1957Goldtop

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I have two separate GMB listings. The listings are for websites that are two different domains. Even though the actual businesses are similar (One is "business headshots" the other is "Acting headshots") I treat them as different businesses. They are at the same location, but have different domains, different phone numbers, etc.

For a couple years, both listings were active and fine under the same address. However, I recently moved locations and when I updated both GMB listings with the new address, one of the listings was disabled.

I tried reinstating the listing and received a reply that it couldn’t be reinstated.

One thing to note, I originally had three of my businesses under one log-in. When I would login to GMB with that log in it would take me to a page that listed my businesses. I could the click to go to whichever business I wanted to administer. I changed all three businesses address at the same time and that’s when one of them got rejected.

After this happened I was wondering if it could have been because they considered them all the same businesses (even though they have different domains and phone numbers). So, I decided to separate out all the businesses into their own logins by changing the owners. But, that didn’t work.

What are my options? If I delete the listing and then re-add it will that do anything? I’m wondering if this would work because the listing was never associated with the same owner as it was when I had all three of my business with one owner.
 

Colan Nielsen

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After this happened I was wondering if it could have been because they considered them all the same businesses (even though they have different domains and phone numbers). So, I decided to separate out all the businesses into their own logins by changing the owners. But, that didn’t work.

I think that's exactly what happened. Google thinks this is one business offering different services. If that's the reality, you likely won't be able to get them all back up and live. It doesn't really matter to Google that they have separate websites.

Is this a brick and mortar that customers show-up at? Or is it an SAB that travels to it's customers?
 

1957Goldtop

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I think that's exactly what happened. Google thinks this is one business offering different services. If that's the reality, you likely won't be able to get them all back up and live. It doesn't really matter to Google that they have separate websites.

Is this a brick and mortar that customers show-up at? Or is it an SAB that travels to it's customers?
It's a location people come to.

So, now that they are completely separate and not under the same owner, can I delete the listing and then add it back?

It has no reviews so i don't mind starting over in the listing that was considered not valid.
 

Colan Nielsen

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You can try. It would be ideal to have the original listing reinstated as it would have some authority baked into it.

Just keep in mind that if you get to a point where you need GMB support to help get these verified they will likely want to see separate in store signage and likely a separate entrance, and separate staff.
 

1957Goldtop

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I tried getting it reinstated but I just got this message:
"We've looked at your account and it looks like your business is not eligible to display on Google Maps per our quality guidelines. Check out our guidelines for representing your business on Google to see what types of businesses are eligible to be on Google Maps."

When I reply (multiple times) and try to get more clarification, I get no response. That was a couple weeks ago so I'm guessing they aren't getting back to me.
 

Colan Nielsen

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The problem with creating a new listing is you'll likely run into the same issue where Google will not verify it because of the fact that they see it as being the same business.

So in my opinion, the task at hand is to prove to Google that these are legally separate businesses with separate signage and separate staff and all that good stuff that qualifies them for a second listing.
 

Phil Rozek

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@1957Goldtop, what @Colan Nielsen said is right on the money. Even if you do get both listings back up, you'll sleep with one eye open because Google just doesn't want you to have two GMB pages for what it sees as the same business. (Not saying that's necessarily right, but just is.)

It probably won't be too difficult to get the same photography studio/business ranking on the map for both categories of search terms ("business" and "acting"). I get that the GMB pages are separate for the sake of branding and messaging. But the same site can easily scoop up rankings for both. Especially if - in addition to dedicated pages on each type of photo shoot - your homepage also has content on each type of photo shoot, and maybe you've got Google reviews from each type of client. You'll also be able to focus your link-procurement efforts on one site, rather than spread yourself thin across multiple sites.

Those categories are similar enough that it's not a stretch to rank for both, and you're not likely to turn off the business-headshots people because you also photograph actors, or vice versa.
 

1957Goldtop

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Sorry, this is a long one… I appreciate anyone willing to read through it all :)

So, I guess I wasn’t really understanding (and maybe still don’t) the point of GMB when it first came out… I just added my businesses because I though you were supposed to for google search results.

I have what I consider three separate photography businesses and they each have their own GMB account:
mynamephotography.com: this is not a “consumer” photography business. i.e “people” don’t come to me and I don’t go to “people”. I shoot for magazines, ad agencies, etc. This is not really a “local” businesses at all since I go all over the world for work (although 80% is done within a couple hours of my area.

actingheadshots.com: This is a consumer facing business where people come to my studio.

businessheadshots.com: This is a consumer facing business where people come to my studio.

