Google My Business Listing Suspended?
Posted by Vega Workman on May 29th, 2021
For most small businesses, Google My Business (GMB) is their marketing lifeline.
Because it’s free, many local businesses rely solely on their Google My Business profile to generate traffic and calls, as well as to bring customers to their storefronts.
Marketers know it’s risky to put all of your marketing eggs in one basket.
But for a local business that has a limited budget - or no marketing budget at all - a free GMB listing is often all they have to promote their business online.
That means if the business has any problems with their Google My Business profile, it can have a significant negative impact on their business and cause immediate panic:
According to BrightLocal’s Google My Business Insight Study, the average business is found in 157 direct searches each month and 852 discovery searches.
This totals an average of 1,009 searches per month.
For most small businesses, that’s a lot of potential customers.
Losing that much online exposure can be disastrous - especially if they aren’t doing any other online marketing efforts.
When a business’ Google My Business profile gets suspended, it can literally make a company’s sales come to a screeching halt.
And a suspended GMB listing will cause the business owner a lot of stress and worry - especially when most aren’t sure why they were suspended in the first place.
What Is A Google My Business Suspension?
A Google My Business suspension is when your GMB listing is no longer visible on Google and Google Maps or you have lost control of your listing (your business listing is essentially “unverified” and you can’t manage it.)
You will know that your listing has been suspended when you see this notification in your GMB dashboard:
When your listing gets suspended, Google doesn’t tell you the exact reason why it was suspended.
GMB listings can get suspended for a variety of reasons - many of the reasons have to do with spammy tactics or if the GMB listing owner breaks Google My Business Guidelines.
Google can also give you a Manual Suspension if they review your listing and find an issue with it.
This review often comes after someone reports your listing through GMB’s Redressal Form.
It’s also possible for a user to report a listing on Google Maps or search through the Suggest an Edit feature.
If that person is “trusted” enough by Google, it is possible that their suggestion to remove the business listing or make negative edits could take effect almost immediately.
Suspensions can also happen after you make changes to your listing.
For instance, one of my client’s listings was immediately suspended after I changed his landscaping business from a storefront with a physical address to a service area business by deleting the address.
Immediately after I deleted the address from the listing, his GMB profile was suspended.
There are two types of suspensions:
- A hard suspension. - A soft suspension. What Is a Hard Suspension?
A hard suspension is when you do a search for your company’s name and city and your Knowledge Panel doesn’t show up online - which is a very bad thing because potential customers won’t be able to find your GMB listing on Google Maps or search results.
Hard suspensions usually happen when Google determines that your business doesn’t qualify for a GMB listing or if you’re using spammy tactics.
What Is a Soft Suspension?
A soft suspension is when your business’ Knowledge Panel still shows up online and you can access it in your GMB dashboard, but it looks as if it hasn’t been verified and you can’t manage or update your listing.
If you have a soft suspension, your GMB profile can be subjected to user suggested edits more easily - making it more vulnerable to incorrect changes and wrong information being displayed.
Also, some industries are more likely to get suspensions than others.
These categories are known to have more spam and fake listings, which makes them more prone to suspensions.
Google and SEO professionals have been trying to crack down on spammy and fake GMB listings, so if you’re in one of these industries, it’s very possible that someone will report your profile if you are violating any Google My Business rules.
These spammy categories are typically Service Area Business (SABs) and include:
- Locksmiths. - Lawyers. - Plumbers. - Pest control services. - HVAC. lizily br>- Etc. The Dreaded Google My Business Suspended Notification
If your listing hasn’t been suspended yet, you’re lucky.
Most listings at some point or another will face a suspension. (So it’s best to be prepared!)
Why would you get suspended?
If your GMB listing gets suspended, it’s likely that you have done something that looks suspicious, spammy or you broke Google My Business Terms of Service.
Google suspends listings for a variety of reasons - especially if you are violating Google My Business Guidelines.
How do you know if your GMB profile has been suspended?
Most business owners first notice a decrease in calls or visitors to their business.
They will then do a quick search online and may not find their listing at all or they will log in to their Google My Business dashboard and see a notification that alerts them that their listing has been Suspended:
That’s when you have to try and figure out exactly why your listing was suspended and begin the process of fixing the situation.
Determine Why Your Google My Business Listing Was Suspended
One of the main frustrations with suspensions is that Google doesn’t tell you why your listing got suspended - so it often becomes a guessing game.
For instance, if you are in a high-spam industry like lawyers, locksmiths, or plumbers, you might get your listing suspended just because of the industry you’re in.
If you sat down at your computer and made several updates to your Google My Business listing, that also can sometimes cause Google to be suspicious and trigger a suspension.
Here are some other main reasons why Google My Business listings get suspended:
- Keyword stuffing your business name. - Using a P.O. Box or UPS store address.
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About the AuthorVega Workman
Joined: May 29th, 2021
Articles Posted: 1