Jesse: Is your GBP suspended? Do you need to get it reinstated? We’ve got some tips and tricks in this episode here today on how to do that also how to prevent from getting suspended in the first place. If this problem is something you’re facing right now, check this out. Welcome back to Local SEO Tactics, where we’re bringing you tips and tricks to get found online. I’m your host, jesse Dolan. We’ve got the whole crew together again here today Bob Brennan, sue Ginsburg.
Sue: How are you guys doing today? Good, good, free? Couldn’t be better.
Jesse: Still loving. For those who are listening and audio, definitely jump over to YouTube. You got to check out Bob’s background. We got this cool new Local SEO Tactics backdrop that he’s got on camera there looking snazzy Good tease for the YouTube there. Sue, we’re going to be talking about GBPs today. You want to lead us off with the topic and set us up for exactly what we’re getting into.
Sue: Yes, I do Okay. Quote of the day today. Well, the podcast topic today as you just said is my GBP got suspended.
What do I do? Quote of the day. You can’t stop a teacher when they want to do something. They just do it. And even though you think that could be a quote from Google, it’s a quote from JD Salinger Catcher in the Rye classic book that everybody at some age needs to read in school. That’s what we’ll be talking about today.
When a client’s GBP Google Business Profile is suspended, it’s no surprise that I typically get a frantic caller message asking us to look into it and find out why, so it can be reinstated as soon as possible. This is understandable, since your GBP is a main window to the world on who you are, what you do and who you do it for. Unfortunately, it’s not all that unusual and not always obvious why Google has suspended a GBP. According to Google quote, we may suspend business profiles and user accounts that go against our guidelines. End quote. At a quick glance, google’s guidelines say to one avoid prohibited content. Two, reflect your business accurately. And three, comply with Google’s policies.
Clearly, each of these has vagueness built into it which can be very frustrating to interpret. What does Google mean by this? Or what did I do within each of those three that they shut me down. Luckily for our clients, they have our team of SEO specialists working on their behalf to figure these things out, and most of the time, we can do that. It’s still frustrating, though, and much preferred to not have this happen at all.
We just recently had an incident where long term client all legit location, business, photos, services, et cetera got her GBP taken down. So we and another of her resources checked into it, figured, looked into everything it could be and finally, whatever one of the things was, google turned it back on. We do not want that happening to anybody that we work with or anybody out there, and we understand how frustrating and devastating that can be. So, jesse and Bob, what can you tell us so we can all learn more about what you can do when your GBP is suspended and, even better, what you can do as far as you know, so that it doesn’t get suspended? What can you tell us?
Jesse: I think first thing, if you have a GBP, that gets suspended Bob, you can agree with this or not as a business owner is yeah, go get a bottle of wine or a bottle of urban or something and probably start drinking because it’s going to suck until it gets back up. Yeah, it’s horrible when it happens to you and, like you said, every day that it’s down is just day you’re not getting business. When you’re in the map pack and prominent, especially like with a good amount of reviews, right, which is a huge thing we always talk about man, that’s just immediate business and it really does suck and it’s it’s frantic when that goes on. Even if your website is number one in the organic you know SERPs right under the map pack and you’re still getting some business, you’re going to notice that your map pack listing is gone. And before we get into a little bit more detail, I want to mention something. So you mentioned for this client, us and another resource she had. I’ll touch on it here as we get into some more bullet points.
But she has a Google ad words, google representative, right, not like a third party, but an actual Google person, and one of the things always because Google is a black hole which we’ll talk more about. Like you’re saying, if you have an account at Google somehow for something which usually means you’re paying money to Google for for some type of advertising. It’s not. It’s not a silver bullet, there’s no magic, but definitely always worth reaching out sooner than later to see if you can get some help from from this person who was a gigantic company, and there’s no guarantee and the odds are probably pretty small that that a resource like this could help you out. But it’s worth a shot, right. I just wanted to underline that because I mean half joking aside like if your GBP comes down, start drinking or whatever your vice is, because it’s going to suck, and so, even if there’s a low chance something might work like having your paid ads person somehow be able to help your GBP, which are two completely different parts of Google it’s still worth a shot right for this communication and that also speaks a little bit towards your comments to about not sure what worked. Yeah, we’ve tried dozens of things right and multiple attempts of reinstatement, which I’ll talk about here in a second, and so there’s no way for us to know conclusively what was the thing, because we tried so many things and, due to the process, you just don’t get that feedback. So that’s kind of scary, and I just want to start off by talking about all that. Right, like this is not a fun process to have happen or to go through, because it’s very messy with Google, right, and that’s kind of what I want to start.
