Shelly

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I just signed a new client that has approximately 12 location listings with an account suspension. We know the reason they were suspended is that they tried to add all the listings under a single email account (I believe possibly a Gmail but I could be wrong) without doing a bulk verification. I believe it is a soft suspension because I can find 5 of the listings still in Google Maps. However, I am not 100% on that.

I will be taking over management and working to lift the suspension. My hope is the client will grant me a domain-level email address that I can use for all of the listings once verified. My initial thoughts are:
  1. Complete the bulk verification spreadsheet
  2. Create a profile in a new Google Business Profile in the new domain-based account (as described here: How to make a bulk upload spreadsheet for Business Profiles - Google Business Profile Help)
  3. Submit the bulk verification
  4. Have the client remove all management and add in the new domain-based email as Primary owner
  5. Submit individual suspension appeals for each location
I am not sure if I have the steps in the right order or am doing something that will cause bigger issues with the suspension. Can anyone advise on if this is correct or if I am missing something important for this process? This is the first time dealing with something like this.
 

JoyHawkins

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So steps 1-3 are creating new listings, so you wouldn't really be able to get the old listings reinstated. I would probably get the suspended account to add your new account on as primary owner, then delete the account that has the suspension, and then apply for reinstatement.

Also, are you sure all the listings are eligible for listings? Are they all storefronts?
 

Shelly

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It is an addiction treatment facility with multiple locations including crisis centers throughout the area. My understanding is all the locations are public facing and available for walk-ins, counseling, etc (the client specifically told me they don't list their private residential facilities). I do not have the full list of locations yet because I was not sure of the best avenue to get access to them (thanks for helping with that in your response above).

I did find this post this morning which appears to be a similar situation that you responded to. Suspended Google My Business Profiles - Google Business Profile Community I will find out if they all have signage.

Are there any other guidelines in this industry I should be aware of? I have done a lot of local work in the past with doctors and practitioners for hospitals, but I know addiction treatment is a different beast with Google in general because of past spam issues.
 

JoyHawkins

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This industry is insanely spammy and there are tons of fake listings (which is really sad) so I would just anticipate having to collect a lot of documentation to prove these locations are real.
 

Shelly

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Thanks, Joy. I knew taking on the project it was going to be a lot of work because of the spam and regulations. This is really good advice. Appreciate your help, as always!
 

Shelly

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This industry is insanely spammy and there are tons of fake listings (which is really sad) so I would just anticipate having to collect a lot of documentation to prove these locations are real.

@JoyHawkins We are continuing to collect the documentation in prep for the appeals. One additional question I have is all the locations are technically listed under one business name, but the client feels strongly about having additional differentiating information in the names, especially since there are no GBP categories that allow this type of differentiation.

For example, they would like the listings to be in the following format (with sensitive info replaced in brackets). [Name of Facility], [City] Outpatient Clinic
[Name of Facility], Open Access Center (or Crisis Center)
[Name of Facility], [Founder] Veteran Residential Program

Only the facility name is on the certified documentation that we will be providing to Google, though internally some of these names are very important to the organization. Would you suggest all being listed as [Name of Facility] without the differentiators since adding additional words technically goes against guidelines, even though it may cause user confusion since each location is a different type of addiction treatment (inpatient, outpatient, detox, veterans, youth, etc.)? Our fear is we will have people trying to walk into an outpatient office for detox or crisis help.
 

JoyHawkins

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The differentiators should be fine and likely aren't causing the suspension.
 

Shelly

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@JoyHawkins I was able to get all but one listing reinstated fairly quickly, but they were all suspended again this morning (appears to be an account-wide hard suspension like the last time). I'm guessing it is automatic because it is a spammy industry but not sure.

The only edits I made were:
-Flagged 4 out of 34 reviews on a single listing that I believed were breaking guidelines (employees and bullying). 1 was approved for removal. The remaining 3 denied. This was all done at the same time with multiple minutes between each flag.
-Used a different Google account to suggest an edit to show one location is located inside of a hospital.

Should I just go through the reinstatement process again or is there another suggested method?
 

Shelly

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Did you add the same bad email account to all of the profiles again?

No, we created a new domain-level email account and removed all other users. While the client set this up, I am the only person accessing it, I believe. This account is the only user on all the listings. One note is I am not sure how the client set this up but you log in through a newly created gmail account that is linked to the domain-level email. I used the domain-level email for the user management on the listings and in the appeals that were approved.
 

keyserholiday

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Am I understanding this correctly, there is only one email managing the business profiles. The client set it up and has access to it and gave you the login details? If that is the case, that is a violation of Google's TOS and can lead to an account-level suspension. You need to have your own email login that the client can't access and isn't shared with anybody else.
 

Shelly

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Am I understanding this correctly, there is only one email managing the business profiles. The client set it up and has access to it and gave you the login details? If that is the case, that is a violation of Google's TOS and can lead to an account-level suspension. You need to have your own email login that the client can't access and isn't shared with anybody else.

You are correct in your understanding. I did not know that guideline, thank you!
Once I add my own email, should I simply reapply for reinstatement the same way I did prior?
 

keyserholiday

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You are correct in your understanding. I did not know that guideline, thank you!
Once I add my own email, should I simply reapply for reinstatement the same way I did prior?

Yes, but make sure the other email is completely removed and apply for reinstatement all over again like you did the last time.
 

JoyHawkins

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This account is the only user on all the listings.
I would make sure as well that you didn't list any of the older accounts as backup emails on the account. I have seen this before and it's likely to cause another suspension. Usually Google asks for back up emails when you create a new account and it's very common to people to use list the account that just got blacklisted.
 

Shelly

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I would make sure as well that you didn't list any of the older accounts as backup emails on the account. I have seen this before and it's likely to cause another suspension. Usually Google asks for back up emails when you create a new account and it's very common to people to use list the account that just got blacklisted.

This is a really helpful tip! Since the client set it up, I am not sure what the backup email that was used was. I am talking through next steps with them this morning and will make sure to mention this for the next account we create.
Much appreciated!
 

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