More threads by Rich Owings

Rich Owings

Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Apr 21, 2014
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Here's the situation -- a new client has a G+ Local page in his name ( but has moved his office, is getting a new domain and is changing the business name. Furthermore, there is a second location for his practice, and another dentist. The second one has neither a G+ Local page nor a practitioner page, so that location will get a new G+ Local page.

The name change is part of a rebranding to reflect the fact that they have two locations.

Since the phone number remains the same for the first location, I'm assuming I should change the name, address and domain on the existing G+ page rather than try to create a new page for the location. And that way I would be avoiding individual practitioner pages as well.

But it's complicated enough that I wanted to run it by folks here first. I'm also concerned about how many changes (NAW) there will be and if that will create any hiccups in claiming it. I am planning to wait until the new domain is live before going in and making any changes to the G+ page.

Thanks for any help you can offer.
That's a tough one Rich, I was coming to say it's complicated, just based on what you said in your post.

But then I did a little research and it's even more complicated.

I'm not really sure which is old address, which is new and which is the 2nd one you refer to, but I found some listings you should be aware of to add to the mix as we try to figure out the best way to handle.

Is Yorkshire the new address and you said you had not changed existing to the new address yet? Be advised, I think Google already created a listing:

And the other address you said you had not created a listing yet?

Looks like there is a claimed listing there already. Maybe from the previous Dentist???

Please confirm I have the different locations straight. McDowell is old and Yorkshire is new?

What is the name changing to and why again??? To differentiate? They are in different cities, so with patients can't he just refer to them on the site with the different city names? I say this because any time you change name on Google it can mess you up. Plus he's changing address too, so double whammy?
Ouch. Yes, Yorkshire is the new address, McDowell is the new one. I agree, it looks like Google created the page for the new address.

The other one (Hendersonville) is a retired dentist who sold them the office space. I missed that one.

The name change is a rebranding (to Carolina Mountain Dental), and I think it would be confusing to leave it under their names, since each of the two dentists spends two days of each week in each office.

Thanks Linda. Your insights are greatly appreciated!
The name change is a rebranding (to Carolina Mountain Dental), and I think it would be confusing to leave it under their names, since each of the two dentists spends two days of each week in each office.

Glad I asked about the name change. That's not a rebranding, that's a different business entity in Google's eyes. (Rebranding would be "Bright Smile Dental" changed to "Alpine Dentistry". Same practice, just different name.)

You should not change the Dr name to a practice name, it would likely cause ongoing data issues.

In most cases Google will create separate pages for the Drs anyway (like they already did for that one) so you will usually have a practice listing as well as a listing for each practitioner. Nothing you can do. It's the way Google wants it.

So this is what I would do for the location that moved...

1) Dr listing at old location - Mark the old Dr listing as closed, relocated.

2) Dr listing G created at new location - don't claim, minimize it. (See below.)

3) Create new listing for the practice at the new location.
But 1st be sure you have a good base of citations.

Read this for more info about Practitioner dupes and how to minimize the Dr listing:
<a href="">Overcoming Google Practitioner Duplicate Listing Problems for Dentists, Attorneys</a>

That's what I would do. But others feel free to weigh in because this ones complicated.
Thanks, Linda. That makes sense -- great advice.

I've been minimizing practitioners with a law firm I work with, so I'm comfortable with that.

It will be interesting to try and get a good base of citations before I set up their new G+ page for the practice. I'm wondering about doing Facebook first, which would allow me to set up Moz Local. Yelp is another big one I could try to do ahead of G+. Any thoughts on which ones you'd do ahead of creating a G+ page?
I've done a ton of consulting and troubleshooting for dentists lately so I thought I would spend some time seeing how your case compares to the ones I've worked on. I spent some time reading over what you both wrote and looked up your 2 locations and this is what I would advise.
A little disclaimer, my advice is different than Linda?s, so hopefully it doesn?t confuse you  I will try to detail why I recommend what I do.

Asheville Location
Are you working for any of the other doctors, or just Dr. Efird? There were 2 other practitioner listings I found (Elizabeth Stanton + Jessica Norris).
I recommend that you claim the practitioner listing at the old address ( and then once it?s claimed, update the address in the dashboard. Had you have claimed this listing before, this is what you would do when a client moves. You don?t create a new listing, you update the listing in the dashboard (this is what Google tells you to do). Marking listings as closed is like the kiss of death in my experience. It causes massive ranking issues and the closed listings actually rank on Google so since the old listing is older and has more history, it will likely outrank the new listing and then people searching for the doctor could see ?permanently closed?. I keep running into this with clients and the fix is always to avoid having a listing marked closed, if possible. Once you have the listing claimed and updated, at that point, I would call Google My Business support and tell them you have a duplicate ( and you want to merge the 2. It should be an easy process since that one is not verified and has no owner.
I would also recommend you work off the Dr. Listing and not the practice listing for this location. I wouldn?t even create a practice listing unless you really want one (the less the better in my opinion).