We’ve talked about this with other things. A GBP is great, right. It gets you in the ability to get in the mat pack, you can get reviews, you can share information, get ranked and everything else, and it’s completely free. You don’t have to pay for it, right. It’s also the downside is when something goes awry like this, because it’s free, it’s not like Google has just a hotline you can call with a person that’s going to answer the phone, right, tons of automation, tons of forms you got to fill out and process to go through that are fairly ambiguous or not. Well, yeah, just whatever.
Not giving you the specifics that you want, because you don’t have that human interaction unless you really get escalated and elevated somehow, and so that can be very frustrating. We always have to remember this is all completely free, though, provided by Google, and maybe cut them a little bit of slack for the black hole that they are. As much as we love to bash Google in these instances, I just think it’s always important for people to remember that, that you’re going to have to jump through these hoops, you’re going to have to try some stuff and it’s going to be a little bit of a mystery because Google will never tell you what’s wrong. So if your GBP is suspended, you’re going to get an email, an alert from Google saying that it’s taken down, and so you kind of mentioned it, but you’ll be told that it violated the guidelines. I won’t tell you what area, what thing you did. That’s going to be their feedback. And then I should mention everybody too.
I’m not going to go through all these specifics on the reinstatement form and some things. We have episode 32, wailing to it in the show notes. Episode 32 was getting your GBP suspended and going through the reinstatement process. So there’s a very good tutorial slightly outdated but still holds up from episode 32. Check that out.
And so what happens is, when you get suspended, you’ll get an alert from Google, and then there’s this reinstatement form you have to fill out right. That basically says they ask you a few questions that are kind of double checking, that you’re operating above board with their guidelines, like is this a legitimate business? Is this your real address? Blah, blah, blah, blah. And then you’ll get down to the lower section of that form that it talks about what did you change, and you’re then requesting them to reinstate it, and this is an area that. So this would be the first thing to do If your GBP becomes suspended. This is the process to get it reinstated is using this form, and we’re going to talk about some of the tips and tricks to set you up for success here, but the end result, what you’re going to do, is use this form and submit your request for reinstatement. You have to tell them what you changed. You don’t get guidance on what you should have changed, right. You don’t get guidance on what was wrong. They just want to know what did you do to fix it, and that’s where the whole black hole starts. So it’s what you’re talking about, right, and that’s where it can be a mystery of what was the thing that fixed it. So I’m going to go through a list here of things that typically can get you suspended and things that we always want to make sure we communicate to Google that we did fix or did update and go through there. These are the kinds of things that should be working.
Before we get into that, though, actually let me pause looking at my notes. I want to talk about a fork in the road, which we’ve encountered with clients and scenarios before, and that can be. Should I reinstate this and keep going through the trouble, or should I try to set up a new GBP? Because again, all jokes aside, yeah, if you’re heavily drinking for two to three weeks because your business is nothing, at some point in time you’re going to start asking that question. Do we I forget what we always say about, like Reservic the Dead or Give Birth right? Do we want to just set up a new GBP and start from scratch, getting back into the map pack, or do we want to try to resurrect the dead and get this one back?
And I would say, one big caveat on that, too, is if your GBP was ranking really good before, then, you were truly getting a lot of leads, and or if you had a lot of good reviews on there, and a lot, from a quantity standpoint, would be, bob, we always target at or better, double your competitors that are showing up as well. If you’re close to that, for how many reviews you had. That’s extremely, extremely valuable and we definitely want to fight tooth and nail to get it reinstated. If that was your scenario ranking really good and or a great amount of reviews Because if you set up a new GBP, you’re starting over. You don’t get to bring those reviews over. You can’t tell Google OK, keep my GBP suspended, here’s my new one. Can you bring all my reviews over? It doesn’t work like that, and the reviews are such an important part of human behavior in our decision making, but also for the actual ranking within Google, that you’re going to want to go through the effort.
