Top 9 reasons Google suspends local listings
Has your business listing in Google been suspended? Not sure what happened? Columnist Joy Hawkins discusses the likely causes and how to address them.
I see threads over at the Google My Business forum all the time from panicked business owners or SEOs who have logged into Google My Business to see a big red “Suspended” banner at the top of the page. The Google My Business guidelines have a very long list of things you shouldn’t do, but some offenses are much more serious than others.
Before I get into which rule violations lead to suspensions, it’s important to know the facts around suspensions.
Google won’t tell you why you got suspended
A Google employee will rarely tell you why your account got suspended.
Business owners often want Google to spell out what rule caused their suspension, but Google isn’t about to help rule-breakers get better at doing it and avoid consequences.
There are two different types of suspensions
The first type of suspension is what I refer to as a soft suspension. This is when you log in to Google My Business and see the “suspended” label and no longer have the ability to manage your listing. However, your listing still shows up on Google and Google Maps/Map Maker.
In this case, the listing has really just become unverified. Since you broke Google’s guidelines in some way, they have removed your ability to manage the listing, but the listing’s ranking is rarely impacted. I once worked with a locksmith who ranked first in a major metro area; even after his account got suspended, his ranking didn’t decline.
To fix this type of suspension, all you need to do is create a new Google account, re-verify the listing and stop breaking the rules.
The second type of suspension is what I call a hard suspension. This is very serious and means your entire listing has been removed from Google, including all the reviews and photos. When you pull up the record in Google Map Maker, it will say “removed.”
In this case, your only solution is to get Google to reinstate it; however, the chances of that are slim because this generally only happens when Google has decided the business listing is not eligible to be on Google Maps.
Following are the top nine reasons that Google suspends local listings: