Someone trying to change GMB location name, EVERY DAY

Tim Colling

Moderator
Local Search Expert
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
1,114
Is this happening to anyone else?

I have a client that has numerous, legitimate branch offices, each of which is separately licensed under the name of the company plus the city in which the branch is located. So for example, imagine that the company is called ABC Hospice and they have licensed branch offices in several cities, including, for example, Loveland.

The GMB location name for that one was created with the title "ABC Hospice - Loveland", the name on their license. (Remember, these are made up example names).

And then this began happening last week:
  • Every day now I'm receiving notifications from Google that the name has been changed from ABC Hospice - Loveland to just plan ABC Hospice.
  • Every day, I have been changing it from ABC Hospice back to ABC Hospice - Loveland.
  • Rinse and repeat, every day.
Either Google itself is very determined to make this change, or else a competitor has either an automated process or a human suggesting this change day after day after day, over and over again.

Is anyone else seeing this happen right now?
 

Colan Nielsen

Administrator
Joined
Jul 19, 2012
Messages
3,295
Hi Tim,

If it's happening that frequently I doubt it is Google making the change. I have come close to having success reporting "malicious" edits but in the cases I was dealing with it was a more malicious edit such as a category change.

You could report this to Google and if the edits are coming from the same profile they theoretically could take some action. However, Google would likely take what the business name is listed on signage over what's on the licence. So unless the city name is listed with the business name on signage, website...etc it might not be worth the effort reporting it.
 

Yan Gilbert

Administrator
Joined
Oct 15, 2016
Messages
259
Agree with Colan about the signage. If you do want to report and the outdoor signage doesn't have the location name on it, then add a few images into the GMB listing of things like letterhead, or the actual license showing the full legal name. I have seen this work when I have been on the opposite side of the battle.
 

sarmcl

Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2017
Messages
57
You are probably getting spam audited. People have been told in webinars to do this if they feel competitors are trying to rank for keywords. BUt if its happening over and over that is kind of odd. Is it on every location?
 

BenFisher

Local Search Expert
Joined
Nov 19, 2015
Messages
287
In addition to what Colan is saying, I have successfully had Google lock edits on a profile when there is this pattern of abuse. Document the edits with the time and take screenshots, then document the fact that you discard the edits and ask Google to take a look and ask they lock changes to the name.
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,580
@Tim Colling, it sounds like you're at the receiving end of "spam patrol," perhaps of the kind I often suggest to people and help with for certain clients. (That's just my term for the process of submitting edits on competitors' GMB pages to make sure they align with GMB policies; I am not saying you're spamming or anything.)

I'm not clear whether, in your example, "Loveland" is part of the legal, licensed name of the business. If it isn't, whoever's giving you a hard time with the edits has a leg to stand on.

If you've noticed that Google approves your edits to your client's name, and the name is changed only some time later, then you can be pretty certain the back-and-forth is because of a competitor and not because of Google's auto-updates.
 

Den

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
15
I'm not clear whether, in your example, "Loveland" is part of the legal, licensed name of the business. If it isn't, whoever's giving you a hard time with the edits has a leg to stand on.
It sounds to me like "Loveland" is part of the licensed name. ->
each of which is separately licensed under the name of the company plus the city in which the branch is located.


If I may add on a question to that, as long as the business is licensed under that name it doesn't matter if it is not included on signage, website, etc?
 

Den

Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
15
Google will typically accept the "real-world" name (signage, website, BBB..etc) over the business licence.

Do they also accept the reverse? Licensed business including a location but signage, website, etc does not include that?

Maybe it's obvious but I've never felt sure about that
 
Joined
Jul 8, 2015
Messages
10
In addition to what Colan is saying, I have successfully had Google lock edits on a profile when there is this pattern of abuse. Document the edits with the time and take screenshots, then document the fact that you discard the edits and ask Google to take a look and ask they lock changes to the name.
I didn't know locking was possible! Definitely will be of use especially for larger public places that have constant nefarious edits trolling.
 

MizMolly

Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2015
Messages
7
My understanding is that the business name (especially for franchises/chains etc) was the correct name and that the location is not usually part of the business name. I make these sort of edits regularly as a Google Local Guide (not as a competitor), as I see it as trying to influence the results.
 
Last edited:

brettmandoes

Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2018
Messages
65
Some services that automate business listings will push out info every day to GMB. So as long as your database is correct and it's plumbed in via API, your business information will trump any edits and it'll do so automatically. So whether it's a "spam patrol" or something like one of Google's business partners (like SinglePlatform - they're tied in to GMB and they push edits regularly and automatically) you'll have an upper hand in dealing with it.
 

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