Susan Walsh

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Google sending email warning about their Google Places listing

Hi,

Search Engine Journal recently wrote an article on "Google Sending Warnings To Business Owners: 3 Weeks To Save Their Google Places Listing".

The body of the email that Google is sending out is this (I took this from SEJ's article)

Hello,
Due to changes in Google Maps, we?d like to inform you that unless you review and confirm the information in your Google Places account, we will no longer be able to keep and show it to Google users after February 21, 2014.

If you wish to keep your listing active, follow these three easy steps:
1. Log in to your Google Places account
2. Review and update your information
3. Click the ?Submit? button

Sincerely,
The Google Places Team

Since I read this I started going through some of the Google Places (Google+ Local) listing we manage. All but one has the new Dashboard. I went in and made a change, but there's NO submit button like it says in the email Google is send out to business owners. It leads me to believe that they are sending the email to businesses that still have the old dashboard.

When I make a change, I receive a message saying it can take up to 3 days for the change to go through.
dent'n scratch magician added category.jpg

Should we be doing anything or just wait to see if Google sends an email? I really didn't have an update from this client, but added a category, which is fine.

Please let me know if anyone know what's really going on.

Thanks,
Susan

dent'n scratch magician added category.jpg
 

Linda Buquet

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Re: Google sending email warning about their Google Places listing

Hi Susan,

As I said earlier so far this is only affecting Aussie listings based on the ones I've personally seen reports. So I would not worry about your US clients. If you are actively managing and the data is correct you should be fine.

And you are right there is no submit button in the new dash. I'm not sure it's wise to make little edits just to make little edits. (You know how even sometimes a minor edit can end up getting you caught up in a bug or set off a chain reaction you didn't expect) In the old dash you could do a poke but hitting edit and submit and that was a good thing. In the new dash you can't.

So I would just check listings to be sure no warning. Be sure data is accurate and that's it for now.
 

Linda Buquet

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Re: Google sending email warning about their Google Places listing

Oh I thought you were adding to the existing thread where I announced this as soon as it happened and we've been discussing it there.

Sorry. On my way to go find it and merge this thread in so the topic does not get disconnected in 2 places.
 

Linda Buquet

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OK threads merged.

FYI Susan, I always post important Google updates, changes and bug in this Google+ Local IMPORTANT section, so you can always check here 1st because usually I post issues here immediately when they come up.

FYI ALL - You can also subscribe to this section of the forum individually to be sure you don't miss anything important and it will email you to alert you to new threads.

No one can start a thread in this section but me, so you won't get emails about off topic issues or minor questions - only the important Google Local specific issues.
 

Susan Walsh

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Hi Linda,

Thanks! I was a little confused that I missed your posting. I'll be sure to subscribe - then I know I get the most current, correct information. The article on SEJ was sent out by Local Search Submit and ended up in my lap. The article didn't mention that it was only affecting Aussie listings. They said Jade Wang confirmed it is legitimate email going out from Google and she didn't mention that either. Good for you!

I was hesitant to make an edit - just added a category that is legit so his listing should be fine - hopefully.

Take care!
Susan
 

Linda Buquet

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Now the scammers have picked up on that post and are using it for fear mongering to try to cheat folks.

New post at the Google and Your Business Forum

"ok so i just got a call from a man named "jerry" from "Google" saying that my business needs to pay $299.00 before Feb 21st or our "google listing" will no longer appear....i'm at such a loss for words and i need to know if this is true or if it is a scam. please help!!!"

The Feb 21st date is a dead give away that they are playing off the fear these warnings created.

As I posted in the forum "Oh man, that's the lowest of lows! Using fear mongering based on that bit of communication from Google."

Slimeballs! :mad:
 

Susan Walsh

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Hi Linda,

You can see how the "scammers" were able to pick up what's going on. The post that SEJ wrote made it sound like it was an emergency and not just for Aussie listings. Here's the link to their post Google Sending Warnings To Business Owners: 3 Weeks To Save Their Google Places Listing | Search Engine Journal

I'm not blaming SEJ, I do think they wrote the article quickly with not all the facts. I came here to get the correct facts when I realized it had nothing to do with listings in the new dashboard - at least that is what I surmised because there's NO submit button and that's what SEJ reported the email from Google had in the instructions. We have been fans of SEJ and read what they post often. I'm a little disappointed - they have not replied to any comments that were made on the post either.