So, before we start getting into it too deep, yeah, if you have a choice on, should I set up a new one or try to get this thing reinstated? Try to get it reinstated. To Sue’s point, this client that we just went through this with which we’ve done many times in the past as well. This is just recent. Took a few weeks. We were getting to the point of really starting to worry is this going to work, is it going to come back? And somewhere around there you have that threshold and that decision to make for yourself. I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong answer given, whatever your timeline is, but don’t be quick to restart. Definitely, give it a lot of effort to get it reinstated. If that’s your scenario with the reviews and the rankings, ok.
So back to the reinstatement form. They’re looking for you to tell them what you changed and what does that mean? That means you need to do something to your GBP before you request reinstatement. You can’t just get the notice of suspension and then just say, hey, I think you made a mistake. Please reinstate me. You’re just going to get shut down. I don’t know, inside Google’s walls, if an actual human being reads this form and pushes the button, or if there’s some kind of AI or intelligence based off of what you’re inputting and the decision-making process. Either way, though, the communication you’re going to get back from them is always the same. Just, either we’re happy to let you know you’ve been reinstated or your request for a median statement has been rejected because you don’t meet the guidelines, and you can reply back and say can you tell me what guidelines it was? And they’ll say refer to our guidelines, and they’ll bring you to the page that Sue was reading from earlier.
So, on that reinstatement form, there’s something that you should be changing on your GBP and you need to be very specific about what that is. Don’t just say update in my business name. Say my name was this I’ve changed my name to this now and I’m sorry. I’m sorry about that. I didn’t realize. Bob told me to put my keyword in the name and now I’ve changed it right or whatever. So there should be things you’re changing on your GBP and you need to tell them exactly what you did on that rein statement form. Be specific and play that empathy card.
So this not trying to stir up any controversy and I don’t want to offend anybody here but one of the things that we found can work is to show them, however oppressed or marginalized or whatever the right words are in that space that you are Like. If you’re a minority-owned business, right, or a veteran-owned business or any of these, if you’re new GBP of different attributes where you can call out what your status is in some of those areas on the reinstatement form, tell them that too. Emphasize that this has been down for three weeks. I’m a veteran-owned business, two-person shop. This is really crushing us. Please. We’ve changed our name, we’ve put it back. We’re following the guidelines. Please reinstate us so that spirit right. Again, I’m not trying to offend anybody or trying to leverage something for your benefit there, but the bottom line is you want to let them know that this is impacting your business and it hurts and that you’re being honest and you think you’re doing everything the right way and please get reinstated. It doesn’t mean it’s going to work, but we always want to bring that empathy and all those different statuses too light because, again, anything you got to do to get this reinstated, you’re going to want to do that and the sooner you can make these things known the better. I did mention it. Be very specific on the form Again what your name was, what it is now, if your address, if you changed it from a street being abbreviated as ST and spelled out the word street. Be very explicit and specific about everything.
Now, what you want to do on your GBP profile is look at anything that’s spammy. Business name is a pretty easy area to get suspended with. If Bob’s got a plumbing shop, which we always use, for example, or a lot of times, if it’s Bob’s plumbing, the business name technically for Google should be Bob’s plumbing. Now, if Bob is in Minneapolis, a common practice is Bob’s Minneapolis plumbing. People will put that as their GBP name because they want the keyword for Minneapolis in there, and I’m not saying not to do that. That can be a great SEO trick but can also get you suspended. And so if your business name is having a keyword in there or a geographic reference and that’s not your actual business name, you can’t prove that on a utility statement or your business registration and license, things like that.
For the purpose of getting your GBP reinstated, you’re going to want to put your actual business name on there in a way that you can back up. If challenged Doesn’t mean in three months, you can’t change it and do whatever you want. There’s some risk involved with that. But to get it reinstated that’s definitely a key thing is making sure your business name is your real business name, and the reason that’s important I mentioned maybe utility bill, business certificate, things like that is when you and again I’m not going to go through all the areas that maybe to look at that could trigger a suspension go back to episode what was it? 32? We talked about a number of those things that are still true today. That was just an example, but you’re going to want to make sure that you do everything in a non-spammy way, right, if you have a business description, your services, your products that are in there. Just think about everything in your business profile and were you being super spammy and aggressive? Were you doing things wrong? Just go through everything and double check on it, change what needs to be changed, record the granular details of what you’re changing and communicate all that on the reinstatement form.
