Own Your Google Business Listing
90% of people on the web perform searches using Google. Due to this, making sure that you have full control over your Google My Business listing is incredibly important. In addition to that, having incorrect or misleading information can be detrimental to your business. Therefore, by not claiming your business, you’re leaving it open to be edited via suggestions without manual review, or to be claimed by someone random.
How to Add or Claim Your Google My Business Listing
To add or claim your business on Google, head here to the find and manage your business section of the site. Upon typing in your business name, you may or may not see an existing listing pop up. If you do, you’ll be met with one of two scenarios:
- The listing is unclaimed and simply needs to be verified by you.
- The listing is claimed and you need to request access.
If you are met with scenario one, great! Google will ask you to verify by calling or texting the business phone number that is listed. However, if you’re unable to verify by phone, you’ll have to fill out a form to be contacted by Google’s support team.
If you are met with scenario two, things are a little trickier. You’ll immediately be greeted by a screen that says “this listing has already been claimed”. If your business has been claimed and verified by someone else, you need to request access to the listing. In the event that the current owner doesn’t respond within seven days, you’ll be able to go through the regular verification process and gain ownership of the listing. However, if they deny your request, you have to appeal. The way to do that is by contacting Google to help you out. To start that process, fill out this form here.
“I’m Calling on Behalf of Google…” Verify Your Listing Scam
Rampant scam calls are a big problem that small businesses face. This particular scam call is from an automated system claiming to be with Google. They will often tell you that you need to verify your business listing or risk having it removed. Usually the scammer will do this “verification” for free in an attempt to seem like they really are with Google. The real scam comes when you press through to a human that tries to offer you additional services. For example, they may tell you that they can increase your position on the results page if you pay them a certain amount.
Google has made it clear that they will never make unsolicited, automated sales calls. However, automated calls may actually come from Google for non-sales purposes, like to make a reservation or schedule an appointment. In the United States, there are only two possible numbers that Google may send automated calls from (650-203-0000 or 650-206-5555). You may get a human call from Google in regards to Google Ads or other Google accounts. Just keep in mind that a Google operator will never ask you for payment information.
Scam emails can also be a huge annoyance for business owners. If you receive an email from someone claiming to work for Google, check for red flags. Be sure that the from AND reply-to addresses end in @google.com. If they don’t, you can be certain that the email did not come from Google. Other red flags are links to websites that you’re unfamiliar with, and being asked for personal information such as email addresses and/or passwords.
Fake Google My Business Reviews and Unrelated Customer Photos
Reviews and photos posted by customers can be really good for your business. However, sometimes these features can be abused by trolls and completely stain your image. Google does not allow business owners to delete customer reviews and photos in order to avoid having real reviews deleted. Due to this, in the case of troll reviews and photos, you have to report them to Google. We highly recommend you turn on notifications to be emailed when someone posts on your business profile so you can quickly review items for appropriateness.
How to Report Customer Reviews on Google My Business
If you notice a fake review come in, head to your Google My Business dashboard and click on reviews in the left side bar. From there, identify the review in question and flag it as inappropriate by clicking on the three dots on the top right of the review itself. Following that, fill out the form that you’re prompted with.
How to Report Customer Photos on Google My Business
If you notice an unrelated or inappropriate customer photo come in, head to your Google My Business dashboard and click on photos in the left side bar. After that, click on by customer at the top and click the photo in question. Click on the flag in the top right and fill out the form that follows.
Google My Business is a vital tool to attract new customers and get business information out there. If you don’t have your business listed on Google My Business, you’re missing out on tons of potential opportunity. Also, if you’re interested in more tech tips and helpful products that may be good for your business, subscribe to the free Appletree MediaWorks e-newsletter today.
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