed that the listing may have been verified in Google Places years ago, since it has that goofy construction paper cover photo that verified listings usually get.

I have contacted Google about pages such as this, and they can be merged or deleted so that the URL for the shell page will redirect to the current, verified GMB page that Linda found. In my experience, Google Support is pretty swift and helpful with merging these shell pages into their GMB brethren. You may have to start an email thread with Google so you can directly supply them with the URL for the shell page; they are not always able to see the shell pages on their end.
Joy Hawkins
Or if a listing gets suspended for violating the quality guidelines the 2 split and you get left with a Google Places listing (no posts tab etc) and this nonverified plus page.
Yep I almost mentioned that too Joy. That's another way these sometimes happen. But not in this case since the G+ L page does have a follow button.
Ya they don't hurt ranking at all. BUT could it confuse a customer if they searched and found this mess?

Could they maybe end up following the wrong listing. Or not knowing which to follow so they drop it and don't follow at all? That's the only issue really and it's not a biggie because the optimized listing with a picture should stand out.
Great discussion! My first thought was that this must have been set-up as a brand page since it doesn't have the little map that an unverified local G+ page would have...
And that was just a few of the comments... it's a great discussion!

So the general consensus is these are not very discoverable and will not hurt ranking, so you could just ignore them. But if there is a mess of them like in the screenshot above and you are afraid it could confuse customers, then clean them up.

Head over to read the rest.

Note, the image above is from one of the original threads on the topic:
<a href="">Found Bunch of Duplicate G+ Business Pages</a>

What do you think?

Have you run into these pesky critters? How did you handle?

P.S. You can also find more advice I've written on this topic by doing a forum search for "remnant".
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Linda Buquet

Jun 28, 2012
This just came up again from a PRO who did not know about these pages.

So in reading this thread realized I forgot to link to one of the original threads on the topic.

<a href="">Found Bunch of Duplicate G+ Business Pages</a>

Added it to the top of this post.
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