More threads by M3M0


Apr 16, 2024
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The registered owner of the "original" company moved to another state about 5 years ago. One of his employees opened a new business providing exactly the same service but somehow maintains the original company's website, phone numbers, and GBP. The second company has its own website, phone number, GBP and it is operated by the same staff that ran the original business.

If you call the original company number, the staff answers with the new business name and if you question why their website/GBP lists a different business, they explain to you that the company you are trying to reach moved to another state but they provide the service you are interested on. This company has enjoyed this unfair dvantage over the rest of us for years and using this "technique" - and others - has allowed them to become the leading local provider of that service.

Is That Fair Game or Violates Guidelines? If so, I would greatly appreciate any suggestions as the best way to report all of their unfair practices to Google.
Hi, it sounds to me like this company is violating several guidelines. Here are some helpful articles:

* When Can Service-Based Businesses Have Multiple Google My Business Listings? - Sterling Sky Inc
* Help! My Listing was Flagged as a Duplicate - Sterling Sky Inc
* Does Merging Google My Business Listings Help Ranking? - Sterling Sky Inc

You can report the "old spam" listing to Google for deletion, but you need to make a solid case. Here are some potential grounds for deletion:

1. The address for the "old spam" listing is incorrect. Just like Facebook is a social network for people, GBP is a social network based on addresses. Typically, because of "the filter," only one business of each "category" can appear at an address. For instance, let's say that both you and I are personal injury lawyers that operate in the same building. I'm in Suite A, and you're in Suite B. One of us would be "filtered out," typically the company with fewer reviews. For this reason, it sounds impossible that two listings for businesses at the same address in the same category can appear in the Google listings at the same time.

Meanwhile, you reported that both listings are purportedly at the same address. I honestly don't understand how Google is OK with that, unless the old listing is either (A) listed as being at a different address (which is a lie), or (B) it's a "service area business."

2. Not staffed. Even if the old address exists, the old listing likely isn't staffed by live humans during business hours.

I would advise reading those articles, and then staring at the "old spam" listing to ascertain which facts violate GBP's guidelines. Only then would I submit a case for deletion on the old listing.

In other news, you can also try to get more reviews. The old listing hasn't been getting reviews for at least 5 years, so it should be easy to get more reviews than them?
Hello bobbyh ~ I really appreciate the suggestions and the articles you provided. I'll definitely read through them carefully to ensure I have a clear understanding of the possible violations these individuals might be committing before I send a complaint to Google.

As for getting more reviews than they have, it would be quite challenging and time-consuming. The old GBP has nearly 200 reviews, and the new one has almost 400. Considering I only started my business a month ago, I only have a fraction of what these individuals have combined.

I have experience conducting online research and investigations, and I feel confident that I can put together a solid package demonstrating their unfair practices. However, I wonder if submitting a detailed report might be too overwhelming and ineffective for Google, considering they likely receive hundreds of such complaints every day. Perhaps sending them small pieces of evidence gradually might be more effective.

Feedback from anyone with experience in this area would be greatly appreciated. Cheers!
Submit a detailed report that is terse but complete. Sending Google small pieces of evidence over time is not a winning strategy.

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