Table of Contents
- 1 Improving Local SEO With Google My Business Strategies
- 2 Detecting a Deleted Google My Business Page
- 3 Other Deleted Google My Business Scenarios
- 4 How Can A Google My Business Be Closed Or Changed?
- 5 Need More Help Recovering A Google My Business Page?
Google My Business (GMB) pages carry a lot of weight when it comes to local SEO. Yet, it is easy for a GMB page to disappear or get deleted. Whether you accidentally delete your Google My Business page or an external force removes your listing, your GMB page can disappear from Google Maps and local search results in the blink of an eye.
If you don’t recover your Google My Business page, you’ll have to start from scratch, losing established reviews and search rankings. Therefore, it is critical to identify the status of your GMB and why it is no longer showing up on searches. As soon as you notice the problem, it is essential to find the cause of your GMB page’s disappearance because, for some issues, there is a limited timeframe for recovering the account.
Improving Local SEO With Google My Business Strategies
Our digital marketing and SEO agency works with hundreds of local businesses. We help these clients enhance their GMB page to improve local search engine rankings. Unfortunately, some of our clients have run into issues where their Google My Business pages have inaccurately changed or accidentally deleted. Many times we’ve successfully recovered these pages. However, there are other situations where we have been forced to rebuild their Google My Business presence from scratch. Our goal is to share our insight so you can prevent similar issues, and if they occur, you’ll be able to resolve them as quickly as possible.
- Detecting a deleted Google My Business page
- If you do a Google Search and no longer see your page populating, there could be an issue at hand.
- Different Scenarios
- We’ll walk through the different scenarios. Whether your page was deleted, suspended, or marked as permanently closed is a key distinguishing factor. We will also go into detail about how this mess could have been avoided in the first place.
- Starting from Scratch
- If you can’t recover your GMB page, your reviews will be lost, and you may have to start a new page. We’ll walk you through quick optimization techniques to enhance your local SEO.
What is a Google My Business Page
Google My Business is a vital part of ensuring your business is visible online. Google My Business (GMB) is a free feature for companies and organizations to create a profile to manage their local online presence. These location pages help put businesses on the digital map for business listings and local Google searches.
When a business owner creates a profile in Google My Business, the page can display the business’s hours, address, contact information, and other details filled in by the company. It’s also a profile for users to find helpful information, write reviews for the business, or add photos of their experience at a particular location.
The Value of a Google My Business Page
With a few simple steps, any local business can see many benefits from its Google My Business profile page.
- Optimizing your GMB profile will increase your visibility in local searches, making it easier for potential customers to find your products or services.
- Google Maps relies heavily on your GMB profile when determining which businesses should be highlighted on the map listings for a search.
- Your GMB page has a positive effect on Google’s local search algorithms to help improve your rankings.
- The page provides quick and easy access to your contact information and directions to your business for nearby customers.
- You can build stronger relationships with existing and potential customers through reviews and Q&As.
- Many local business owners see their Google My Business profile as the number one search result when Googling their brand name.
Therefore, it’s worth creating an effective GMB page, learning how to optimize it, and securing your account so that you don’t lose access to this crucial piece of the local marketing puzzle.
Detecting a Deleted Google My Business Page
There could be an issue if you do a Google search for your business name and can’t find your Google My Business page. If your business isn’t on the map listings, you need to ensure your GMB page hasn’t been deleted.
It can be frustrating if this happens to you, particularly if your business is not seeing the results you want from your online marketing efforts. How does this happen? Well, at The Media Captain, our local Google My Business experts have seen it all.
- Disgruntled employees deleting GMB pages
- Well-meaning employees accidentally removing the account with ownership of the page
- Google marking entire industries as temporarily closed during the Covid-19 pandemic
- Pages suspended for spammy posting techniques
- And more
If your Google My Business page is missing, it can significantly impact the visibility of your business online. However, it is possible to recover a missing or suspended page and get back on track. Keep reading this guide to learn how we have helped businesses in these difficult situations to recover their GMB pages.
How Can A GMB Page Get Deleted?
Fortunately, a user can’t simply delete a business from existence on Google. But various things can happen that restrict a GMB page’s ability to show up. The first example is from a client situation that prompted us to write this guide on recovering deleted GMB pages.
When the email account that is associated as the owner of a GMB page is deleted, the page is not transferred to another user. Instead, the page is effectively released, and it becomes unclaimed. Unfortunately, one of our clients was cleaning up past email accounts and accidentally deleted a former employee that was the owner of their GMB page. While this doesn’t delete the GMB page on its own, it can lead to the same effects on its visibility or may earn the page a hard suspension when trying to reclaim the listing.
Even after restoring that original Google user email account, GMB ownership access is lost. However, you can regain access by going through the traditional Google My Business account claiming and verification process for any user.
If you experience a loss of reviews, suspension, change in business status, or other issues resulting from deleting an email account, The Media Captain can help you try to recover your deleted Google My Business Page. Reach out to experts today to identify the best solutions for your situation.
Note: Deleted Google accounts can only be recovered within a short period after deletion (~30 days). After this point, the account and its data are no longer recoverable.
