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Hey Gang,

Have a question regarding Google's recent 'phone calls' to businesses to verify information. We used to have a client who was ranked quite well in places. He was a service based business, with a home address and at the time he had selected to display his address. In September of 2012, Google had called him and asked him to clarify if he actually served customers at his location. He was a bit confused, and wasn't sure who was on the other line and stated 'Kind of. It depends on if the customer is dropping something off'. Sure enough, 1 week later he was removed from Google Places. Now, we weren't working with the client at this point, but the client took it upon himself to re-verify and get his listing back online, hide his address and get within Google's quality guidelines.

The client recently contacted us again to help and I just did a check, and he has good citations, consistent NAP, a 100% filled out Places page with photos, proper categories etc. He is ranking locally for certain key-phrases, but does anyone have any idea what would be involved to get him back to his 'former glory' for those clutch local key phrases? Has anyone experienced this? Do you have to contact Google for a 'local re-inclusion'? We haven't experienced this one much yet, as it's rather new so any input is always appreciated.

Thanks in advance fellow seo's :)

- Andrew
 

Linda Buquet

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The client recently contacted us again to help and I just did a check, and he has good citations, consistent NAP, a 100% filled out Places page with photos, proper categories etc. He is ranking locally for certain key-phrases, but does anyone have any idea what would be involved to get him back to his 'former glory' for those clutch local key phrases? Has anyone experienced this? Do you have to contact Google for a 'local re-inclusion'? We haven't experienced this one much yet, as it's rather new so any input is always appreciated.

Hi Andrew, sorry a little confused. The 1st part sounds like he is live and ranking currently, is that correct?

But then you said: 'Do you have to contact Google for a 'local re-inclusion'?"

Re-inclusion is what you try to do if you've been deleted and the listing is totally gone or if it's suspended.

But it's live right?

Google won't help with ranking and it sounds like that's what you want. They won't even talk about it. You can only request support for specific problems when something is wrong, like bad data.

However there can be a ton of reasons ranking drops. You said he re-verified so it sounds like he set up a new listing. That could have played a part. Or there could be other issues. If you care to share the link and keywords we can see if we can suggest anything.
 

Nick.SEOSpark

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I also found it a little confusing. But, it sounded like you are asking whether the current rankings are being affected by the past penalty/deletion. I don't think that's the case but I'm not sure how Google sees the listing after re-inclusion. (So, whether "trust" needs to be re-established just like with a new listing)

Any more thoughts on this?
 

Linda Buquet

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I also found it a little confusing. But, it sounded like you are asking whether the current rankings are being affected by the past penalty/deletion. I don't think that's the case but I'm not sure how Google sees the listing after re-inclusion. (So, whether "trust" needs to be re-established just like with a new listing)

Good point Nick, I meant to ask about the timing.

And this part was also not clear "but the client took it upon himself to re-verify and get his listing back online"

But to answer what Nick was alluding to - IF the listing was deleted AND reinstated by Google, it usually acts like a new listing and can take 6 - 8 weeks before it ranks, but then 'usually' regains previous position.

There was a woman on the G forum that did several big long rants telling everyone that if you get deleted for not hiding address, after your listing is reinstatement there is a permanent penalty and you'll never rank again. (She was about 4 weeks post-reinstatement.) I told her I thought her revived listing, may just need to work back into the local DB like a new listing. Sure enough at the 6 week mark she popped right back up to #1.

BUT it sounds like client just started a new listing, which would also take 6 - 8 weeks before it ranks.

BUT normally during that 6 - 8 week period you won't rank for ANY KWs and it sounds like he's ranking for some, so it makes me question the timing even more. Because you don’t usually just start kinda sorta ranking for a few during that time. You are pretty much invisible in search until you work into the local database.

BUT normally if Google deletes you, the new listing won't go live. (It's like there is a ban on the location or some part of NAP). Plus Andrew said he re-verified. JUST re-verifying existing won't get you back online from a Goolge deletion either. SO I'm thinking he must have used a diff location or NAP to get the new listing to work. IF I'M right, then it would take even longer to rank as high as he used to because citations and maybe even 3rd party reviews would be off.

