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Tips for a Safe Google Listing

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Tips for a Safe Google Listing Jade W. 4/8/13 2:15 PM

Introduction


We know that having an accurate page for your business on Google Maps is important to you; it’s important to us, too. We take providing accurate information to our users very seriously, and most listings on Google Maps point our users to legitimate local businesses like yours. We want to offer helpful and truthful information to users, and we also want to make sure that business owners like you can represent their businesses accurately. Below are some ways that business owners can protect listings they manage to keep them healthy and happy.


Keeping a Listing Safe


If the local Google+ page for your business currently exists, you can verify it and then help to manage it. This means that we will send a PIN number to your business phone or address that you can use to confirm that you’re an authorized representative of the business. After verifying, you can manage the page and provide updated information, if necessary.


Business owners are a busy group, and there are many third party companies out there who can help manage a page. Most of these companies use fair and rule-abiding strategies to help manage your online presence. There are some, however, who might be breaking the rules, which can ultimately hurt a listing. If a third party company violates Google’s guidelines, it can put the listing at risk. Some violations we’ve seen include creating multiple listings at fake locations or mail receiving agencies and hiring unrelated individuals to receive postcards at incorrect locations.


If you decide to work with an SEO to improve your visibility, do some research on the company before giving them any money. Please note that Google won’t call business owners and offer to improve rankings.


Protect your business’ address! We’ve seen cases where folks “loan” their business address to an unrelated business, which is against our guidelines. If someone approaches you and asks you to receive a Google postcard at your business address for him or her, do not do so and do not disclose a PIN. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be Google and asking for your PIN, don’t share it. Google may call to verify your business address or hours, but we will never ask for your PIN or passwords.


How to Escalate An Issue to Us


If you notice any suspicious listings or activity, there are several ways to escalate these issues to us.  If you see a page with incorrect information, let us know so we can correct it by reporting a problem on the listing or on Maps. You can also edit a page collaboratively using Google Map Maker. If the issues persist after a week, get in contact with our support team by telling us about data issues using our support troubleshooter. Don’t forget, you can also ask other business owners or experts for their advice on the Google and Your Business forum.


- the Local Search Quality Team + Jade