Ever found your business listing on Google marked as “suspended”? It can be puzzling and concerning. This article delves into the primary reasons behind such suspensions and offers insights on how to navigate them.
The Google My Business forum is often buzzing with business owners and SEO experts alarmed by the “Suspended” tag they see on their listings. Google has a comprehensive set of guidelines detailing what you can and cannot do. However, some violations are graver than others.
Before we dive into the reasons, here are some essential points about suspensions:
Google Won’t Tell You Why You Got Suspended…
Google representatives seldom specify the exact reason for a suspension. While business owners might wish for a detailed explanation, Google typically avoids giving rule violators insights that might help them evade penalties in the future.
Types of Google Suspensions
- Soft Suspension: You’ll notice the “suspended” tag when you access Google My Business, but your listing remains visible on Google and its associated platforms. Essentially, your listing has been unverified due to some guideline breach. To rectify this, create a new Google account, re-verify the listing, and ensure compliance with Google’s rules.
- Hard Suspension: This is more severe. Your entire listing, along with reviews and photos, is removed from Google. If you check Google Map Maker, the record will be marked as “removed.” Reinstating it is challenging and often indicates that the business isn’t suitable for Google Maps. You can request that Google review your case and try to get them to reinstate your listing – however, your chances are slim.
Here are the primary reasons Google might suspend local listings:
- Redirecting URLs: If your website URL on Google My Business redirects to a different domain, it can lead to a suspension. Google’s guidelines clearly state against using redirecting URLs. As per the guidelines, “Do not provide phone numbers or URLs that redirect or ‘refer’ users to landing pages.” This often results in a soft suspension.
- Adding Extra Keywords: Inserting unnecessary information or keywords in your business name can lead to a soft suspension.
- Service-Area Businesses Displaying Addresses: If you run a service-area business and display your address (when you shouldn’t), it can result in a hard suspension. According to Google’s guidelines on service-area businesses, you should only show your address if customers show up at your business address.
- Multiple Listings for One Business: Creating more than one listing for a single business location can lead to suspensions of both the original and duplicate listings.
- Sensitive Business Types: Some business types, like gun shops, might face suspensions because they aren’t allowed on Google Plus.
- Virtual Office Listings: Businesses that list virtual offices, especially if they’re not staffed during business hours, can face hard suspensions.
- Online-Only Businesses: Businesses that operate solely online and don’t interact with customers in person should create a G+ brand page, not a local page.
- Services in Rented Spaces: If you offer a service or class in a space you don’t own, you’re not eligible for a listing on Google Maps.
- High-Spam Industries: In industries rife with spam, like locksmith services, even legitimate businesses might face suspensions due to stringent spam filters.
Wrapping Up If your listing has been suspended and the reason isn’t listed above, consider seeking advice on the Google My Business forum or consulting with experts in the field.
Whatever you do, if Google suggests creating a new listing, do not do it. You could lose all of your reviews and any ranking power you had will be gone. As long as the listing and account are within the guidelines, then you will get reinstated, no matter what support says.
Tackle Your Local SEO Properly From the Get-go
Whether your business is just starting out and has no digital footprint, whatsoever OR you’ve been in business for years and have issues with your ‘NAP’ (name, address, phone number), we can help. Raging Bull Digital works with brand new businesses looking to dominate their directory space and also existing businesses that have undergone a move, a phone number change, or even a re-brand. The issues can pull you out of the Google Maps recommendations. Contact Us today to learn more about setting up or preparing this space for your business.