Linda Buquet

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How to handle a Google+ Local listing when a business moves is convoluted and NON-intuitive. In fact does not even make sense.

It's logical to think if you move across town you just edit your Google+ Local page in the Google Places dashboard. But no, Google advises against that and it can cause data problems. Google wants you to mark the old listing "Permanently Closed" and start over from scratch with a new listing.

HOWEVER they have never explained it ANYWHERE a business owner or consultant would find it. They have only explained it to Top Contributors and very briefly mentioned it in a couple Google forum posts, but 99.99% of people never happen to see those couple threads.

So it's been left to TCs primarily to try to explain it, with no official help doc to back us up. TIL NOW.

I've been asking and asking for a MOVE help doc. And was not informed one was added, but just happened to stumble across it today.

Remove a listing or mark a place as closed or moved - Places for business Help

Marking a listing as closed or moved

If a business no longer exists at a location, you can mark it as closed or moved on Google Maps. Follow these steps to have the listing moderated:

Find the closed or moved business on Google Maps.
Use the Report a problem link from the Google Maps result.
Select Place is permanently closed option.
If the place has moved to a new location, give us the new location’s information in the comment box.
If your business has moved and you manage the business’s new location, you should add the new location as a separate listing in your Places dashboard.

Hat tip to Nyagoslav, who just did a great post about moving and I found the help doc link over there: Closing an Old Google+ Local Listing vs. Editing It

I have more to add on this later, but just wanted to quickly get it out there because we always have lots of questions about this issue.

We also have a new discussion going about whether to DELETE OR CLOSE and I have more info I'm planning to add to that one later this AM as well.

Marking a G+ Listing as Closed vs Deleting the Listing?
 

Linda Buquet

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One of SEVERAL problems when you close a listing like Google recommends IN THE PAST was that there would be a big sign on the listing that said:

This Place is Permanently Closed

Wanted to be sure everyone knows that after we worked on Google for months around this issue, and in October they changed that label to "This place has closed or relocated" which is a major improvement.

Here is the post with that announcement and screenshots of the before/after.
Yay! PERMANENTLY CLOSED - Moved Business - Google Update
 

Colan Nielsen

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Finally :)

---------- Post Merged at 01:29 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 01:19 PM ----------

However, IMO I think the decision to edit or close and create a new listing should be examined on a case by case basis. I can't imagine a business with 100 reviews and a great ranking deciding to just part ways with that listing and start from scratch. That would be a tough tough decision.

On the other hand, one rule that seems to stand the test of time is that you should always do what Google tells you to do. :(
 

Linda Buquet

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Yes I'm very torn on this as well. Not sure though what's worse... starting over or constant data battles. AND just editing the address you could lose reviews anyway.

I brought up to Google a thread here where Gregg and/or Andrew said moves IN the same city don't need to close and start over, they CAN just edit. Tried a couple times and will try again today, but have not been able to get confirmation from Google that this is the case.
 
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Oh my gosh. This is big news, Linda!!! Scurrying off to read and bookmark.
 
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I look forward to seeing what confirmation (if any) you get from Google on this specific issue.

Travis Van Slooten

Tried a couple times and will try again today, but have not been able to get confirmation from Google that this is the case.
 

Linda Buquet

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Got an answer but waiting for a quote I can share. And no it's not what we want to hear.
 

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You can definitely do it with the help of your friendly Map Maker specialist; as the guidelines there dictate that it is the ONLY way it is to be done. Reviewers will not approve a closure due to a relocation within a city, the review guidelines do not allow it.

However, my understanding of the review system is that it would make no difference. The discussion has hinged on not wanting to lose the 100 reviews within the listing. They are, however, not in the listing; but rather in another database and attached by algorithms. The next time the reviews are indexed they will likely detach due to the NAP change. Logically the chance of retaining them should be the same as the chance of them attaching to a brand new POI with the same NAP and other information.

The one thing we could offer you for sure in Map Maker then would be to avoid the "Closed" label at the old location. It would take some experimentation to see if my logic is right or if you have a higher chance of retaining reviews.
 
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Linda Buquet

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Ya there is conflicting info on the Place and Maps side of the house again. I hate to keep harping, but will share your comments with Jade and try to get to the bottom of this.

I think it's VERY important since the majority of business moves are right in town and I don't want to be telling people they need to close/open new IF they don't have to and especially IF Map Maker does not allow it and it could cause other problems. Because the whole reason Jade recommends close/open new is to AVOID data problems.
 

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I don't have hard data to prove it, but I actually think the Places approach of being overly cautious does prevent data issues in this case. I haven't popped up and said "I can do it a different way in Map Maker" for people because of that, and because as far as I could tell neither is more advantageous for reviews retention.
 

Linda Buquet

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Ya there is conflicting info on the Place and Maps side of the house again. I hate to keep harping, but will share your comments with Jade and try to get to the bottom of this.

I think it's VERY important since the majority of business moves are right in town and I don't want to be telling people they need to close/open new IF they don't have to and especially IF Map Maker does not allow it and it could cause other problems. Because the whole reason Jade recommends close/open new is to AVOID data problems.

I agree reviews could be lost either way whether you edit existing or close/open new...
BUT for ranking I think it could be a HUGE advantage to edit instead of starting over.

Granted changing NAP could cause SOME loss of ranking. But losing a mature CID and having to start over in the 6 - 8 week cycle before you EVEN BEGIN to show up for any KW searches is a BIG DEAL!

And certainly from a TIME perspective. Creating a new listing is a pain and time drain for SMBs.
Plus stuff like potentially hitting a some new wall and with the 30 day delay getting images to show.

The whole thing is just WRONG to have to put folks through all this if it's a move 8 blocks away,
AND if none of this is necessary OR even allowed per MM guidelines!


The Map Maker Guidelines in 2 places state:

If the correct location is within the city limits, move the marker to its exact location instead of deleting the feature.

This place is closed: Indicates that the place is out of business or temporarily closed.

• The feature has moved from one place to another (this is only the case when the new location is in a different city/state/country).


If I can get confirmation that close/open is definitely the way to go even for in-city moves so be it.
But since the MM guidelines say the opposite, I just want to be sure before we make everyone jump through hoops and lose ranking if it's not necessary.
 

Linda Buquet

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Asked for a definitive answer from Joel Headley since he also works on the Maps and MapMaker side of the house.

Note: I linked to this thread, Gregg's post and the MM docs and really stressed the question was regarding whether in-city moves need to close/open new.

He said: "We prefer close an old business location and open new one for all moves.
If the address was wrong then the address can be corrected.
"
 

Linda Buquet

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The final answer is the post right above yours. Not sure we'll get anything more than that and Joel is about as high as you can get to talk to senior management.
 

Flash

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I can bring it up to the Map Maker Product Manager, who I think is equal to Joel; but I think I'll just get the exact opposite answer (if any at all).
 
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Flash,
I'm eagerly awaiting news of any reply you get. This is so interesting.
 

Linda Buquet

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For the Maps world and editing map "features" and POIs I'd listen to what the MM guidelines say.

But for the G+ L side of the house I trust that Jade and Joel are giving us the best, most correct info re business listing data management. It's not what I wanted to hear, but I believe that's the way it is for now.
 
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It just never fails to amaze me how great the differences are between MM and +Local. I have been reading our forum's expert advice on this for the past few months and it's like a whole different world. I really value their contributions here.
 

Flash

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Don't hold your breathe on it, I have him on my GTalk but I know better than to just message him him with questions at any time. It will have to wait for a hangout that we both attend.
 
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