Mopo100

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I removed some extra categories from my listing on 29th August when I found out that having them was a violation (see previous post).

I also changed the main default category at the same time to another default category that I thought was just slightly more accurate (although both could be described as being very much within the same line of business).

This triggered the 'pending/being reviewed' status which advises that the review process can take several weeks.

It's now 5 weeks today and it's still pending.

Is this normal and is there anything I can do to check what's going on?

Thanks
 

Linda Buquet

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I've seen listings stuck in pending for 8 months.

Between the spammy categories and the spammy description you likely tripped several filters.

Description is filled with KW spam too. I'd delete every instance of city, Man, Van, Move, Moving. Totally strip all that out and just say generic but important stuff like on-time, quality, we'll get you where you want to go on-time, etc.

Having city, name and keywords repeated over and over in description like that can cause a 10 point ranking penalty but again combined with all your previous category violations (which Google can see even tho you changed) it sends a strong signal that this is a spammy listing.

Every time you edit I think you are moving yourself to the end of the review line so I'd fix that description then don't touch anything and wait.

Are your analytics still flatlined or missing? You might have a deeper penalty.
 

Mopo100

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Ok I'm taking it all on board Linda, but I seriously would not have thought my KW's were excessive. I mean at the end of the day you want to refer to what you actually do and where you are based in the description to get the right traffic no? (don't Google even advise that in the tips next to the edit fields?)

I've ranked highly in the seven pack for years, and all of my competitors in the seven pack use a lot of KW's in their desciption, some *much* more than me (real spam), so if it's a violation to put a few targeted keywords in your description why haven't I been pulled up about it for about 8 years? Why none of my competitors who've also been there for years?

As per your advice I removed the extra 4 or 5 related categories as I had no idea they were a violation, and then changed the default category to one very closely related and that is what triggered the pending status. I didn't trip any filters, and my listing had actually been manually re-verified a few months ago (with the extra categories and what you say is KW spam in the description) after moving address!

I haven't got any analytics anymore when I log in as I'm pending and they don't show.
 

Mopo100

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I think rather than tripping a filter because the owner happens to use a couple of targeted KW's in their description (which would probably affect 90% of Places listings) Google are more likely to totally ignore the description all together, as this post from Mike Blumenthal implies they are now doing.

Obviously blatant 'over the top' spamming of the description (which I obviously don't believe my current desciption is by any means) is a different matter, and it's logical to assume that would be treated differently resulting in a possible suspension etc.

But the point is, my listing has never been placed 'under review' in 8 years until I swapped one default category for another almost identical one. And now I could be waiting anything up to 8 months! Great.
 

Linda Buquet

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FYI Mike is also the one that said repeated city in description can cause a 10 point ranking penalty.
It was an attorney listing that mentioned city twice, not overly spammy. :)
 

Mopo100

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Notwithstanding the rest of my post..

I'm going to remove the 'two' references to the city I'm located in because I doubt it helps with ranking, I now know it's not advisable (even though Google has never made any obvious reference to this being bad practice), and I've also now got nothing to lose in making a change as my listing is under review anyway.

To be honest Linda, I just wish you had told me changing my default category could trigger a pending status, and I should be wary of messing around with that.

The difference between the one I had and the one I changed it to after having a look in the default list is less than minimal, and has resulted in my listing being put under review... for anything up to 8 months I now find out.

Obviously not happy.
 

Linda Buquet

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Changing categories does not usually put listings in pending. I've never seen a plain old category change trip pending. So how could I warn you it could happen?

However any dashboard edit can trigger the algo or a human to review to be sure you are up to current standards. Many old violations have stayed for years with no problems until they edit, then bam. Your old cats were filled with violations so in your case changing could have tripped a filter. HOWEVER had you not changed them any other edit would have signaled the algo to come check for compliance and then you could have been suspended instead of just pending.

Also FYI Google does not spell out all the guidelines because they feel it just gives the spammers a roadmap for what to avoid. There are many unwritten rules.

It USED to be in guidelines that description should be used for ADDITIONAL details. What she meant was don't repeat everything you already entered above. Name, address, city, categories. She used to suspend for too much KW repetition in description.

Pretend you are not you. You don't know anything about your business. Pretend you are an algo that is trained to simply look for name, KW and city repetition.

Name: Man With A Van (It's both your name and a KW)
City: London

Categories old when we 1st saw them:
Removal Service,Moving & Storage Service,Man Van London,Man With A Van London,Man and Van London

Description:
Receive up to three Man With A Van removals quotes from our individually approved London Movers. The easiest way to get quotes for your Man and Van London removal or delivery.
 

Mopo100

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Ok thanks for explaining

it'''s a never ending learning curve

I've now removed both references to my location in the description. Any tips on getting reviewed asap?
 

Linda Buquet

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I just edited my post again. See above.

AS I SAID ABOVE it's not just repeating city it's repeating name and KWs too.

Since you are already flagged for review, likely due to KW repetition, I'd make it squeaky clean and I'd remove every word I colored for you.

Sorry can't keep explaining same thing over and over. I have a ton of other folks I'm trying to help too. Make those edits then wait. No way to speed it up.
 

Mopo100

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Ok, think I,ve now got it squeaky clean.Thanks for your help and time
 
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