Now there is something that we definitely recommend in, bob. I want to throw this to you a little bit as a business owner to maybe talk about some of the ways to do this or if it gets weird for a business, but really it’s your business. Signage is one of the huge things that can make an impact Because it’s visual to Google and it’s proof. Bob could lease some space in his office out to me on a handshake or formal deal. I can boom, set up shop there and I can tell Google that this is where I’m at Now. Instead, if I have a big permanent sign out in front of the building, some legitimate signage things like that, google can see that through photos or through video verification. That’s a lot harder to spoof than just receiving mail at an address. So, bob, I know we work with businesses a lot to make sure that they have the proper signage, things like that, instead of trying to manufacture something. Are there any nuggets you want to throw in at this point, before I yeah?
Bob: No, I mean as far as signage. One of the things I was going to throw out there is if your location is street facing, I think you definitely need signage. From my experience, however, if your business is in an office park that Google doesn’t send its little car out to see the street view, to see what you have or don’t have, you may get by with whatever right Operating your pet sitting business inside of your brother’s plumbing warehouse or whatever. That’s just some of the observations I’ve seen. If it’s a major landmark that you’re trying to work out of, it may be more difficult.
Jesse: That’s a great point too, like the Google street view, right? If that little car comes by and is able to record you, or maybe even you look at your current profile, if you can see your signage from there too. That’s relay that back to Google.
Sue: Speaking of signage, go ahead too, is there literally a little Google car that goes around looking for addresses or hey everyone, just a quick message about our free SEO audit tool on localeciotacticscom.
Jesse: We’ll get right back to the show. If you haven’t taken advantage of it yet, go on out to localeciotacticscom slash free SEO audit, or look for the yellow button up in the top right corner. Click that. It’s going to take just a couple seconds. You enter in the page that you want to optimize what you’re looking for the audit to score against. Enter in that page. Enter in the keyword you’re looking to get optimized for. Enter in your email address. Click the button.
It’s going to take a few seconds and then it’s going to send you off a PDF report via email. It’s a great report. It’s going to give you an overall score of some vital SEO areas for that page and for your website at large, even though it’s auditing this page. That’s going to tell you some of the good things that are happening, some of the bad things that are happening too, and give you basically a checklist of some things that you need to show up and what you can do to improve your SEO for that page, for that keyword that you’re auditing.
Now you can use this as many times as you want. You can do multiple keywords, multiple pages, multiple keywords on the same page. You can even use this to check against your competitors, right? If you want to do a little reverse engineering, see how they’re scoring for a certain keyword, what they may be doing good, that you’re not, and some things to improve there Lots of different ways to use it, completely free. Again. Go on at thelocalseotacticscom slash free SEO audit, or look for the yellow button in the top right corner of the website.
Bob: Well, it’s part of the street view, yeah.
Jesse: Not to audit this, but as verification improved, because, again, google isn’t necessarily as soon as they get your request, they’re now like oh guys, we got a fresh business request. Everybody, take a look at this. Right, you have to really point out to them why you should be reinstated. This is like if your business is visible with your sign on street view, that would definitely be something to point out to Google. It’s like, hey, we’re here in legitimate, you already took a picture of our sign. Now, if that’s not the case, you’re going to want to put up some signage. I would definitely say, bob, spot on here, put up your business signage like a real business. We’re not putting a sticker in the window or a temporary piece of paper. This is something that would be a legitimate business.
Google is not going to honor that type of signage. They’re going to see it, as, of course, anybody can go to Kinko’s for 10 bucks and throw something up in their window, right, that doesn’t mean you’re a business. Make it street facing, make it big, make it public, do everything you can, and externally, not internally, wherever possible. To Bob’s point, if you’re in a business park and you got a suite, even if you just got like the little marquee in the big directory. Whatever you can do, that’s legitimate business signage. You’re going to want to take pictures of these and you’re going to want to load them into your Google business profile. Even though the public may not see those, they may not be shown, they’ll be in your profile, in your file, so to speak. Then mention that to Google Again, if you have changes in your GBP that you made, change your name. You want to say what it was before. Here’s this after same thing I’ve loaded some photos of our storefront and our signage and you can see it in our profile Like. Mention that in your listing.
