More threads by gregmcbrien

gregmcbrien

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We have a Google My Business listing for a plumber. When the listing was created years ago by a different agency it had 'Address A'.

A few years later, the plumber moved to a different address and the listing was updated to have a published address at 'Address B'.

Upon coming onboard as the marketing agency for the plumber recently, we removed the published address so the business can be correctly displayed as a Service Area business as per Google guidelines. Google then suspended the listing and requested documentation. We sent Accounting and Government documentation to Google to prove the plumber is at that address.

Google successfully verified the information and the listing was changed to a Service Based listing by removing the published address, the listing became 'live' again. However, we now notice the listing isn't ranking at all (where it used to rank well) and when you perform a search for the plumber name, the suburb that comes up next to the name is 'Address A' - the original address, not the correct address (Address B). It's like the listing has reverted to its original address once the current, corrct address was removed so it could be a service based business.

Does anyone have a solution for this? Whenever I reach out to Google they provide generic help articles that don't address/acknowledge the issue
 
The best and easiest solution is to create and verify a new GBP and transfer the reviews from the old GBP to the new one. Since Google removed the address in the backend, it doesn't work to move an SAB. You can transfer the reviews if you are not moving states or territories.
 
Yeah, this is what @JoyHawkins recommends in a recent post: 3 Steps to Move Your Service Area Business Google Business Profile Without Destroying Your Ranking

I don't love that, though, because I always worry about starting from scratch with a new Profile. Doesn't age play a role? I worry that if Google messes something up, you'll drop significantly in the rankings and will have a very difficult time recovering.

This is why I want to test the "reverify" method. The question is, how do you force Google to unverify a listing? And, is it worth the hassle of going through the reverification process? I guess you'd still have to go through the process with a new listing anyway, so the work is the same...
 
Yeah, this is what @JoyHawkins recommends in a recent post: 3 Steps to Move Your Service Area Business Google Business Profile Without Destroying Your Ranking

I don't love that, though, because I always worry about starting from scratch with a new Profile. Doesn't age play a role? I worry that if Google messes something up, you'll drop significantly in the rankings and will have a very difficult time recovering.

This is why I want to test the "reverify" method. The question is, how do you force Google to unverify a listing? And, is it worth the hassle of going through the reverification process? I guess you'd still have to go through the process with a new listing anyway, so the work is the same...

I don't see any evidence that history is a ranking factor. I am seeing unclaimed and coming soon GBPs ranking well. If you have over ten reviews, then you will get that ranking benefit when Google merges the GBPs.
 
Seems like a reasonable take.

I had a case where the business moved from Pennsylvania to Florida. They hid the address, but always ranked in Pennsylvania. The only way the were able to rank in Florida was to show the address. They eventually created a new GBP to resolve the ranking issue.
 
I have an update on this. Sadly, it did not work. Here's a timeline of events:
  1. Set up rank tracking from 5 zip codes around the old location and 5 zip codes around the new location.
  2. Updated the GBP to the new address and left it visible. (no reverification was triggered. Phew)
  3. The next day, you could see that rankings shifted to the new location.
  4. We let rankings collect for a few days, then hid the address.
  5. For 4 days the rankings stayed. I thought we had successfully done it!
  6. On day 5, rankings shifted back to the old location and they are stuck there.
So this demonstrates that you cannot just update the address in GBP to move a SAB unless you plan to keep the address visible.

This leaves me 2 things to test.

1. Just updating the address doesn't work, but what if the listing gets unverified and needs to be reverified. Will the reverification process reset the "ranking radius" address? I have a hunch it might.

2. This case study showed that rankings did not disappear when the address was hidden in Google. They just moved. The rankings stayed just as strong as they were before, but the area that the business was ranking in shifted back to the old address. I want to test hiding an address on a business that has never moved. My hunch in this case is that the rankings won't drop.

That timeline matches what we were observing when we were still trying to puzzle out this bug. I'm thinking that @JoyHawkins 's idea of basically doing it via a profile merge instead of anything involving changing adresses is the only way to achieve it.
 
I have an update on this. Sadly, it did not work. Here's a timeline of events:
  1. Set up rank tracking from 5 zip codes around the old location and 5 zip codes around the new location.
  2. Updated the GBP to the new address and left it visible. (no reverification was triggered. Phew)
  3. The next day, you could see that rankings shifted to the new location.
  4. We let rankings collect for a few days, then hid the address.
  5. For 4 days the rankings stayed. I thought we had successfully done it!
  6. On day 5, rankings shifted back to the old location and they are stuck there.
So this demonstrates that you cannot just update the address in GBP to move a SAB unless you plan to keep the address visible.

This leaves me 2 things to test.

1. Just updating the address doesn't work, but what if the listing gets unverified and needs to be reverified. Will the reverification process reset the "ranking radius" address? I have a hunch it might.

2. This case study showed that rankings did not disappear when the address was hidden in Google. They just moved. The rankings stayed just as strong as they were before, but the area that the business was ranking in shifted back to the old address. I want to test hiding an address on a business that has never moved. My hunch in this case is that the rankings won't drop.

Darren, can you unhide the address and see if the listing is showing located in "old city" but the new address is present? The address is not the ranking factor but it appears the "category" in "city" could be the ranking factor. For example: Security service in Genesee County, Michigan.

My client is ranking at his old address and can be found on desktop maps in Genesee although the address is being displayed at the new location. When the address was moved it did trigger a reverification but a few days later reverted back to the service in "old county" The address is still displayed correctly. I moved the map pin and it triggered reverification. I am hoping this moves category service in location. Apparently the real ranking factor!
 
Darren, can you unhide the address and see if the listing is showing located in "old city" but the new address is present? The address is not the ranking factor but it appears the "category" in "city" could be the ranking factor. For example: Security service in Genesee County, Michigan.

My client is ranking at his old address and can be found on desktop maps in Genesee although the address is being displayed at the new location. When the address was moved it did trigger a reverification but a few days later reverted back to the service in "old county" The address is still displayed correctly. I moved the map pin and it triggered reverification. I am hoping this moves category service in location. Apparently the real ranking factor!

I can confirm that showing the new address is a 100% surefire way to get around the move bug (it's our go-to solution) if you can do it without Google throwing a fit.

This may be a different issue, such as a divergence between the mail and google's definition of the service area. Have you confirmed this with a geogrid without explicit area name?
 
I'd still like to test this reverification method. See if it works.

It may not work, a reddit user re-verified the profile after moving states and it doesn't show up in the new area, but I'm trying to get more info.



1702653976518.jpg
 
I can confirm that showing the new address is a 100% surefire way to get around the move bug (it's our go-to solution) if you can do it without Google throwing a fit.

This may be a different issue, such as a divergence between the mail and google's definition of the service area. Have you confirmed this with a geogrid without explicit area name?

When you look up the business on maps when the address is hidden is the distance in miles accurate?
 

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