Google My Business, launched just over a year ago and integrated with all other Google services, gave businesses the opportunity to be easily searchable across multiple Google platforms (Maps, Google Search, and Google+, for example). It allowed customers to write reviews, gain accurate information about a business and its location, and interact with the business in real time. Many businesses, realizing the ever-growing influence of Google, rushed to claim their Google My Business pages so they wouldn’t be left behind. Some of those businesses heavily utilized this service, while some let their listings fall by the wayside in the midst of other priorities.
Google recently announced that it is unverifying inactive listings as of tomorrow, July 28th, a move that seems to indicate not only that Google is separating Google+ from Google My Business, but that Google may be moving away from Google+ altogether.
According to SearchEngineLand.com, an excerpt from a Google email that has been making the rounds across the internet forums and search blogs states that:
“In the past few months, you may have seen some changes in the look of Google+ pages that have been associated with Google My Business (GMB) accounts. These changes, including how we treat business pages without owners, are part of Google’s ongoing effort to simplify people’s experience with our tools. We are constantly working to provide only valuable and rich content to our users.
On July 28, Google will begin shutting down those GMB-associated Google+ pages that have not been associated with user accounts and are also not verified. You may find that some of your Business View tours also sit on such pages, but note that after this removal of unverified Google+ pages, the Business View tours will still remain available on Google Maps and Google Search.”
KEEP YOUR BUSINESS VERIFIED … TODAY!
So, what does it mean to your business to be “unverified”? For starters, once you lose your verification, it means your listing will be buried in the search engine results across all of Google’s platforms, making it even harder for customers to find you. Additionally, you will no longer be able to update your business information, access your GMB dashboard, or make other changes to your page. Finally, your listing may be completely deleted, in which case you’ll need reach out to Google to see if it can be resurrected (you may have to go through PIN verification again).
If you have already claimed your listing, log on now to confirm its current status. If you are currently unverified, you will need to contact Google (see below) immediately to find out if you can get verified over the phone. If this isn’t possible, you’ll be able to find out what other options you may have.
Events such as this serve as a painful reminder that businesses must actively manage both their websites AND their business profiles on a regular basis. In the case of Google My Business, it’s a good idea to spend a few minutes on prevention to avoid a few hours – or days – on a cure.
For our clients who have our actively managed SEO programs, it’s all done! This provides greater peace of mind for the owners of the websites we manage. For more information on keeping your website well managed and visible with Google, Yahoo and Bing, contact 1st Straw Marketing.
Source: SearchEngineLand.com, July 24, 2015. “Google to Shutter Orphaned Google+ Pages Next Week (July 28)”
Google My Business Support: https://support.google.com/business/contact/business_c2c_na?hl=en&cfnti=escalationflow.c2c&cft=5&rd=1