You’ve just claimed your business listing on Google, making sure all the appropriate information is there. The address, the hours, a link to your business website, a description of your business…even the pictures are there. You notice an uptick in phone calls and business is picking up.
What you may not know, is that a competitor or someone with bad intentions can change all that information with a few taps on the keyboard. Google business listings have an option to “suggest an edit,” letting just about anyone change listing information.
This may be news to some, but for those of us who work in the world of digital marketing—it’s a problem we see often.
How Does it Happen?
So, how can Google allow this to happen? Well, the folks at Google have always been vocal about empowering users to contribute their local knowledge to Google products and services. And while Google recently began notifying merchants via email who manage their business listings that there’s been an edit to their information, it’s not fool-proof.
Last year Google fully launched their “Contribute” tool within Google Maps, empowering and encouraging users to submit reviews, answer questions, and offer edits for businesses that they have visited. This is one of the major sources of these edits.
“Google’s user data program [Contribute] is great, but unless you are configured as the owner of the property or have alerts enabled as a manager, you may not get a notification about an edit before it is automatically applied by Google after 30 days.” says GRIT’s Digital Director, Kevin Kresge.
Google My Listing Dashboard
In theory, any time there’s an edit to a business, it shows up in the Google My Business dashboard as “Updates from Google.” That’s not always the case; however, and we’ll get to that in a moment. But, if that edit does show up on the dashboard, the person managing the listing often thinks they have to accept the edits for them to go live. However, by accepting the updates, the listing manager is simply confirming the information is correct. If the update is not accepted, the manager has to edit the listing to return it to its original state.
Back to the “that’s not always the case” comment. While Google has many filters in place to flag spam and cross-check changes, there are times edits go through without a notification being sent to a listing manager’s dashboard. GRIT’s Digital Director manages dozens of Google My Listing accounts for GRIT clients, and this is something he monitors daily.
The take away here—while Google has come a long way with keeping business listing managers abreast of any updates, it’s not a perfect system. Unless business owners have someone who can monitor their listings on a regular basis, it might be a good idea to partner up with someone who has the time and knowledge to keep the business information up-to-date and accurate. We have a team of digital experts here at GRIT Marketing Group and would be happy to help. Give us a call!