*not real domain names

When I first set up GMB, and this is where I think I screwed up… I thought of the structure like this:

"My Name" was the main business and the other two were my subsidiaries. I had a google logins for all of the separate domains, but for GMB I only used the "me@mynamephotography.com” login so when I logged in the structure was:

me@mynamephotography.com has three business:
  • mynamephotography.com
  • actingheadshots.com
  • businessheadshots.com
They all had the same physical address listed in GMB and they all were listed fine in GMB (why didn’t it catch that then?)

Then a few weeks ago I got a new business location so I changed the address of actingheadshots.com and busiuessheadshots.com to the new address but left mynamephotography.com where it was.

actingheadshots.com was delisted (thankfully GMB picked that one because it’s the one I don’t really care about and has no reviews… businessheadshots.com is the important one with reviews).

That’s when I wondered if the way I structured GMB with only one owner was the big problem there… so I separated them all out. They now all are using their respective accounts as the primary and only owners.

I tried to get actingheadshots.com reverified but they denied.

So now what I’m wondering is if I should just completely delist mynamephotography.com from GMB. I don’t even care about local stuff for that site. I only created it because I thought GMB had to do with improving search results overall.

I actually still have my old physical address where I originally had actingheadshots.coim. So, I could remove the listing and the create a new listing and then just give it the old address. I still shoot there on occasion anyway so I could just make that address the “acting headshots” location.

Would that work or be a good idea?

Some more details that could impact recommendations.

Really the only reason I kept the acting headshot site around since it’s a small part of my business is that the domain/site was always #1 in organic search results for “my city” Headshots (just trying to keep things generic here). So for example if I’m in Tampa Bay my site would come up #1 for “Tampa Bay Headshots” which is a pretty good thing. The name of the site and business is tampabayheadshots.com (but not that since I’m not in Tampa Bay).

When you get to the mycityheadshots.com website the landing page is a page that has very little on it other than two buttons. One says “acting headshots” and the other says “business headshots”. The acting headshots button keeps you on the mycityheadshots.com domain and website but the “business headshots” button takes you over to my busienssheadshots.com domain and website.

The reason I bring this up is, if I re-list the acting headshots website with the old address, is GMB going to be smart enough to go to the landing page and say “hey, wait a minute… this site also links out to the business headshot site… these must be the same business!!!"

Again, thanks for all the help to anyone who read through all that!
 

Professor M

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By reading all the post, appears to me you were trying to game Google - not knowing it is against the rules.

As they are not different businesses, you are a photographer with different services and you should have only one listing with all the photography services on it.

Why has Google never suspended you before? They can take time to catch these issues, unfortunately.
 

1957Goldtop

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By reading all the post, appears to me you were trying to game Google - not knowing it is against the rules.

As they are not different businesses, you are a photographer with different services and you should have only one listing with all the photography services on it.

Why has Google never suspended you before? They can take time to catch these issues, unfortunately.
But they are different businesses with different styles and different clients. It's like saying a house painter who also has automotive painting business should only have one business because it's all just "painting".

Just because the automotive painting is a smaller part of his income doesn't meant it shouldn't be it's own independent thing.

I don't think it's trying to "game" google just because one site has a link to another... the problem is a lot of people search for "Tampa Bay painter", so it's not clear if they want a home painter or an automotive painter.
 

Professor M

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But they are different businesses with different styles and different clients. It's like saying a house painter who also has automotive painting business should only have one business because it's all just "painting".

Just because the automotive painting is a smaller part of his income doesn't meant it shouldn't be it's own independent thing.

I don't think it's trying to "game" google just because one site has a link to another... the problem is a lot of people search for "Tampa Bay painter", so it's not clear if they want a home painter or an automotive painter.
that's why you can add additional categories.

like @Colan Nielsen said: "that these are legally separate businesses with separate signage and separate staff and all that good stuff that qualifies them for a second listing."
 

Tony Wang

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@1957Goldtop everyone is trying to explain how GMB works. It's Google's product, so they get to make the rules. It doesn't really matter what makes sense to you or me. There are plenty of things about Google that I disagree with.

As everyone has explained, you are not likely to get both headshot businesses to stick on GMB, but as Phil noted, you may have a very good chance of ranking for both kw's using the same GMB listing if your website is done correctly. And you can point actingheadshots.com to businessheadshots.com, it might help.
 

Phil Rozek

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@1957Goldtop, one variable to consider - one working in your favor - is that it's usually not hard to expand into a new niche, especially if it's relevant to one you already do well in. If you play your cards right, you can add some content on headshots to your "business shots" site (homepage and subpages), and not only scare up some organic rankings, but also get pulled into the 3-pack for "acting headshots" terms.
 
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