Then I mentioned video verification. I just want to talk about that quick. It definitely can be a process where if Google, before they reinstate you, they’ll want to do a video verification. That can mean either you recording a video typically what it is is you recording a video and submitting it in the GBP profile. What they’re going to want to look for there is these types of things. I’ll give you the examples Business signage, business certificate, utility statement with your address you’re at and your business name that’s on your GBP, both visible. You just take a video with your phone, walk around, show these things clearly like, go slow so they can really see it and show them that these physical things exist to show your business name, to show your address and that you should be verified. And at this location. That doesn’t mean that you can just drop a sign and do a video verification.
If you have other things that are against Google’s guidelines, if you’re being malicious, we’re not going to go through all the guidelines. But if you’re being malicious or spammy or trickery and just running a business that’s shady in a lot of ways, against their guidelines, doesn’t matter what you’re going to do for video verification or for taking pictures of your signs. You’re violating the guidelines in other areas. Just take that with a grain of salt. I’m not using that as a silver bullet, but it is something that if you don’t have those things for your business, if they’re not in your profile, add those in. It’s a huge trust signal that we’ve had success with for businesses. That’s also true, just as an aside for everybody, not just for getting your business reinstated, but just to get it ranked and to get it shown in Google. These are very important things to have in there to showcase your business either way.
A couple other things here something that we see a lot is your address. Years ago people could use mailboxes etc, virtual offices, a lot of different ways to obtain an address. Some of that is still allowed today. That’s a whole different topic. But Google can suspend you just off the address you use. During COVID they loosened up a little bit some of the we work and the co-working spaces to let you set your business up at that address and get registered. It seems like they’re starting to tighten that down. If your address is either a PO box, a virtual office, a shared workspace any of these types of deals it may be your address. That’s tripping you up. If you do a Google search for your address and it shows up on Google as a shared workspace or a virtual office any of these things and you’re using that, google can see right, they can flag it if you will that this is a virtual office which is not going to work for their guidelines. So in some cases you may have to consider moving your business to a different address.
Bob, we always joke about renting a broom closet for a couple hundred bucks, but quite literally, if that’s what it takes, you know, just think about the amount of business you’re losing if your GBP is not showing up and maybe you were paying a pretty cheap rate at your virtual office and maybe it’s twice that for a broom closet somewhere. But there’s a couple of things that are going to happen there. One, you’re going to use an address that’s not a virtual office, which hopefully gets you reinstated. But then, two, those places typically have a lot of businesses set up the virtual offices, the shared workspaces right, there’s a lot of businesses there in a very dense area. Sometimes they’re actually the same niche or business category as you are as well, and when we do a Google search, everybody’s familiar with, hopefully, seeing the map pack and the three different listings. You’re also going to have like red dots on the map that show where these businesses are.
More often than not almost always Google is going to pick businesses that are in slightly different proximities. Right, if you have a shared office and the three best, whatever accountants in town are all in that office, whether it be their Google reviews, their reputation, everything else Google is still going to zoom out that view and show one of them at that office and two other ones from different sectors of town. Right Now, depending on the density of your town, those can be miles away or, you know, 100 yards away, but still, one of the arguments for not using a virtual address or a shared working space is you want to get out of where your competitors are, because Google’s not going to zoom in super close for that geographic radius when it’s showing map pack results. So if you get yourself a boom closet miles down the road or a different chunk of town that you still want to be found in, you’re going to have a more secure address and you’re going to be having more ability to pop through in that proximity and get the authority from Google, staying away from all your competitors right that are literally next door. So that’s a big tip and one of the main things we always look at for a client, for the GBP optimization, but then also if something is suspended, right, what’s the address? Do a search in that address. Is it a virtual office? Who else is here? What’s going on? Things like that. And then the last spot that I have.
