For many small business owners, Google My Business (GMB) is an amazing way of marketing. Having a Google My Business listed is one of the most effective ways for small businesses to improve their visibility in local search.
Without a GMB profile, small businesses will find it a great challenge to establish a local Internet presence, improve brand authority, and connect with potential customers. If potential customers have a hard time accessing your business, sales and pedestrian traffic will decrease.
So what do you do if one day, you go into your GMB list and find that your profile has been suspended? If you are looking for tips and advice on how to get your GMB profile restored, then you have come to the right place.
Below, we cover everything you need to know about GMB suspension, why your listing can be suspended and the different types of suspensions in the steps you need to follow to resolve the suspension problem.
Let’s get started.
Understanding Google My Business Suspension
Before we consider how to restore your profile with Google, we need to understand the nature of your business configuration. When your listing is suspended, you will find one of two types of suspensions on Google; soft suspension and hard suspension.
Soft suspension will result in your business not being proven. While you can still access your listing with the GMB dashboard, you will not be able to make updates to your listing. The GMB profile that appears in Google Search and Google Maps is also at risk of malicious editing.
The severe punishment for both, suspension, removes your GMB list from Google Search and Google Maps. In the case of a suspension, potential buyers will not be able to get your listing online.
Why did your GMB list get suspended?
Now that we have distinguished between the different types of suspensions, let us explain why the GMB listing was suspended in the first place.
Image Credit: Search Engine
There are a few events or actions that could cause GMB suspension, and often all of them violate Google My Business guidelines in some way.
Other reasons why your account may cause suspension include:
Doing more editing with Google Maps
Bad representation of your business on Google
Promoting illegal or fraudulent activities at GMB
Using spam or black hat SEO tactics (e.g. keyword)
Changing your store address
Invalid working hours
Creates multiple listings for the same business
Creating an unsuitable business account
Duplicate listing for the same business
You should also be aware that other business categories are also at risk of being suspended. Categories such as keys and plumbers are known to spam Google My Business into false listings, which puts these businesses at risk of being suspended.
Other high-risk industries include:
Pest control services
If your main GMB category is considered a high-risk industry, then you will want to study the next category.
How to resolve GMB configuration
When your listing is suspended, Google will notify you by email. Previously, account managers would not have known that their listing had been suspended until they logged into their GMB dashboard or noticed traffic jams or calls.
Image Credit: Search Engine Journal
If this is a problem for your GMB profile, you may want to resolve the issue by submitting a return form to Google.
But before jumping to conclusions, you need to be sure that you have solved the real problem. The best way to do this is to read the Google My Business guidelines.
You may find that you have unknowingly violated any of the Google rules.
You should also take this time to check your account details within your GMB dashboard to see which account components violate the guidelines.
For example, entering a Google Keyword keyword is a clear violation of GMB guidelines.
Photo Credit: Joy Hawkins via Twitter
Spam names found on the business name may lead to the suspension of GMB. This business will need to remove spam names from their account before submitting a return form.
Finding out what problems led to your suspension will help improve your GMB profile and recovery opportunities.
Once all issues have been discussed, you can submit a GMB refund request.
If your GMB listing has not been able to get a suspension notice from Google before, here’s how to avoid it You will need to answer a series of questions to prove your business is legal. Be completely honest with all your answers.
As part of your recovery process, you may be required to provide photos or screenshots of your storefront to verify its authenticity. Your photos will need to be of high quality and show relevant details like your business logo, street address, etc.
You may be required to provide supporting documentation to prove the legitimacy of your business. These documents may vary but include your business license, insurance documents, tax identification documents, and company video documents.
Once your complaint has been submitted, Google will review your refund request. You will receive an email from Google reviewing the status of your request. The recovery process can take up to two weeks.
If two weeks have passed and you have not received a response from Google, consider contacting GMB for an update. The best way to get GMB support is contact form. You can also connect with Google through social media via Twitter or Facebook.
Whatever you do, DON’T TRY to stop the creation of a new GMB list. Doing so will result in all of your hard-working updates disappearing from your GMB profile and any position-based content you have created your list before.
Feeling the suspension of GMB can feel like a winning experience. It is important to remember that a GMB account can be suspended for a number of reasons, some of which may be completely out of control.
By following the advice above and adhering to the Google guidelines, you are helping to set up your business to be a successful local search engine and ensure that your local marketing efforts never fail. Make sure you regularly check your account details to avoid that expensive GMB configuration