Recently, a visitor to our website asked a great question about getting Google My Business listings reinstated following repeated suspensions.
We offer a number of tips and tricks on pinpointing why your Google listing might have been suspended, what to do about it, and mistakes to avoid on your GMB listing, but our recent visitor wanted to know about back-to-back suspensions for a large number of listings.
“If a mass amount of listings were suspended (say, 250) and a person was able to get them reinstated, but then Google suspended them again, what is the likelihood that they could get those listings reinstated again?” she asked.
Google My Business Expert Danni to the Rescue
I checked in with Danni Petersen who manages the team that handles Google My Business listings. If anyone would have the answer, it would be Danni. She spends a good deal of her days on the phone with Google representatives working on behalf of our over 20,000 small business clients and is known for uncovering previously unannounced updates to policies and new features all the time.
It is possible to reinstate a Google listing after a suspension.
While it is certainly possible to reinstate a Google listing following a suspension, the likelihood of being able to reinstate hundreds of listings following a repeat suspension is unclear. The reason is that Google, as a matter of policy, will not reveal why a listing was suspended, to begin with. Not even for a single listing, let alone 250. They will only tell you that the listing was suspended for policy violations, and encourage you to apply for reinstatement after a thorough review of the terms of service.
It all depends on the issue that caused the suspension, which might not be so clear.
If your listings all share a single address or phone number, the issue causing the repeated suspensions might be quite clear. Google guidelines require each business listing to have its own phone number and address, so it’s unlikely that you’d be able to get such a business reinstated once, let alone twice, with such a blatant policy violation. If you’re breaking another policy by including additional keywords in your business name rather than using your registered business name, for example, that might also be a definite cause for the suspension.
Danni’s recommendation, in this case, is to review Google’s policies with a fine tooth comb and look for any red flags, no matter how obscure. When Google suspends a business, it does not necessarily look for all possible violations and then withhold reinstatement until the listing is in total compliance. It finds a reason to suspend the listing and will reinstate it once that issue is resolved. If a listing has numerous violations, it could take numerous rounds of suspensions to fix all the issues.
Another scenario could be that the listing was brought up to compliance, and thus reinstated, only to have Google change its policies, causing the listing to show the “Suspended for Quality Issues” notice again.
It could also depend on what kind of business was suspended.
Google doesn’t allow service area businesses without a storefront or office where customers can visit them to have Google My Business listings. It’s also against their guidelines for lead generation companies, such as lead gen campaigns for unlicensed locksmith schemes, to list their business on Google. If you’re one of these types of companies and Google suspends your listing, there’s no way to get Google to reinstate it. Even trying to change information to make it look like your business has a real location won’t ever get Google to reinstate your business listing permanently. Your best bet as a business owner is to use other online marketing techniques to promote your business.
With some hard work, you can reinstate your listings
While Google doesn’t make it easy to determine the cause for suspension, the good news is that it is possible to reinstate listings that they suspend for quality issues, even 250 of them.
Have a burning question on Google My Business, SEO, Website Development, Content Marketing, or other local online marketing topics you’d like us to answer? We’re always up for a little Q&A. Get in touch with us and let us know what’s on your mind.
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As the daughter of two serial entrepreneurs, Lexi grew up in and around small businesses and the people who make them tick. She joined BizIQ in March of 2015, bringing over ten years of experience in social media, content marketing, and online community management to the team! Lexi has a passion for helping small businesses grow through online marketing. She currently works to help get the word out about BizIQ as the Director of Marketing.