Bobbie Grennier does Google Search Marketing, My Business/Places Optimization, Google+ Local SEO. Google Local Pro offers Advanced My Business Consulting and Santa Cruz Web Designer, Local SEO, Internet Marketing.
Google Local Specialist, Linda Buquet has posted a great article outlining the problems with she refers to a “hidden merged dups” on some Google Places accounts.
I call it a hidden merged dupe, but another term for it could be dual claimed listing. Warning this issue can be EASY to miss and it’s a listing killer! It’s also a serious guideline violation.
Google’s guidelines are pretty clear on the topics… “Do not create more than one listing for each business location, either in a single account or multiple accounts.” But, what frequently happens is that business owners, their webmasters and the crappy SEO companies that they hire all cheat the system trying to get more than one listing. I see a lot of duplicate (dups) Local listings and believe me, as Google Mapmaker, I report them. Google is very fast at getting rid of the dups, and cheaters.
Hidden Merged Dups
Dealing with a client who has multiple listings is a nightmare. That’s why all the Google Local Specialists charge a lot for this service. It’s tedious and time consuming, and it takes months and months to try and resolve it. Worse case scenario, it might not get resolved because Google is under no obligation to work with us. We are at their mercy, unless you hire Google Local Pro who knows how to work with Google and knows exactly what it is that Google wants. Hire someone who doesn’t know this stuff and you run the risk of loosing your Google everything forever. It’s that extreme!
According to Linda, Google allows you to reclaim a listing. BUT realize that if you claim a listing that’s already in another account, NOT ONLY IS IT A VIOLATION but the other problem is - that listing is ALSO IN PARTIAL CONTROL! So if there are violations in the other listing or NAP is different, it can keep changing your listing or cause a penalty.
Often when you account is having some issues, like you profile photo not showing with regard to your Authorship settings, it’s an indication that you’ve got something like a “merged dup” going on. The problem you can’t see them because they don’t show live, yet they exist to muck up your account. So, what to do when you’ve got a “dual claimed listing”?
There used to be one visible sign of a potential problem. Back when Google showed all the cats (categories), if a listing had 7 – 10 cats that was almost a sure sign. But now even in “edit details” she usually only shows 5. The other obvious symptom to look for that is still visible and pretty reliable is if the “respond to reviews” link is missing in the old Places dashboard.
Dual Listing Suspension
If it’s me working for you, I personally get involved with Google and try to work out these issues for you. It takes a lot of patience. Google’s response time is very slow, and they don’t work for you or me. So, it takes a lot of finesse and skill in negotiating a resolve to your account’s problems. In the end, its well worth the investment because to get great rank on Google means a huge amount of potential clients and customers will find your business, and that’s a great return on investment.
Google Local Places SEO in Mountain View , California
. Santa Cruz, CA, 95062 USA
firstname.lastname@example.org • (831) 854-7447