It is a shame that the "scammers" picked this information from Google or it might have been from SEJ or even Local Site Submit that sent out the SEJ post to all of their resellers - that's how we found out about the issue.

Susan
 

Linda Buquet

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Ya, it's been everywhere.

Me, Blumenthal, SE Land, SE Roundtable, StreeFight and lots more have done articles on it. I told Google the info and some of it misinformation was spreading all over.

Here is a choise quote from StreetFight from yesterday.

"Google’s email and Jade Wang’s message both suggest that listings may be deleted if no action is taken, which seems especially punitive unless the search company is taking care to send multiple notices, allow plenty of lead time, and reach out through various channels. I’ve seen no evidence that they are doing so. Moreover, Wang implies that other business listings in the same account may be removed along with whatever listing was originally flagged. Given that one’s Google listing often represents a major source of new customer contacts, deleted listings could have a major impact on a business’s bottom line."

As Google Updates Places, Could Some Merchants Find Their Listings Deleted? | Street Fight

But in that one they did link here and say that I explained it's only for Aussie businesses.
 
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Susan Walsh

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Hi Linda,

I'm saying where we had heard it. I know it was written about and posted in other places. If businesses like us who manage listings knew from the beginning that it was not US listings, we would not have had to take the time to go and check the listings. I'm not the only one that was checking the listing. It seemed like the information spread was the same, with the exception that you clarified it was the Aussie listings.

From now on, I'll come here for accurate information.

Thanks!
Susan
 

Linda Buquet

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Sorry Susan, I know you were just pointing out the one post. I was just saying that this little bit of news is being blown out of proportion and was posted lots of places.

Sheesh, this video. He quoted SEJournal too.

▶ You have 3 Weeks To Save Your Google Places Listing....or else! - YouTube

"According to Google, business owners that get any kind of traffic from Google Places pages need to take action right away, if they want to save their Google Places page from utter destruction.

Google sent out an email to business owners recently say that they have until Feb 21st to log into their Google Places page and update their information. Otherwise they may not display their listing in search results.
"
 

Linda Buquet

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We've been talking to Google about this and all the misinformation and panic that's going around.

Google assured us that only the users who are affected have been emailed the warning and as far as they know everyone affected was sent an email.

So in a nutshell if you did not get a warning email (or don't have the red warning in your dashboard), then this issue does not pertain to your listing and you don't need to do anything.
 

Louis Nava

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I just had a listing get deleted or removed and is no longer found. I didnt get an email or a notice on the dashboard. It was clean, no dupes, all info was accurate it was in the top 7, carousel, 6 reviews and everything was fine. All of a sudden it has been erased from existence.

Has anyone else experienced this and have some advice?
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Louis,

BUMMER! I doubt it was related to this particular issue though.

Could you please post in the help section with business details and we'll see if we can help.
 

Louis Nava

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I contacted Google and they said it was a bug and are working on a fix. Thanks Linda.
 

Linda Buquet

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Heads up guys! Just got word from Google that this issue is now rolling out globally.

Initially it was just 2 countries. Today it's going out worldwide I believe.

Not all listings will get the message below, but many will and we don't know the rationale for why some will get the message and others won't.

I'm not sure emails will be going out, but I believe it will just be in dash messages that say:

"Please review your information, make any necessary changes and click Submit at the bottom of the page."

No need for alarm. Just check listings for correctness and if all OK hit submit.
 

Linda Buquet

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Important new updates - especially for Aussies! (At least I'm really hoping that's as far as the issue goes!)

OK so initially this issue started with those poorly worded warnings to Aussie businesses "You have 3 weeks to save your listing."

So yesterday I started helping folks in the Google forum that evidently DID get deleted by Google, because they did not hit edit/submit, in order to 'save' their listings, as Google told them to.

Here is the warning message they get in dash saying
we can not show your page due to changes in our system​

PageDeleted.jpg


The "Learn More" link goes to this page which says:

Page content removal

We’re making some changes to Google Places for Business and Google Maps so we can continue to give people a good experience when looking for local businesses. Unfortunately, these changes mean we have had to remove some information from your page. You’ll notice:

We have removed all business information from your business’s Google+ page, including its address and contact information.

The name of your page has been changed to “A Google+ page.”

The business information we removed will no longer appear on Google Maps. Because we are not showing your business in Google Maps, we have converted your page from a local page to a brand page.

We have removed reviews, owner responses, photos, AdWords Express or Offers associated with the page.

