Local Search Expert
Sep 12, 2012
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So, I had a duplicate of a business.

I called into Google support to get it resolved. They said they would merge the duplicate listing with the correct listing.

A week later, all that happened was the duplicate had their maps removed and it looks like it reverted to a Google+ brand page.

I emailed the rep that the duplicate wasn't removed and he called me immediately. He told me that the duplicate was merged because the maps portion of the listing was merged (oooookay?). I asked him if they could merge the duplicate page itself so that it was gone and he said no. The only person that could do that was the person who created the Google+ page in the first place.

So, here I am, stuck with a Google+ brand page out there that is a duplicate of the GMB page we have.

Is this going to effect our rankings at all?

And why aren't they do fulling merges anymore? It feels like GMB support changes their best practices by the week.
Oct 25, 2013
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I'll be interested in what the other pros have to say when they weigh in, but what I've seen over on the official GMB forum at least... those are just 'ghost' listings, and have no impact at all on rankings. Even if they show NAP, if they're disconnected from maps you're good to go and it's not worth the effort to get them more deleted than that. If you just want to double check that it's for sure a ghost page, check the source code and look for the CID. No CID, no negative impact.
Jun 12, 2014
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@lionandtheram -- you are correct!

Unless you had access to that page/listing and had the ability to delete it, unfortunately you will be left with a ghost or shell page of what was. Those pages will have no impact on ranking in the local pack since G+ brand pages are only shown in the G+ interface and in no way are connected to Google maps. Additionally, it's not that the G+ page that was connected to maps turned into a brand page, it's just that it was disconnected from maps and is essentially the shell of what the page used to be.

Depending on the support rep you get, unfortunately, you will see that the feedback and ability differs based on the person. If you are positive what you are asking the rep to do is available and accurate, sometimes I ask for their supervisor.

I would also double check map maker to ensure that old data is no longer present. If it's not, then you are all set! If it is, that's when I would either report it or get back on the phone with support.

Hope that helps!
Nov 11, 2015
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Hey @joshua

Yep a "ghost page" is essentially deleted and won't be visible or affect current business page.

If you have the url or business name, I could take a look and confirm this for you.


LocalU Faculty
Jul 18, 2012
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Yep, like others confirmed, this is what happens when they merge 2 verified pages. The shell page has no impact on ranking and no one will ever find it (unless these people use G+ and are obsessively searching there).

The only types of duplicates that actually matter and impact ranking are ones connected to Maps.


Local Search Expert
Sep 12, 2012
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Wow, thanks for the responses guys!

Glad to hear it won't cause ranking confusion in the database.

What if the page is indexed though? That would technically be a citation, one coming from Google at that. Could that cause some undesired confusion as just a general citation?
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