This comes into a little bit of your security, I’d say, and maybe management for your business is your Google business profile itself. Sometimes your listing can get suspended and there was nothing wrong with that listing, it just was the Google account, managing the listing. That’s going to be one of two things. One, your own account. Maybe you have multiple GBPs, whether you’re an agency doing this for other people or whether you’re in business with multiple locations. Maybe you have multiple GBPs in your account and there’s some spammy tactics or something really against Google’s guidelines on one of those listings. Google sometimes will suspend the entire account, right? So if one bad Apple can spoil a bunch really is kind of the MO there, and so it may not be your actual listing itself. So log in your GBP If you think this is the case or you want to check. Log in your GBP. You’ll see a list of all the businesses you manage, see which ones are suspended, which are not right. If there’s multiple that are suspended all of a sudden, there’s probably a wider problem that you got to look at or something on a different property, and that’s it for all this stuff too.
Disclaimer at Sue and I always want to make sure people are aware of this we can help with this stuff too. A lot of stuff here talking to Google and the black hole that is Google. But if you want professional help and want to navigate some of this stuff right, an agency like ours can help. Second part of that for the Google business profile is very similar, but maybe it’s not your profile. It can be a profile that somebody else who has access to your GBP. They may be the reason that this is happening, right?
So when you have a GBP and you’re a business owner, you’re the primary owner of that GBP. When you set it up, you can give other people access to it where they can be managers, editors, things like this. Now they may have multiple accounts in their sorry, multiple profiles in their account and be susceptible to the same thing. So if I’m trusting Bob to manage an update, you know my listing and Bob has seven other companies is doing that for as well. Now my listing is in his account, just like it’s in mine and in his it’d be joined with those other businesses and if something happens to one of those businesses in the same way, one Meta Apple spoils the bunch, even though I own this. Bob has delegated access, he’s a partner in it and boom, my account. I’m sorry, my business listing can get suspended through Bob’s account.
So this is something you’re going to want to check into the user’s area for your profile to see who you’ve given access to check with them or kind of follow up. That way, if you think there’s nothing else wrong, definitely go there. Now, both of these things is something where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Always be aware who has access to your GBP. Even for yourself, what’s your username and password is a secure right. You don’t want anybody screwing this up for you, to create these headaches. And then, if you do give somebody some kind of delegated access, just make sure you note that or somehow are aware of that. If you ever part ways or make a change or their project is done, there’s no reason to have that continued access. You’re just kind of looking for exposure, looking for problems there with that kind of exposure.
Bob: So the only other thing I was going to mention to Jess is we have had a client that was in a specific market and then he had a competitor that was like 40 miles away, registered a GBP in a restaurant. So it was for carpet in flooring, right. So it was obviously an established restaurant. That was on a major street and they literally sue, it was like 100 yards from where we had dinner with Joe last month or whatever right. So they registered it in a restaurant and this is the thing we call NARC, narc, seo.
Look, it’s obviously not a flooring store, it’s a freaking restaurant. So, in my opinion, you have a license to. You know, you can go on their GBP and say and make a comment or register the fact that in this case, they took a picture of the restaurant you know, essentially, put it on their GBP and just said hey, this is a restaurant, not a flooring store. I don’t know, I think the GBP went away, but there’s those kind of shenanigans too. Now that, keeping that in mind, if you’re doing something that’s borderline or whatever in your competition, is you’re taking a position that in that three pack that your competition wants and you know you’re operating something sketchy and they go out and they may, you know, take a picture and quote NARC on you. So try to operate, you know, as legit and as clean as you can in those situations.
Jesse: So back to an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. There, right, like best, best offense here is a good defense. Don’t let your GBP get suspended. You know, be aware of those guidelines. Stay away from, especially when you’re talking address manipulation here. At the end of the day, whether it’s that example, bob, or virtual offices, things like that, absolutely, absolutely something to stay away from. We didn’t.
Bob: I mean, we don’t do this policy, I’m sure, unless it’s reflective of the owner of the GBP. We heard this at a seminar but they they registered their GBP as LGBTQ friendly, right Under the pretense that if they have any problems and they’re ever suspended they’re going to play that card. And historically they have done it and they’ve gotten everything reversed, like right now. So those are the times we’re in, good or bad, and it’s just one more strategy. And again, I’m not saying to bend that rule or whatever, but those are the times we’re in and it’s a tactic that seemed to have worked for this individual, at least at this seminar that we want to.
