KymM

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What is the best account structure for an agency that manages a lot of GMB listings? Our current set-up is each team member has the 10-15 listings they manage in their account, which makes it so that they don't have to log into 15 different accounts every month. However, this runs the risk of the account being suspended and all listings affected. We had never had an issue in the last five years, but in the past month, we've had two team members who have had several clients suspended in a short amount of time. It definitely seems as though their accounts are flagged, as no one else is having an issue and all of our listings are managed the same way.

I know that Google announced an agency account a while ago, but we'd heard enough negative things about it that we never considered it before now. Does it run the same risk of every listing in the account getting suspended? Is it worth the hassle to get it set up?

How do you go about managing 100s of GMB listings at your agency? Thanks in advance for your time and input!
 

Jaimie S

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Hi Kym,

We do a similar process and yes also recently experienced account suspensions that affect all the listings managed under one Gmail.

I have no solutions but looking forward to hearing what other people can recommend!
 

ibweb

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We've had 0 issues with Google's Agency account for GMB.
It took a bit to get setup/configured in a streamlined way that works for our (and our clients') workflow.
I'd recommend testing/exploring that route to see if it fits your workflow.
 

Teresa Gaunt

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Hi Kym,

We use Google's Agency Account to manage our client listings and haven't had any issues. We like having all the listings in one place and it feels a bit more professional when getting access to client listings. Each client has a separate group and we add users based on the client.

The only slightly annoying part is that Google doesn't send notifications to the email address associated with an account that has more than 100 listings. Our workaround is to add a user (email address) we use specifically for notifications. We have several that we keep under 100 each and then forward all the emails to one email account. Once you have it setup it's smooth sailing.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
 

KymM

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I appreciate the responses! I'm glad to hear it works.
I guess at this point my biggest concern is if having all of our listings in the agency account poses the same risk of mass suspension that having multiple listings in an individual account does. I imagine Google hasn't come out and said anything like that, but does anyone know if the risk is there or not?
 

Jaimie S

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Hi Kym, We think the positives outweigh the negatives on the agency account. There may still be some risk, but probably no more than a non-agency account. This article is very helpful and provides info on how to avoid GMB account suspensions - [2020] Ultimate Playbook for Google My Business Suspensions - Sterling Sky Inc
Hi Teresa,

One of these tips is to ensure the business owner is the primary owner. If you are setting up a listing, at what point do you add the owner as a user/primary owner, at time of page setup or after verification. Which triggers less suspensions?

@JoyHawkins if you have some advice too on the best time to add the business owner as the primary owner to minimise suspension.

Thanks ahead!!
 

freerunr

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I appreciate the responses! I'm glad to hear it works.
I guess at this point my biggest concern is if having all of our listings in the agency account poses the same risk of mass suspension that having multiple listings in an individual account does. I imagine Google hasn't come out and said anything like that, but does anyone know if the risk is there or not?
Having used an agency account for 2.5 years that houses listings for numerous different businesses, the risk of an account-level issue is ever-present. The way we handle it is having very stringent internal controls: always abiding by Google's policies (and GMB PE's recommendations), and having a team that is trained on recognizing anything that seems fishy. It doesn't eliminate all the risk because so many users outside our org have access. But to date, I think the biggest issue was the President's Day massacre (several suspensions in Feb. 2020), which impacted many businesses/agencies besides us.
 

Teresa Gaunt

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Hi Teresa,

One of these tips is to ensure the business owner is the primary owner. If you are setting up a listing, at what point do you add the owner as a user/primary owner, at time of page setup or after verification. Which triggers less suspensions?

@JoyHawkins if you have some advice too on the best time to add the business owner as the primary owner to minimise suspension.

Thanks ahead!!
When we create GMB listings, we set up the GMB account and listing(s) with a business email address and as the primary owner from the start.
 

Jaimie S

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When we create GMB listings, we set up the GMB account and listing(s) with a business email address and as the primary owner from the start.
I see, are you walking the clients through the process or using one of their domain logins?
We find most of our suspensions occur for customers don't have website yet or domain emails. That's what we are really trying to find solutions for at the moment while we convince the owners to invest in a domain/email.

Appreciate your input.
 

Teresa Gaunt

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I see, are you walking the clients through the process or using one of their domain logins?
We find most of our suspensions occur for customers don't have website yet or domain emails. That's what we are really trying to find solutions for at the moment while we convince the owners to invest in a domain/email.

Appreciate your input.
Hi, Jaimie, and happy Friday!

We ask our client for the domain email they want to use for their listings and we use it to create their listings for them.

If your client doesn't have a website, I wonder if it would help if you take advantage of the GMB website? Is their non-domain email at least business@gmail.com or something like that? I'm not sure that makes a difference, but that's what we usually have when a client doesn't have a domain email. Luckily, we've never had a suspension (knock on wood!).
 

Jaimie S

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Thanks Teresa, hope you enjoyed the weekend.

Yes we setup the GMB website for them for sure. They sometimes have a business@gmail, sometimes it is their personal one we invite as a manager.

Do you log into their personal/business email in absence of the domain one?

How lucky you are with no suspensions haha! They are all over the place for us lately.
 

Teresa Gaunt

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Hi Jaimie,

Yes, we create a GMB account for whatever email address they give us to use. We set up the account so they're the primary owner and give our agency account manager access. We don't typically login to their personal email accounts, unless it's a gmail and we're using it to setup GMB. Once everything is all set up and we have access, we let them know we won't be accessing GMB through their account anymore and they can change the password for security.
 

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