More threads by Mike Vannington

Jun 1, 2019
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The Situation:

In an effort to "get my feet wet" again, I've volunteered my time and expertise to help a local non-profit fraternal organization to do basic, local SEO. Meaning claim all the citation services & sites, make the NAP consistent, etc... The organization has been around for decades, they have a website, and are active on Facebook. There are two people who "work on the website", and there is a President and a Secretary of the organization.

Initially, when I saw the GMB listing, it appeared unclaimed because there's a button that says "Claim this business" with a blue shield icon to the left of it. My thinking was the GMB wouldn't offer the general public to claim a GMB if it were already claimed. So I spoke to both the President and the Secretary, explained to them what I wanted to do, got permission to do it, and set-up a dedicated gmail account to "do the local citations". But then, during the coversation, the both mentioned that there are two other volunteers that "do the website" and that those two volunteers were "reluctant" at having to do this kind of volunteer work. So it seemed to them that having someone that actually wanted to do something with the website was a good idea.

So, I'm getting ready to claim the business, and that's when I realized that maybe it's already been done. I don't want to step on anyone's toes, or create problems so I'm posting this as a 1st step, because I'd rather not have to find the two volunteers and go through a whole process with them, possibly creating friction with the President and Secretary. If I know for a fact it's been claimed already, then it's a matter of negotiating with the other two volunteers whether or not they are willing to allow me to help do what I can do (more complex, slower, riskier), however if the GMB is not claimed, then I can go forward and do an aspect of "stuff with the website" that they may not have ever considered doing. So I'm hoping someone can give me some kind of "magic bullet" information that clarifies this question before I have a conversation about this with anyone. I'm trying to tread lightly here.

The GMB has lots of photos, and a Facebook icon, and I can't tell if that's because someone uploaded this data to a claimed GMB, or if there's some kind of automatic feed coming from Facebook. The NAP is quite clouded, and so this (Local SEO work) is something that the organization can really use, but volunteers can get quite territorial so it's best to be very careful with how one goes about things.
If it says "claim this business", then it's unclaimed. Even if it's claimed, when you try to claim it through GMB, it will notify you that someone else already owns this business and give you a partial email address.
Thanks for the "magic bullet" answer.

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