Google announced some important changes to the Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) in November 2021. If you have claimed and verified a Google Business Listing, Google automatically emails all associated users important updates about your account(s). Are you reading these emails?
If you are using your Google Business Profile (which you really should be), you must review their policies and guidelines. That information can be found here. Google has some strict guidelines and policies that you may unknowingly be violating. Google may suspend or remove your account entirely.
Since the last update to their guidelines and policies in November, there has been an uptick in businesses being suspended.
What Are The Possible Google Business Profile Suspension Types?
Currently there are 4 types of suspensions.
- A soft suspension means that the business profile is still visible, but content has been removed from the front end. This may be due to your account being labeled as unverified. You will not be able to manage it until you provide proof of verification.
- A manager account suspension affects only that user’s ability to access the listing, but the listing is still active with no issue.
- A hard suspension removes the profile from search. Google has determined that your listing is violating guidelines, or your business is ineligible for a listing (e.g., P.O. Box, virtual office, co-working space address).
- An owner account suspension deactivates the Google owner’s account and removes all of the associated business listings and their Google reviews.
As you can see, getting suspended is serious, and you should be concerned about avoiding ever being suspended in any way.
Google wants to be the best source of information. Maybe you have used Google Maps and couldn’t find the location of a business to which you were navigating. They ask for a rating at the end of most Maps searches. If you are getting consistent ☹ ratings, Google may investigate and if they determine that the information on your profile is wrong or violating their policies, then they will suspend you.
What Are Some Infractions That Google Is Actively Suspending For?
Google is actively suspending business accounts for the following guideline and policy violations:
- NAP information (Business Name, Address, Phone number) does not match business directory listings.
- Inconsistent information about your business.
- Keyword, phone number, or link stuffing.
- Your listed website URL is forwarding to a different URL.
- Your posts are violating policy.
- Photos posted by your business are violating policy.
Your Google Business Profile must reflect your business and should accurately list your location, phone number, hours, and service offerings. Google relies on you to maintain your business listing on Google and your business listings elsewhere (social media, other search platforms, and all associated directory listings). If you are not helping Google maintain their high-quality search results or are violating the policies that they provide to you then Google has no problem with removing your business profile. There are ways to fix a suspended business profile, but your reviews may be lost forever.
If you are unaware or are struggling to maintain and optimize your Google Business Profile or your Business Directory Listings, contact PUMC today for assistance. It is better to be proactive and in compliance with Google Business Profile policies than to try and fix a violation or suspension.
PUMC can provide a complimentary review of your listings, complete the form and PUMC will contact you with your results.