Hendersonville Location
I would just leave alone unless it?s conflicting or ranking somewhere you really don?t want it to. Again, I try to avoid closing down listings that share a phone number you have associated with an open listing. There are just some things broken when it comes to closed listings at the moment from what I can see. I have some theories as to why but I just advise avoid them when possible.
I would create 1 listing for either the practice or the practitioner. It looks like there are more citations for the practitioner so I?m leaning towards that one. If you do a phone # search on Google for (828) 697-6000 you get blasted with a ton of listings for James Olson so it looks like you need to do some citation building.
I would start with Express Update, Acxiom, CitySearch, and Localeze.
Thanks Joy for the detailed insights!

You know it's funny because I had a humongous post written explaining your way and the way I suggested and listing out the pros and cons of each. But then I decided it was too complicated and best to just pick what I thought was best and not make it so confusing. So I scrapped that post and just focused on the one solution.

I picked the method for a couple reasons.

1) Sounds like they already decided to rebrand as practice and build a new site and everything.

So seems like once the rebrand and new site takes effect and patients get to know it by that name, they may Google search for Carolina Mountain Dental to leave a review, and seems you'd want a practice listing to show up if that's what the business is known by. (But I see your point about less is better on Google, but big picture if it's a new brand they kinda want to brand it I would think.)

2) Since 3 things would be changing if he edited the Dr listing, NAW, I feel pretty certain Google will end up creating a new listing and marking the old one as closed anyway. So much is changing - everything except the phone - that I think the algo would think of it as a new business entity, not just a move and would create new/close.

But that was my thinking when his plan was to change the Dr name to practice name. If they decided to just forget about the practice name, then yes he could just change address on the Dr listing.

But if they are going full bore on a new practice name, I'm not sure it makes sense not to have a place to leave reviews or a knowledge panel for the new practice.

3) I'd primarily seen closed listings impacting ranking when they are at same address. (Like a closed practitioner listing or bad version of name - but at same location.) And like we know, closed listings are not supposed to rank OR hurt ranking, so hoping that's just a temporary glitch. So since this is a new location was not as worried about closing old. But I agree this part has been troublesome.

So now Rich, you have even more to chew on. :) Lots of pros and cons either way and lots of ways to look at it.

Thanks again Joy!
Wow, you two have given me a lot to think about. It's good to see a couple of different approaches, as I'm getting a lot of insight into what all is involved.

I don't think this is a significant factor, but here's one other thing I should note. They have contracted with a photographer to do a business view shoot for both locations. And of course he can't upload it until they have a verified page.

Are you working for any of the other doctors, or just Dr. Efird? There were 2 other practitioner listings I found (Elizabeth Stanton + Jessica Norris).

No, the only two dentists with the clinic are Efird and Dimsdale. Were those associated with the Asheville address?

They are definitely committed to the new practice name.

The flu has hit me and my family pretty hard in the last 24 hours, so I hope this all makes sense. If I missed any questions either of you asked, please let me know. I may be back with more questions once my head clears. I have some time as I don't think the website is going live until after the holidays.

Thank you both for taking the time to post such detailed responses.
I basically followed Linda's advice here. I created two new G+ Local pages using the new name for each location:

Note that they each even have business view photos.

Google auto-generated a new page for one of the dentists:

It has been minimized (the link on it actually goes to his bio page on the site, not the home page).

I've also done Moz Local for both locations, they have active FB pages for both locations, and as of a few days ago, they have Yelp pages for each location.

But when you search for the business name from Asheville, NC, the G+ page doesn't come up. If you search from Hendersonville, NC, the Asheville practitioner page comes up!

Any suggestions on how to get the proper G+ pages to show up in searches?

I would greatly appreciate any suggestions!
Still struggling with this one. I just went in to see if I could minimize the listing of the retired Hendersonville dentist, who has a closed listing. I tried changing the category to "Cosmetic Dentist" and I got this message:

"Similar features found nearby.
Is your feature a duplicate of one of the following?"

And then it shows the correct, current listing. Should I say it is a duplicate or not?
Hey Rich,

This is because I don't believe you can edit a closed listing without re-opening it which you definitely don't want to do. It's hesitating letting you reopen it since it realizes that a correct listing already exists.
Okay, thanks. I'm at a loss for what to do here. I think I will take it to the official GMB forum. I can't understand why they aren't showing up for a branded search after paying for business view for two locations, setting up Moz Local, dealing with dupes, adding SameAs schema and about everything else I can think of.

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