Jesse: So I think that kind of is very parallel to what I was saying earlier too right, like, if you so, if you’re legitimately, you know one of those, you know different attributes and you want to flex that, like, use a megaphone and let them know, right, and if you want to be a little more risky, you know and then set your business up like that way from the beginning, with those tags and attributes, you can go for it. That’s totally your call. And if you have them, do like Bob’s saying, leverage those on your form. But the reason I want to highlight this too is what you can’t do I shouldn’t say this, but I expect to not work is you get suspended. Go in turn on that, you’re LGBTQ friendly or veteran owned, whatever, and then say you know, use that as some kind of way to cry about it. Yeah, good luck with that. These things definitely would need to be set up ahead of time. Total opinion there and some speculation through what we learn and know. But yeah, don’t try to do that after the fact or you’re just going to slow your process down. Because I guess that’s something worth mentioning here too, bob and Sue is when you do that reinstatement request form you click the button and it sends it off to Google and then you wait. There’s no like status pending or you can kind of see your order moving through a thing. You could take one day, three days, you know better part of a week before you hear back from them and then it’s either thumbs up or thumbs down. If it’s thumbs down, you just got to do the whole thing over and this is how it can take weeks to get reinstated. Right. That’s not an immediate feedback process. So the reason I’m stating that is you don’t want a youth trickery and manipulation in your reinstatement, because if it’s something that’s got a low odds of working again, you now you’re veteran, owned and you’re, you know, trying to use that as a point All you’re doing is delaying. You know what maybe was the real thing. You know, giving yourself three to five more days now before you heard. If that worked. It’s not going to work. Probably now back to the drawing board to find out the real thing. So definitely don’t try to do trickery. After the fact, that would all be manipulations on the front side set up for the example. Bob’s talking there. So let’s see what to do, you know, if your GPP goes down.
I think we went through some of the do’s and don’ts, you know, highlighting why it’s a black whole, sue right, using that term again and that just is what it is, and you just kind of got to embrace that and even lean into it. But then, more importantly, don’t get suspended. In the first place, I think is probably like the number one takeaway is just be careful, do things the right way. And I guess on that note, I should mention one more thing is sometimes what will get people suspended right now. You know. So here we are. You know, october 2023, just official timestamp.
GBP is, I guess I call them fragile, right? If you’re going in, let’s just say you’re right now, today, your GPP is fine, you’re ranking well, no problems. If you go in and change your name, your address or your phone number we’ve found those can be very fragile you can get a suspension and maybe a quick reinstatement, but just almost like a preventative suspension from Google, right? If you manipulate those areas, if you need to manipulate them and change them, do it. But if you need to change, let’s say, your phone number and your business name, don’t do it at the same time. You know, go in there, maybe edit your phone number today, next week, change your business name.
Just use some caution because, again, this is very automated. Google has some kind of formula, some kind of algorithm that you know A, b and C equal business suspension, right and so you don’t want to play with fire there. If you have to make some profile changes that are major, like name, address, phone number type changes, or even if you’re a service area or a storefront business, right, or just some of your primary categories, things like that make those changes slow, meter them out over days or a week or two, and you should be a lot safer. All right, I think that covers all the basis for everybody. Again, check out episode 32. There’s a little bit more in-depth information on there, but between these two episodes I think we got a good up to date. What should you do, sue?
Sue: I have a question. If you are lucky enough that your GBP comes back up quickly or whenever, does it come back up at the bottom of the ranking, or do you come back where you were when it was suspended? Or what happens when it comes back up and what do you do?
Jesse: That’s a good question. It should come back up where you were quote unquote, respectively. Now, that in and of itself, though, is completely subjective to individual search users their location, things like that so that’s a very broad statement to say it like that. But no, you don’t get demoted necessarily because you were suspended at all. It’s literally like an on-off button, so, for all intents and purposes, you should come back to where you were before. Now, obviously, there’s a ton of variables. If Bob and I are competitive businesses, if I’ve been suspended for three weeks, bob’s been crushing it on his SEO and he’s got 100 reviews in that space, he may then be outranking me, but not because of my suspension, just because he’s been crushing it Right. Those other factors are still moving forward on their own timelines. So, asterix, but yeah, good question.
