Isn’t it annoying to NOT know why your Google My Business listing suddenly got suspended and what you should do next to get it back ?
People search for everything on Google these days. There are 3.5 billion searches made on Google everyday. If your business is listed on Google My Business, you are easily visible to the customers searching for your products and services.
However, It can be a big problem if your Google My Business listing gets suspended, especially for the local businesses who get organic traffic from Google search results only, and have a limited marketing budget.
How do you know that your Google My Business is suspended ?
If you suddenly experience a lesser number of calls, inquiries, and visitors or you cannot find your profile on Google search results and cannot update it anymore, then probably your My Business account is suspended.
You can also check your Google My Business dashboard. If your listing is suspended you will have a notification that says “suspended”.
And when you click on “ Learn more”, you will see the guidelines on how to fix the Google suspension.
There are two types of suspensions that you can face:
1. Soft Suspension
When your knowledge panel still appears in search results, but you cannot manage your account anymore and it becomes unverified then it’s called a soft suspension. This type of suspension is rare.
Also, you won’t be able to edit your business information anymore, but random users would easily edit it, which is why you will have to resolve the problem as soon as possible.
2. Hard Suspension
A more common kind of suspension is when Google removes your business listing entirely. It doesn’t appear in search results and you cannot manage or update anything. This is called a hard suspension. Customers looking for you won’t be able to find you and you can lose valuable leads.
Why does Google My Business get suspended ?
To know why your Google Listing got suspended is a task in itself, as Google does not tell you the cause of it. It can be because you violated the Google my Business Guidelines or you did something suspicious.
There can be a number of reasons why your listing can get suspended. Here are a few of them:
- When you fall under the High-risk business category like: locksmiths or plumbers, lawyers, etc.
- Keyword stuffing – when you include a number of keywords in your business name or title, in order to get more visibility.
- Address of a P.O Box or UPS Store is used.
- When you try to change a lot of things in your listing in one go, Google can become suspicious.
- Your address is also used by another business.
- Duplicate or fake listings – when you register your business more than one time.
- Your listed address does not match the address on other platforms of your business, like: your website.
- When you claim to be open for 24 hours. The working hours that you list on your profile should be the timings during which your staff is physically present to help the customers.
- When you use the address of a virtual office – an office that has no physical location.
- You work at a co-working space that has a number of other companies.
- Simply a Google glitch.
How can you resolve this issue ?
After you see your suspended listing, the first thing that can normally come into your mind is to make a new Google My Business listing.
Let us tell you that, it will just complicate the situation.
Another thought that can confuse you is to fill up the re-installment form immediately, which is again a wrong step.
You need to follow the following steps in order to resolve your
- Identify the issue
The first step towards resolution is to identify the reason behind your account suspension.
Since Google does not mention the cause of suspending your My Business account, you need to identify the reason by yourself. You can go through the Google My Business guidelines and make sure that you haven’t violated any of them. You can also check the info section of your account and check for any mistakes.
- Resolve the issue
Once you identify the issue you need to correct it as well.
For e.g. if your business name has keywords, you have to remove it and update with only your business name.
If your business name or working hours differ from that on your website, you will have to update the same.
If you have set up multiple businesses at the same address, you will have to change that.
- Fill out the Reinstatement form
After corrections, you can fill out the reinstatement form.
Here, you will be asked a few questions and details that you need to fill before submitting it.
You will also be asked to mention the URL of your business profile link:
You can get the link of this from home page or info page of your business profile:
After this you will be asked to insert your registered phone number and relevant documents to prove your business is genuine.
Therefore you also need to be prepared with all the required documents to prove that your business is genuine.
This is an example of the mail that you receive after submitting an appeal for reinstatement.
- Expect a resolution within 3 working days
After submission you will have to keep checking your registered Email ID and your listing for any updates or changes. You can expect a success or denial within 3 working days.
The above image shows an example of an Email, when your account is successfully reinstated.
The above image shows an example of an Email, when your account is denied to be reinstated.
During suspension if you have lost all the reviews from your listing then you need to know that it will take a longer time to reappear after reinstatement.
Also, Before you fill out the reinstatement form, you can go to Google My Business Help Forum and submit the specifics of your suspension there. You can also seek an opinion on what may have caused your suspension and how you can resolve it.
What are the documents required before reinstating ?
Before you go for reinstating your Google my Business account, you need to make sure that you have all the following documents ready for verification:
- Address proof of the business.
- Business Licence/Business registration proof with the same address as on address proof.
- Tax papers with the same address as on address proof.
- Photographs of your business location, including a photo of the shopfront displaying your logo.
- Proof that you are solely owning the place.
You can also contact Google My Business Support for further information on the same.
How to avoid suspension ?
Google my business suspension can be costly for your local business and can bring a big loss to the business. Therefore, it is best to avoid Google Suspension altogether. To prevent it you can make sure of the following points:
- Delete your profile’s access to any past staff or vendors who are no more a part of your business.
- Thoroughly read the Google my business guidelines and make sure that you aren’t violating any of them.
- Use High definition pictures of your business.
- Avoid keyword stuffing in the title of your business, your business can easily be suspended for this reason.
- Your business’ name, address, working hours, phone number, etc., should be the same on every business portal and social media accounts.
- If you fall under a business that visits clients at their home to provide services and do not have a physical existence, you can fall under a high-risk business. In such a case you can hide the address and write the areas in which your business can operate. You can add up to 20 locations here.
- Avoid hyper-linking your social media pages on the website link on your business profile. It should always link to your website.
- Avoid making an account if you are an online-only business. Google My business is for Local businesses with a physical existence. Online only businesses are not allowed to list themselves on Google My Business.
- Keep reviewing and updating your profile every now and then to make it look legitimate.
Google My Business suspension occurs to a large number of businesses all over the world.
You just have to be careful while listing your profile on Google. You can go through the Google My Business Guidelines before doing so, and get an idea on what to take care of.
Even if your profile is suspended, you can carefully follow the listed steps and increase the chances of getting reinstated.