Imagine this. It’s a Monday morning and you log into your Google My Business only to see “SUSPENDED” in big, red letters. The normal response is to panic. After all, your GMB listing is the way you get directly in front of customers looking to hire your company.
Not showing up in the local pack results can drastically impact your bottom line—64% of consumers have used Google My Business to find contact details for local services.
As of late, Google My Business suspensions aren’t uncommon, which means there are tons of other business owners who have gone through (and perfected!) the process of getting their GMB listing reinstated. We’ve put together a quick guide with everything you need to know about Google My Business suspensions, including what can cause a suspension and how to get your listing reinstated as quickly as possible.
What Does a Google My Business Suspension Mean?
Google has very strict guidelines that must be followed. If something is amiss with your Google My Business profile, Google reserves the right to suspend your profile. This means your business will not show up as an option amongst local competitors for relevant services for your services. Unsurprising, this can drastically impact the number of leads and traffic to your website—and give those leads to your competitors!
Because a suspension can be so detrimental to the online success of your business, you need to log into your account regularly to ensure everything is up to Google’s standards. Google does not proactively let you know when your account has been suspended. You won’t receive an email or notification letting you know—you’ll only find out by logging into your account.
Types of GMB Suspensions
When dealing with a Google My Business suspension, there are two types to be aware of:
- Soft Suspension – With a soft suspension, Google unverified your business. While you won’t have the ability to manage the listing until your account is reverified, your business will still show up in the local pack listings.
- Hard Suspension – Unlike a soft suspension, if you’re dealing with a hard suspension your GMB listing will be removed from the search results until the issue has been resolved. Google will not tell you what is wrong with your listing, so you’ll need to review the guidelines and ask Google to reinstate your listing.
Why Did Your GMB Listing Get Suspended? Here’s Why
Showing up in the local pack is essential for getting your company directly in front of prospective customers looking for your services. If you’re not sure why your Google My Business was suspended, we’re here to help you determine why and provide a way to resolve is as soon as possible.
Here are a few of the most common reasons Google will suspend a GMB listing:
- Multiple businesses are listed under the same address claiming to work there
- You’re using a P.O. Box as your address instead of a physical office location
- You’ve included a physical address in your profile but haven’t included a storefront photo that displays your office, signage, and address/suite number
- Your business name or address does not match the information on your company’s website
- Your NAP is inconsistent meaning your name, address, and phone number on your listing doesn’t match other online directories like HomeAdvisor, Yelp, Angie’s List, and more
- You’ve added keywords to your business name in hopes of increasing ranking opportunities
- You’re using a tracked phone number that isn’t your company’s hard-line
- You’re linking out to a website other than your own
- You’ve recently changed your company’s name, address, or phone number and forgot to adjust it on your listing
These are a few of the most common reasons Google will flag a profile for review and lead to a suspension.
Guide to Getting Your Google My Business Reinstated
Now that you understand the types of suspensions and have an idea of why your listing was suspended, let’s dive into getting your company’s GMB profile reinstated.
Depending on the “why” behind your suspension, there are different steps for you to take:
- If you’ve opted to include your company’s physical address in place of a general service area, you need to have a storefront image included on your profile. This image must feature the front of your business, signage with your company name, and your address number.
- If your profile includes a physical address that needs to be reverified, Google might require you to send them a copy of your business license or a utility bill that has the same address as your GMB listing.
- If you share an office address with another company, you will need to provide Google with photographic or video evidence demonstrating that both companies are operating in the same space. Typically only one company can be listed under a single address—including suite numbers, if applicable, can help with this.
- If your business name and NAP is inconsistent with the rest of the Internet, you may be required to adjust the name of your company on your listing. Your business name should be your actual name—not something that is keyword heavy with the hopes of improving your chances to rank.
- If there are duplicate Google My Business listings for the same company, you will need to remove the duplicates (or merge them into one listing if there are reviews you’d like to carry over!). There can only be one listing per business per address.
As we mentioned above, there are many reasons a Google My Business listing can be suspended. If none of the steps above get your profile reinstated, we recommend reading through Google’s quality guidelines to get a better idea for why your profile was suspended. While Google won’t explicitly tell you, the well-documented guidelines should be able to help narrow it down. Once you’ve made the necessary changes to your profile, submit an appeal to Google and you’ll be back up and running in no time.