Sue: That’s great. One last quick question. Jess Is there anything else to add?
Bob: Is there anything to if somebody, an agency, is taking over and helping you with your GBP, any way to hold them culpable in terms of, hey, they’re out of India, nothing wrong with India, but they’re out of somewhere. And it’s like, yeah, we’ll do your SEO for $50 a month or whatever the deal is, and next, you know, your GBP is suspended. I mean, is there any way to hold them culpable for that or any cautions you can take for that?
Jesse: Yeah, that is a good question, I think, with respect to Google. I don’t think there would be any kind of recourse there or any way to do that. So whatever action you take would be like whatever you’re comfortable with or whatever agreements you had with said third party, things like that.
Bob: No, and maybe a better phrase way to put it is can you, before you engage and have an SEO company take over your GBP, is how do you make sure they don’t wreck it? Or is there I don’t know if there’s language you could use before they come on that like, yeah, if it gets suspended will be responsible, or is there insurance? You know what I mean. You probably don’t know about any of that. You get the idea that, spirit. The question is somebody could really mess up your GBP, you know.
Jesse: Right. I think that is a great point. Like, whatever you want to put into your contract, your service agreement with any third party or vendor would definitely be up to you, not a bad idea. I don’t know that we would, you know, accept or just take some of that as blanket statements. We’d want to maybe go through that with a client, like, hey, a lot of things out of our control on this. You can’t put it all on us. So I would say, definitely, if you can find some middle round there, though, that would not be a bad idea. But all that I would say would be predicated on like explore that company.
You know what kind of tactics are they using? Are they making it sound like this will happen quick? It’s easy. We got a lot of SEO tricks. Whatever we’re going to change your business name, like if some of the stuff they’re saying they would do would be contrary, and maybe that’s what you have to ask. You is like, what are your tactics? A little bit, I would maybe give a little pause there, but if you’re using somebody reputable and trusted and they’ve got case studies and in some reviews of their own and things like this, I would generally hope you know that we can have good confidence in most agencies out there, but they bring up a great point, though, bob, that this it’s a little bit of the wild wild west for SEO or for any service.
Bob: You’re hiring for somebody on what’s their practice, what’s their methods, and if they smooch the pooch, your GBP suspended and then because I mean, depending on your market, and I mean, let’s face it, GBPs can generate 40 to 50 percent of your leads and if that’s out of the three pack and it’s gone, I mean your business is going to get cut in half.
Jesse: So yeah, that’s why we led with the half joke, like first thing to do is go get your favorite and all beverage because might be a might be a long week. Okay, anything else to add? Anybody? Or is that as I wrap it up?
Sue: I think that’s really good. I will add if you remember one thing, and one thing only, remember this Google can and will suspend your GBP at any moment if they believe you are doing something that goes against their guidelines. So to get here at coming through, shining through what we’re all saying, do what you can to not get it taken down in the first place. So quote in the day again JD Salinger, catch on the ride. You can’t stop a teacher when they want to do something, they just do it.
Jesse: It’s a good one. I wonder if there’s a way to flip that around, to tell my kids that’s why I’m right about things. Right, or like can we be teachers as parents? Right, there’s a parallel there. All right, I think that was a really good episode. Again, a good update, piggyback enough.
Episode 32 for everybody listening. Again. Emphasize if your GBP is suspended, if you’re having trouble, if you’ve gone days or weeks and you’re still not getting anywhere, feel free to reach out to us, Intrycks.com or through LocalSEOTactics.com. We definitely have the resources to investigate these things. Go through all the stuff we’re talking today and hopefully get this rectified for you, because scary situation, yep, if you’re going about it yourself, hopefully you learned some things today that you can take care of. And, yeah, we’ll catch you in the next episode.
Appreciate it everybody. Take care. All right, everyone. I hope you got some good action items out of that episode. Never fun to have your GBP suspended not kidding about getting a bottle of bourbon or something else to enjoy the ride with, because it can be challenging and frustrating. But hopefully, if you’re facing that problem, there’s some things that we shared with you here today that can get you on the right track. If not, again reach out to us. We’re here to help, whether you do it yourself or we can do it for you. Either way, appreciate you tuning in to this episode. Hopefully you learned some things and we’ll catch you in the next one.