We have hidden the page and all followers, +1’s, and information you’ve shared on Google+ from public view. The page is currently only visible to its owners and managers.

It is a priority for us to get your business information eligible to appear on Google. It’s very easy:

Create and start verification for a new local Google+ page for your business.

Contact our support team in order to have verification completed and to have any former reviews reattached to your business.

If you’re interested in reconnecting your former followers and posts to Maps, check back on this article for updates. We’re working on a solution for you.

We’re sorry for this inconvenience and hope to see your business information back on Google Maps soon.


At 1st some of us thought it was an early April fool's joke. We could not figure out what was up. But then I realized these were all Aussie businesses and it must have been related to the "You have 3 weeks to save your listing" emails.

Jade confirmed that was the issue and replied in the thread.
Here is the thread with all the info and Jade's reply.


So these folks are having to create a new listing now, but as I explained to Google I think the instructions are sending them in circles because it tells them to create a new listing BUT then won't let them because it says they already have a listing and won't let them create a dupe. I think it should tell them 1st they need to remove the listing that's in dash - BUT I'm not going to tell them that because I'm hoping Google will somehow offer an option to just reinstate the listing instead.

So again, as I stated in the post above, this new thing where you get the dash warning that you should edit and submit is sweeping globally now.

SO YOU NEED TO DO A QUICK AUDIT OF ALL LISTINGS TO SEE IF ANY HAVE THAT DASH WARNING. No need to panic. Just check data. If OK hit submit.

She also assured me again the vast majority of listings that get that warning message are not at risk for deletion, but to be on safe side I'd sure check and follow through.

PageDeleted.jpg
 

Linda Buquet

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In another thread Dusty just posted a screenshot of the yellow banner he says most of his listings now have.

1472d1395679344-old-dashboard-new-dashbaord-places-showing-different-3-24-2014-8-35-21-am.jpg

Before the messaging was too strict. Now it's so casual, in typical Google style, that I'm afraid many business owners won't realize that when she says submit she really means it!

1472d1395679344-old-dashboard-new-dashbaord-places-showing-different-3-24-2014-8-35-21-am.jpg
 

Linda Buquet

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The Aussie deleted listings debacle is heating up and many are complaining their pages have been removed.

Mike Blumenthal got the email too for one of his clients. Here is a copy of what it says.

Dear business owner,

We're making some changes to Google Places for Business and Google Maps so that we can continue to provide people with the best experience when they're looking for local businesses like yours.

As part of this process, we removed your listing "Business Name" from your account and stopped showing it on Google Search and Maps.

We’re really sorry for this inconvenience. It is a priority for us to get you back on Google quickly, should you wish to do so. It’s very easy — Simply log back into your account and follow the steps to create a new listing for your business.

We have set up a special team to offer help in case you run into any issues. We can call you right away between 8am and 12pm, Tuesday through Saturday AEDT, and you can also submit your questions online anytime and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

We hope to see your business back on Google Maps soon.

Sincerely,
The Google Places Team

Here are some threads for anyone that wants to follow in case we get more info.


The original thread: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/business/SFalasPpM70/KOaqn2NLRVIJ

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/business/sGGYlXws_eQ

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!msg/business/zwmqRzlOEFM/4yxOBoK8I8UJ

https://plus.google.com/103668971127379607360/posts/T2fgzYvggt9

Sad and frustrating and no I still don't quite understand why they are doing this. Forcing users to clean up their listings and cleaning out the dead abandoned, fake or dead listings I can see.

But I don't get why they would not save the listings for 2 months so that folks like this that never got the warning, could just request re-inclusion.
 

Louis Nava

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I have more info on the listing that was deleted from a business I was working with and coincides with the post above.

A few days ago I contacted my coordinator at Google and they explained the the same thing that it says in the email you posted. So when it comes to a particular client of mine, there was a +Business to +Local dupe and is confirmed to be the issue. I'll explain...

1 week prior to the listing getting removed I had the business owner call Google support and asked them to merge the +Local page with the +Business page and in doing so we saw one page which was great. But noticed that the URL's still worked for both listings individually after the merge.
Within the same week... we saw the +Local page get removed while the +Business page remained and everything was removed from both dashboards.

Google's algorithm saw the +Local and the +Business page as a dupe and removed the most important one.. working with Google over the past week I have been able to get everything back on that page except for the 5 reviews they had. Google says they are checking into it.
 

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