PLUS if that's what he did, set up a whole new different listing, he needs to be sure to delete the old listing from his account or that can cause major probs.

Soooo that's a whole lotta BUTs, BUT without more clarity and details that's best I can do and think I covered most of the possible scenarios. (Took the time to explain all that too, as much for Nick and others reading this post.)

I think Andrew needs to get more details about exactly what happened, exactly what the client did to get back online and the timing, then we can maybe help more.
 
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Hey Guys, thanks for your feedback. To clarify:

1. Google removed his listing
2. The customer had to re-create a Google Places listing, and re-verify it with a PIN

I actually had a look at his places dash last night, and the client was spamming his categories with his geographical location. He was also spamming his description and unfortuantely for him, he had merged into Google+ Local.

Anyway, last night I reccomended he delete all the junk categories and stick with the 3 main categories that described 'who he is' not 'what he does'. I woke up this morning, did a local search and he's back into places for his main key phrase. I would imagine he'll be pretty happy with that as it changed over night. I had a feeling that he was being penalized, as he was ranking locally for decent key terms, just not the 'money' one.

Thanks!
 

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Thanks Andrew. Good to know the clean up was needed and once you did it he popped back up.

What do you mean when you say "unfortuantely for him, he had merged into Google+ Local."???

Because a Place page IS Google+ Local.

Were you saying he merged with a G+ Business page? If so, he needs to delete the + Biz page ASAP or he could get suspended or deleted again.

If you don't mean G+ Biz page then what did you mean by "he had merged into Google+ Local"?
 
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Were you saying he merged with a G+ Business page? If so, he needs to delete the + Biz page ASAP or he could get suspended or deleted again.

Sorry yes (these dang names!) he merged with a G+Business Page. I know he runs the risk of getting suspended again, however we recommended against doing the merge before, but he went ahead with it anyway. It was more of an hour consulting gig than anything else, but I can mention that to him.

In your experience Linda, I know this has been beaten to death, but for changes to categories and even descriptions, for a client who can justifiably use a Google+ Business page, is it OK to make the changes on the G+ Biz page now, or should the client/us be making changes back in the places dashboard. The issue, as I'm sure you're aware, is that changes don't always sync between MM, Places and G+ Biz so it can be a mess.
 

Linda Buquet

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In your experience Linda, I know this has been beaten to death, but for changes to categories and even descriptions, for a client who can justifiably use a Google+ Business page, is it OK to make the changes on the G+ Biz page now, or should the client/us be making changes back in the places dashboard. The issue, as I'm sure you're aware, is that changes don't always sync between MM, Places and G+ Biz so it can be a mess.

TECHNICALLY after merging you are not supposed to ANY editing in the Places dash, it can cause problems. Now G+ added some categories so it's a little better BUT not ideal and you can't do custom cats like you could in the Places dash. So the G+ cats are much more restrictive. So I'm not sure about the answer.

I've seen some say just go ahead and do custom cats in Places dash BUT I tend to follow what Google says and Google says it can cause problems so don't do it.

I've seen other say, edit cats in MM, but MM cat guidelines are MUCH stricter than Places so even trickier. See this post if you missed it and esp comments from Flash!
http://localsearchforum.catalystema...oogle-local-category-kw-spam-conflicting.html
 
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Thanks Linda. I actually read that category post last night and even forwarded it to one of my clients :)

So once merged, the idea is make the edits in the Google+ Biz page. What about if a PIN was sent and it's 'in progress'?
 

Linda Buquet

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So once merged, the idea is make the edits in the Google+ Biz page. What about if a PIN was sent and it's 'in progress'?

Correct on 1st sentence.

AFTER PIN is requested NO CHANGES should be made anywhere.
That can cause errors and even sometimes causes the PIN not to work I think.
 

racebum

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thing that caught my attention is that he deleted his listing, created a new one and it worked? like with all the same details? i've heard mixed stories on this working
 
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