In early February 2014 the Google Places Team gave the local business community a heads up on an upcoming change in Google Places for Business and Google Maps that was said to take place within a 3 week period. Today – a month later – the issue with the upgrade to the new Google Places dashboard still creates much turmoil among the Google+ Local Listing owners. In order to eliminate any confusion yesterday Jade Wang, Google Business Community Manager, posted in Google’s Product Forum a detailed explanation of the actions a given business owner needs to take in order to address Google’s local listing update.
What is the essence of this change?
To wrap it up the change is really trying to clear up the local listing clutter by leaving one owner per verified local listing. Many business owners have used various email accounts to manage and claim their local listings. This leads to creating a huge number of duplicate listings – verified or not – that are believed to fade away thanks to this recent update.
The reason behind this is the following – with the creation of a new Local Places dashboard the oldest listing owner automatically becomes the current owner of the listing. In case the listing has a second or a third owner, a duplicate listing(s) is/are being created. Each new duplicate (marked as unverified and not-live) listing has one owner. By performing this ultimate split Google is most probably hoping to simplify the listing ownership and management and to prevent any further confusion in the local results.
Should you do something and what?
As long as you do not receive a warning email by Google, your listing is good to go and ready to face the upcoming transformation of Google Places and Maps. If you receive a greeting by the Google Places Team you should carefully follow their instructions and go to your Places for Business dashboard to check what the problem might be.
- In case you have an unverified duplicate listing in your dashboard you should either remove it – given that you no longer care to manage it, or in case it is a listing that you are the true owner of – you should request administrative access to it and contact the Google Places Team.
- As Linda Buquet concluded in her Local Search Forum a duplicate listing may also be created if you have manually merged your local listing with your Google+ page. If you face a similar scenario – you have verified both your Places Listing and you Local Google+ page with a same account – make sure to remove the unnecessary duplicate that your Places Listing has created in your dashboard.
- And finally in case you prefer to keep the listing that is marked by Google as duplicate (after a listing and a Google+ page merge), you still can: just remove the active listing and contact the support team to activate the remaining listing.
Of course, the above mentioned scenarios are among the most frequent ones. If you are facing another problem that you could not handle by following Jade’s guidelines (check the link above), then you could turn to the support team or share your frustration with us.