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gbphelpme

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Hi Local Search Forum Hivemind,

This forum has been invaluable to me over the years as I’ve built my tiny one-person business into something that can pay the bills.

I am needing some feedback and suggestions on my current situation. I have scoured multiple local/GBP forums for solutions and need to decide on the best course of action.

I’ll give a history of the high points of this GBP just in case it influences what I should do.

- GBP was created in winter of 2016 when physical location verification was an easy breezy postcard. The map pin lived in an apartment building for years. I rebranded/moved the business and changed the address/map pin (to a house) in early 2020 with another postcard, then a slight name change in spring of 2021.

- In mid-2022, I reverted the business name back to the name it had in 2020 AND moved the business to another physical location halfway across the US since I moved. That triggered a soft suspension and I was able to get re-verified without much trouble through a postcard at the new address and kept the map pin (at a residential address).

Even though I know I should not have had a map pin on residential location/s when the business was SAB only at the time, it never got flagged.

- Fast forward to October 2022. I purchased a house and changed the GBP address, set to SAB. Got flagged for reverification. Failed video verification twice, did live video verification in mid-January via support form and got reverified as an SAB without issue.

- This house has a space I am using serve customers in-person during business hours. It has a separate entrance that has been converted into a business space. I do not yet have permanent signage out front but I have a plan to install it should I go the “show address for physical location” route.

Now my questions:

1. Since this GBP address has been moved so recently and converted from physical location to SAB, is the profile at risk for suspension if I were to add the physical address and show it since this is happening so soon after reverification? Or is it more likely to just trigger the need for reverification?
2. If I add the physical address, how long should I wait to do it, if I wait at all?
3. Is it safer just to leave the profile as-is since there have been three past address changes with it from 2016-2024? My performance rankings have decreased, but I can’t tell if that is just because it is typically a slower time of year for my business or it is due to the change in profile type. I've read a map pin helps with rankings, but then I also have read that it hasn't.
4. I assume that if I need to re-verify, recorded video verification will fail since the house looks like a house from Google Street view and the address is registered as a residential address. I am prepared to do a live video verification again to show the permanent signage, separate entrance for the business, space separate from the house where I serve customers during business hours, business license/documents with new address, and tools of operation. But the last thing I want is for the profile to get suspended and not be able to recover it.
5. This business is also technically a hybrid business since customers can come to me or I go to them. If I add the physical location, can I add a service area after that? Or could that trigger reverification also?

If there's anything else relevant I should know about this process, it would be super helpful.

Thank you!
 
The short solution is you need a new listing when you move if the listing is an SAB. I published instructions recently on this here: 3 Steps to Move Your Service Area Business Google Business Profile Without Destroying Your Ranking

Thank you for the link and video, Joy. That is really helpful to know especially with the case studies included. A couple of follow up questions:

- When I did the live video verification for the SAB, I put in my new home's address when they asked for an address (as required to initiate reverification). Obviously it was not added as visible on the GBP since the listing is currently an SAB, but could this affect the outcome me making a new listing with a physical location at the same address/my home?

- Your video mentions having a local phone number. I do have a local business phone number, but it is already added to my current GBP (SAB profile). In your experience, do you see this causing potential problems since I will be making a new profile with the same phone number?

- Do you think this will trigger an automatic suspension for the current GBP that is an SAB since the business has the same name and located within the same area?

- Also, you mention in your video as a disclaimer that this should not be used for brick and mortar businesses moving locations. The GBP was technically brick and mortar/physical location up until a month ago when it was changed to an SAB after live video verification. As I mentioned in an earlier question, I provided the address I want to use for my new physical location to Google when reverifying as an SAB. Me changing the address is what triggered the reverification but since the profile is an SAB, the address isn't showing on the profile.

- Since the GBP has been verified as having a brick and mortar location in the area I want to rank in (just three miles away), should I even bother with making the new physical location profile if this would be the best way forward? I am super afraid of losing everything I have built up in that profile. I get most of my clients from it.

Thank you in advance.
 
Unless you are still a storefront, setting up a new listing would be the way to go. There is no good way to move a service area business listing. I haven't tried this using the same phone number, but I would give it a try and provided the other listing isn't live anywhere, hopefully you don't run into issues.
 
Unless you are still a storefront, setting up a new listing would be the way to go. There is no good way to move a service area business listing. I haven't tried this using the same phone number, but I would give it a try and provided the other listing isn't live anywhere, hopefully you don't run into issues.

Thank you again, Joy. What do you mean by your last sentence, 'provided the other listing isn't live anywhere'? As in the phone number? Or the other listing is set as a physical location? I want to make sure I understand before I start this process. To think I would have had an easier time of it moving physical location-to-physical location... live and learn.
 
You said it's suspended. Sometimes suspended listings are still live on Google in an unverified state.
 
You said it's suspended. Sometimes suspended listings are still live on Google in an unverified state.

It's not suspended. The profile was reverified successfully in mid-January of this year and currently active as a SAB profile. The last address it was verified at as a physical location (in June 2022) is a few miles away, within my service area.
 

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