Other Deleted Google My Business Scenarios
It’s important to understand that different issues could contribute to your GMB not showing up on Google Maps or Google’s local search results. Luckily, your page may not be permanently deleted, and it could be an easily resolvable issue. Below are some other common scenarios that can make your Google My Business page disappear from the Google maps and local search results.
Users Making Changes
If you are suddenly unable to find your Google My Business listing, double-check your GMB dashboard to see if it is listed there and that you still have manager access.
Multiple user accounts can manage a single Google My Business listing, which means that other users could make a change without your knowledge. Check with your team to see if user permissions have changed or anyone updated the page’s information. If you no longer have access to the dashboard, it is time to find out who does.
Resolving The Issue
First, you need to identify if the Google My Business listing is still claimed, and if it is, check to see if anyone in your organization has access to the GMB through their account. You want your GMB account to be in the right hands. Ask your marketing team, location employees, marketing agencies, vendors, or anyone that might have access. If you find a user with access, add the correct account as an admin and transfer ownership to that account.
The business owner should always have access, but others involved in the page’s management should also have tiered access. Structuring account management and ownership properly from the get-go will help prevent issues like a deleted GMB page.
Recovering Suspended Google My Business Pages
Unfortunately, it’s possible to make a mistake that violates Google’s guidelines, which can cause your business to lose visibility on the map or even get removed entirely from the listings. Your Google My Business page can be suspended for a wide variety of violations, as listed in the Google My Business Guidelines. If your page is suspended for suspicious activity, it will no longer appear in the search results.
Resolving The Issue
To restore a suspended GMB account, it is essential to review the Google My Business page’s status as well as the profile information and ensure that it is accurate, truthful, and follows all GMB guidelines. Once any necessary changes have been made, you can submit an appeal.
Google will review the information provided and determine if your business profile is ready to be reinstated. You can track the status of your request through your GMB dashboard or wait to be contacted through the email account used for your submission.
If a user on the GMB dashboard clicks “Remove Listing,” everything stays the same in the public search results and map listings; However, that user loses control over the page. See Google’s instructions if you want to intentionally remove your ability to manage a Google My Business listing.
If access to a listing is removed from all users in your organization, you need to reclaim the GMB listing manually.
To reclaim the listing, you will have to go through the normal postcard verification process to restore your management access, which can take time.
Permanently Closed or Temporarily Closed Listing
Google has now started adding tags to Google My Business (GMB) pages that it believes are permanently closed or temporarily closed. This can be frustrating, especially for businesses that are open and operating as usual.
- If a page is listed as “Temporarily Closed,” people can still see the listing in Search and Maps, but it may show the “Temporarily Closed” banner.
- If a page is listed as “Permanently Closed,” people are significantly less likely to see it in Search and Maps. If the permanently closed listing appears in the results, it will have the “Permanently Closed” banner.
The closed notices are displayed on the profile with a bold red banner. So, if your GMB is inaccurately listing your business as closed, it is crucial to get this fixed quickly to avoid losing potential customers.
Resolving The Issue
Fortunately, if you have access to the GMB management dashboard, you can quickly reopen a location marked as permanently or temporarily closed. When logged into the Google My Business dashboard, you can go to the info tab, and there should be a “MARK AS OPEN” option (located near the address/hours fields), which can be selected to update the business open/closed status.
How Can A Google My Business Be Closed Or Changed?
Unfortunately, it is relatively common for business owners to recognize that business details on their Google My Business page may have been updated without their knowledge or content. That is because Google allows changes by the account owners/managers. But Google also accepts “suggested” changes from information found through other sources such as your website, 3rd party apps, or any public user. (View the image below where I highlighted “suggested edit”).
Yes, normal Google users, including possible competitors, can change your business information and alter crucial business details such as:
- Open, temporarily closed, or permanently closed
- Business hours
- Phone number
- Business categories
- And more
These “suggested” changes are reviewed by Google and can go live on your page without your approval. That is why it is essential to routinely check your GMB dashboard to catch any pending changes before they go live.
Note: Google notifies that account owner of suggested changes, but not all users on the account will receive the notification, including the individual listed as the page manager.
Creating a New Page: Starting From Scratch
It is better to start from scratch and build a new GMB page in some cases rather than fight to restore a deleted or repeatedly suspended account. In these situations, it is vital to quickly get your page ranking to minimize the negative impact on the business. Once you’ve created a new page, you can further optimize it by following the supercharged optimization methods below:
- Start by making sure that your profile information is updated and that all fields are 100% complete.
- Select the best GMB business categories based on your priority products and services.
- Write compelling short and long descriptions that provide relevant information about your services and an overview of your business.
- Add up to 10 relevant photos or videos of your business, including your logo, promotional materials, photos of your products/services, your building or lobby area, your team.
- If a user asks a question on your GMB’s Q&A section, engage with the user by providing a helpful answer.
- Ask your customers to provide reviews on your Google page, and then respond to the reviews.
Need More Help Recovering A Google My Business Page?
As you can see, there are many different reasons why your Google My Business page may have disappeared from Google Maps or the top of Google’s local search engine results. While this is never a good situation for a business, it may not be a permanent issue if addressed quickly.
If you are struggling to recover a deleted Google My Business page, reach out to our agency experts for support!