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I have a client (company A) who is preparing to merge with a more established company (company B). Each company has a GMB profile, but the profile for Company B ranks better in the local pack than my client's profile.

The problem is that the new merged company will retain the name, address and phone of the lower ranking Company A, so Company A wont immediately benefit from the higher ranking power of Company B.

The plan is to 301 redirect Company B's website to Company A on a page by page basis. Then we will likely request a merge of GMB profiles through business support.

Is that the best course of action in this situation from a local pack ranking standpoint?
 

Colan Nielsen

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Hi Scott, your thoughts sound good. However, Google likely won't merge the two listings due to the fact that they have completely different NAP's, by the sound of it.

So one option could be to ask Google to mark the listing for company A as "moved". If done correctly, this will redirect the old page to the new page. Whether or not that transfers any ranking juice is still not clear.

I think that is going to be your best option given that the two businesses have totally different NAP. Any chance you can provide the business details in order to give this situation more context?

Thanks
 
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Thanks for the advice Colan. If I could take ownership of Company B's GMB listing, and update the NAP to match Company A, is that the best option? Although that would create a temporary duplicate profile, at least I could try to merge the listings at that point.
 
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Thanks again. I do think that I'll at least have to change the business name of Company B to match Company A. GMB support told me that they will not let me mark Company B as moved with inconsistent NAP.

Is it your experience that at least the business names have to match for one location to be marked as moved to another?
 

JoyHawkins

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I understand why they'd say that. If not anyone could just hijack and claim they were "merging" with a competitor. I don't think there is any way to "get rid of" the old brand but if you 301 the URL that should help minimize it a lot.
 
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I wanted to thank Colan and Joy for their advice on my company merging question.

It took me awhile, but after tweeting GMB support I eventually found a helpful person who contacted me via local-help@google.com.

Once I took ownership of the two different businesses' GMB profiles, GMB support agreed to mark Company B as being permanently moved to Company A. They did this even though the two companies had completely different NAP.

I ran rank check reports using Brightlocal both before and after the move and I saw significant improvement in the ranking for company A. It looks to me like company A benefited by Company B's higher GMB rankings.

I'm a little hesitant to claim that the GMB move is the only factor responsible for the ranking boost because I also set 301 redirects of site B to site A earlier in the day. However, I did not see the boost between the time that the 301s were done and the move was completed. In fact, I don't think the moved site - site B - has even been re-indexed since the 301s were created because I can still see the pages when I do a site:eek:ldsite.com search.

It seems to me that if you help two companies with their own GMB profiles merge, using the move feature is your best option.
 
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