If your Google My Business page was suddenly unverified, you can get it back.
I recently went to a conference and sat in on a panel led by an SEO expert. As the presenter got up to introduce the topic, the power went out.
“Uh oh,” he said, “Google is watching us.” It was a funny joke, but we really laughed when he next said. “Don’t pick a fight with Google. I mean it. You can’t win.”
And, he’s right.
As SEO marketing geeks, we’ve created thousands of Google My Business pages for clients, primarily mental health programs, psychologists, psychiatrists, addiction medicine physicians, and other mental health providers. This is our whole job. To get you more clients. But, Google’s goals don’t always align with ours. We have lost count of the times that we found that a client’s Google My Business page was just taken down by Google. Poof. Zapped by a faceless algorithm.
The guidelines to get your page back up are not as simple and straightforward as you would expect from a tech leader such as Google. Sometimes, they will ask you to fill out multiple reinstatement forms, and sometimes this isn’t required at all. Often, you may need to provide business documentation or create a video. In other cases, Google just reinstates the page and won’t let you know that your Google My Business page is back up. The best move is to be in touch with Google immediately after your page goes down. Then, follow up by phone at every step of the process until your Google My Business page is back online.
Why was my Google My Business page suddenly unverified?
If your Google My Business pages suddenly become unverified, don’t expect Google to tell you about it. You will have to log in to your Google My Business account to see if your page is live and verified. If you see the words suspended or pending in red or yellow, your page isn’t live, and it is time to be in touch with Google.
What are the consequences of a Google My Business page becoming unverified?
- Your page disappears
- You can lose your hard-won Google reviews
- There are no guarantees about how long it will take to get your page back up again
- You do not know what hoops Google will put you through to get your page up again
- You will lose click-through visits to your sites and direct calls from potential clients
It turns out that Google My Business is such an effective way to market your business that many creative entrepreneurs have been putting up fake businesses. In the fight against spammers and scammers, Google has tightened its algorithms and automatically takes down pages that trip their sensors. If your business page was taken down, Google will require you to prove, again, that you are a legitimate business. Some of my clients have had to send in additional pictures, license documentation, or videos of the walk from the street all the way into their waiting room, and the process is only getting more complicated.
How can I keep my Google My Business page from being unverified?
You can’t fight with Google. And, you can’t anticipate how Google’s algorithms will change in a way that can get you unverified. However, you can get your Google Business Page reinstated as rapidly as possible by following all of Google’s requirements.
Over the course of reverifying my clients’ Google My Business pages, I’ve had many conversations with the staff of Google’s support line. We found it helpful to verify with them how the algorithms had changed before making any changes to a client’s page.
We now keep a checklist of what changes to a Google My Business page can trigger Google to take down a page or trigger a request for re-verification. For example, Google My Business tends to flag significant changes to business names, categories, and addresses as suspicious. The flagging algorithms change all the time, with no notice to you of what might get your Google My Business page unverified.
Before making important changes to a Google My Business page, we always call Google My Business’ support line in order to confirm today’s rules. The re-verification process can take anywhere from one week to a few months, so we’re very careful about the information we update and will double-check with Google’s support teams to see if a page we want to make a change to may get suspended. And if one of our clients’ pages go down, we call every day until it is back up. Google may ask you to jump through a few hoops to get your page reverified but is worth it. Just follow the steps.
It’s worth it to stay verified
Don’t be afraid to get started putting your business on Google My Business. Making posts on Google My Business can really boost your business and we encourage you to do so! Click here for a guide to making Google My Business posts that work for your practice and encourage potential clients to come to your website. Need help with your posts or getting your page verified? We can help. Click here to arrange for our expert assistance.If this was helpful to you and your practice, share it!