More threads by Rich Owings

Rich Owings

Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Apr 21, 2014
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Hi all,

Here's the situation... The business owner has a claimed G+ Local page that has 73 five star reviews, so I sure don't want to mess that up!...

Under a separate email account for his wife, we see two pages in the GMB dash. One has a red slash across the profile photo and says this page has not been verified and is suspected spam.

The other page under the wife's email account is this one, which has the same number of followers (9) as the page we want to keep. My querstions are:

  • Should we delete both pages from the wife's GMB dash?
  • Is the last page I mentioned (with the same number of followerrs) a merged page and is that a cause for concern?

Thanks for any help anyone can offer!
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Hi Rich,

That last link, is not a verified G+ Local page. Note there is no review option and it says "story" and is a different layout. So it's just a plain G+ page.

So it won't rank in maps and therefore is not considered the type of dupe that would hurt ranking or is a violation - but it's not needed and is splitting off followers.

But it sounds like there is a dupe of that G+ page in the account. So if it were me I think I'd just get rid of both. Could try to reach out to those followers personally and ask them to follow the G+ L page that has all the reviews.
Thank you, Linda. I thought it would be safe to delete them, but just wanted to check to be sure.
Hi Rich,

It's better to delete a page and start from scratch. It will avoid any future problems with your page. As you have mentioned you got just 9 followers I guess you didn't have much views on the page and it will be safer to get new page.
Thanks Stephen.

I'll get rid of the the other ones but there is an existing page with 73 five star reviews, which I'll keep.
No Problem Rich. It's annoying if you work hard on the page and then it will be spammed or blocked. I got similar experience I worked on G+ page for a while and then it was deleted by google and it is really hard to get any answers from google.
I would advise the same thing Linda did.

This page looks like it was set-up as a G+ Brand Page - It doesn't interfere with ranking of the main page (as far as we know) with the reviews but it isn't necessary to have it and could do more harm than good (confused customers, split followers).

Thank you for taking the time to reply. The two pages under the wife's account have been deleted. What started this whole thing was that he has dropped out of the map pack (he is currently # 19 for "plumber" when searched from 28803), although he is still doing well organically. And I know Pigeon has made it less likely to show up on page 1 both organically and in the map pack, but a couple of his competitors are. Aargh!
Found another potential problem Rich.

I think this may be their listing too:

It's listed at same address as your client. (But address is hidden.)
And its using your client's 2nd line or cell phone #.

Check to see if it's in any dashboards but it does not look like it's claimed. EXCEPT address is hidden which makes me think it could be unless Google is suddenly auto-hiding addresses in certain industries which I've not heard anything about.

Is that a previous name or something?

Hang on for what to do and I'll ask Joy to weigh in.
Because technically it should be marked closed BUT we've seen lots of listings that seem to get suppressed in the rankings if there is an old listing at the location that's closed. Maybe since no site is listed and phone is different it won't matter.

One ODD little thing I think worth changing on the main page. The whole description is bold. I think that's something that could trip a filter. Google does not like shouting in caps which can cause review or even suspension and is a strong spam signal. I just wonder if shouting in all bold could be too.
Ugh! Not sure how or when that bolding happened. And when I go in and unbold it, click Save and then Done Editing, it reverts back to bold! Sheesh!

Yes, A2Z is an older company he had. I did a search for it the other day to deal with this page but couldn't find it. It isn't showing in any accounts that they can recall, but of course there may be one from years ago they have forgotten about.
Ya it does not look claimed, just thought it would be worth checking.

I pinged Joy about what to do with it. She'll be here when she has time.
Yes, A2Z is an older company he had. I did a search for it the other day to deal with this page but couldn't find it.

The way I dug it up in case you are curious.

On the plain G+ page I thought you said they deleted. It's still live.
I noticed a 2nd phone # on that page. So searched G maps classic and it only showed the main listing.

So then I searched G+ Local for that other phone # and there it was. Scroll down., NC, United States/s/(828) 274-4858
The answer depends on what the relationship is between A2Z Plumbing and Blue Planet Plumbing.

Can you let me know me know how they relate and also the differences between the 2 phone numbers (828) 423-6289 and (828) 274-4858 since only one is listed on A2Z Plumbing?
They changed their business from A2Z Plumbing and Gas Piping Inc. to Blue Planet Plumbing LLC in October 2010. I'm not sure if they changed their corporate name or set up a new corporation, but I can find out if it is important.

It is a home-based SAB. The (828) 274-4858 number is the landline that was sometimes listed in citations. I've been cleaning those up to use only the (828) 423-6289 mobile number. I decided to stick with that one since it was already being used on their G+ Local page.

Thanks Joy and Linda for taking the time to dig into this.
So the only option would be to report it closed (you can't get it merged or deleted based on what you told me). However, I wouldn't. I would keep an eye on it (mark it somewhere) but basically would un-associate (828) 274-4858 with the current G+ page since you referenced it was the main number for the old business.

Closed listings are out-ranking open listings at the moment and carry a lot of weight - for whatever dumb reason. Your "ranking juice" doesn't flow from the old to the new if you re-brand so it's like completely starting over. If you can avoid having the listing marked closed I would.
Thanks, Joy. I will remove the landline as a secondary number.

One other piece of info re: rankings. I removed a few mentions of the the city name from his G+ Local description a couple of weeks ago, trying to bring it in line with best practices. Could that have caused his map pack rankings to drop? I'm tempted to add them back and test it. Do any of you know how long it usually takes for changes in a G+ Local listing to impact rankings?
Hi Rich,

Google has said publicly that the description is not a ranking factor. So having city in there multiple times should not have helped and cleaning it up should not have negatively affected ranking unless penalized.

Changes can impact rankings in 1 - 2 weeks. But sometimes it takes longer. All I know is the reverse issue. After cleaning up city repetition I've seen rankings jump normally 1 - 2 weeks later. BUT I've also seen a 5 month penalty hangover in severe cases.

I'd call support about that bold issue.

1) It's a bug if dash won't let you correct it.

2) What if means listing is somehow borked?

3) I know it sounds like a little thing but I've seen quirky stuff like this cause weird issues before.

4) Simple call to make, you could ask if they see anything else wrong?
Oh and I had not looked at the site yet.

Onsite SEO is even more important now. You haven't taken my Local SEO course yet have you? Because they are missing a lot of local hooks and the site could def be optimized better for local. Are you doing their SEO too or only the Place page?
I have not taken your course, but I just filled out the form to request more info. :)

The website was recently updated from a horrible GoDaddy site to WordPress. I am doing some of the on-site SEO. All the old pages have 301 redirects. I was not responsible for copy, but mainly focused on title tags, alt image tags, NAP, etc.

Any suggestions are appreciated!
Thanks got your email Rich.

Behind on other projects now so don't have more time for this one, but one other thing I noticed.

The link to G+ is footer is bad. It goes to /p/pub which only you logged in can see. For everyone else that link just shows a blank page. Log out and check.

Also that link goes to the unverified G+ I thought you deleted. So that's how it got the followers. I would think you'd want that link to go to the Place page to show off all those reviews.

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