More threads by Jim Froling

Jul 19, 2012
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When checking my G+ (Places) dashboard today I couldn't help but notice that four clients are now Pending "Being reviewed". These clients have been verified and active for several months, one for over a year. All was well last week. Doing a quick few searches on two of the clients still brings them up and in fact their local search ranking has improved.

Impressions & Actions are not displaying and as a result I cannot send out invoices to these clients as they always include reports.

I'm tempted to poke them with a null edit but the fact that this is occurring with multiple clients has me concerned. Could I have pissed off the Google Gods somehow? Each is a legit biz, legit address, and no edits on the listing has occurred for some time.

I've been seeing lots more pending results recently at the G forum and one consultant started trying to get others to weigh in because he's having so many listings go pending that he thought it was a bug. Several other consultants got involved and the consensus was that most were new listing and were going pending for a few days as they worked into the local database.

But if yours were not new... There could be something buggy. OR I hate to say it but I've helped lots of very good, very experienced consultants that were doing things in listings they shouldn't they just didn't know any better or there was something that never even occurred to them could cause a problem.

They are all in their own separate account, not a joint account, right? Any similarities with industries? Addresses are hidden if they even remotely should be, right???

Feel free to post a couple dashboard screenshots with live links to the pages and I'm happy to take a look to see if I can spot anything that could be causing a problem.
Thanks for sending the screen shots Jim.

Oh dear, I'm concerned for you because you have all your listings in a master account which is a major problem AND I suspect could be part of the pending issue.

Plus a big issue is, all it will take is for 1 or 2 of these listings to flip to suspended and Google will suspend the ENTIRE account. Then even the totally clean listings and ALL your innocent clients will be suspended and it can take weeks, even months to fix everything! I've help a lot of agencies at the G forum who went through this and it can be a nightmare.

Best practice is separate accounts for each client and that's the way Google wants it. They want client to have access to their own account, especially if you part ways.

So you sent me the locations screen shot so I could see they were all in one account. But you only sent me the edit screen for 1 listing. Here are some problems I see with this one.

The 1040 Guys - About - Google+

The business name is listed as "The 1040 Guys". That's also what's in dash. But on the image AND the header of the web site it looks like that's a slogan or tag line, not the real name. The name on the site appears to be: Robert S. Borish CPA, Inc."

There are 141,000 matches on G for "Robert S. Borish CPA" "(949) 951-5002". That's HUGE!

There are only 1100 for "The 1040 Guys" "(949) 951-5002".

So I'm afraid it could look to the algo or a Google reviewer like a fake name - plus it's a duplicate listing which is another violation.

In maps there are 3 listings at that phone #. (949) 951-5002 - Google Maps
The main one of concern appears to also be claimed and is for the name:
"Robert S Borish CPA Inc"

Google DOES allow one listing for the business and one for the practitioner. However "Robert S Borish CPA Inc" is not an individual's name that's the corporate name, due to the Inc. SO they have 2 business listings for same company, same location, with one of the names being suspect to boot.

The CPA name looks most technically correct to me AND would like rank highest due to KW in the name AND # of citations. One has to go as it's a serious violation to have 2. That 3rd listing is not claimed and not sure it's even valid. Can't get penalized for it if it isn't claimed BUT can cause a merge problem due to having the same phone.

So I would do similar critical analysis of the other pending listings and see what you can find. Spent a lot of time just doing all the research on that one, so can't really volunteer time to look at more, but that should give you some ideas about some things to eval.

But again, this account could be in jeopardy if a couple of these listings flip from pending to suspended. The whole account could go into lockdown.

The screen shot was cut off so I could not tell. How many listings do you have in one account?
This is NOT a happy thing:(

What to do? Setup every client with their own Google ID or create one if they don't already have one? There isn't any way that 2 people can share access to a analytics dashboard, is there?

I need to be proactive on this and head Google off at the pass before they drop the hammer, agree? Course of action?

There can only be one owner of the Local page. I usually set up a separate gmail account (yahoo also works if needed) or have them provide a NON-PERSONAL email account for me to work off of. It's a pain in the butt sometimes but it's the safest way to go. I worked for an agency in the past and they had "master accounts" which eventually had a couple of problem clients, and got suspended. Back when Google actually revived suspended accounts I was able to recover them (and looked like a hero :p). However Google is not dealing with suspended accounts anymore and the only option from there is to start over with a new gmail...

Long story short, you need to do as others have pointed out and put each client under their own log-in. Besides... if a client decides to leave or something happens where they want to get into the page on their own, you can't give them the login to the master account. It's the business' page, so it should be under a log-in that they can freely access whenever they want.

You'll need to re-verify every page under each new log-in :eek:
Eric is right and thanks Eric for saving me a lot of typing.

Advice I've given in the G forum IN THE PAST was... be sure with NEW clients to set up indiv accounts and START using best practice. However for agencies that had tons of clients in one account I would say it was tough to advise they need to stop and switch them all.

Not only would it be a huge job to switch all the existing clients - but WARNING: You also risk losing their reviews AND/OR having them lose ranking and having to start over from scratch in the local database and it could potentially take 6 - 8 weeks before they rank again.

So if everything was fine and I just discovered a consultant had multiple clients in their account the above is what I'd say. Start doing it right from here on out but on the existing clients it's a really tough judgement call what to do. I mean the right thing to do is stop everything and switch them over, but in reality that's so much work and could create so many new issues that it could cripple a one-man organization.

However, since you already have multiple clients in pending and we don't even know what all the problems are or if some of them are possibly suspendable violations, I say you are at very high risk and probably need to bite the bullet and do it.
If I bite the bullet, will that head them off at the pass? Will it negate the potential calamity? If so, well worth the time. If not, I'll get to each client as time & opportunity permit. Though it is clearly an "A" priority now.
"If I bite the bullet, will that head them off at the pass? Will it negate the potential calamity?"

No telling what will happen. I don't even know what's in the other pending accts that's potentially causing a problem. So I'd be shooting in the dark. These things with Google tend to be pretty unpredictable anyway sometimes. But if all the clients are out of that account then there is no reason for it to be suspended, right? Or at least if you prioritize getting the pending listings moved first, if one of them gets suspended it will just be the one listing that's affected and won't potentially close down all the rest too.

Whatever you do, I would carefully do inventory on the ones that are pending so whatever the problem is does not transfer over to the new account or it could just go pending there too. You saw all the problems I found and some of the analysis I did on the one. Do that on the rest so in addition to moving them you hopefully can clean up any problems so they don't carry over.
Thanks Linda!

Putting out one fire at a time. I'm on it.

Have already "adjusted" two clients and verified. One was fairly straightforward. Other I had to re-construct all pertinent data. No biggie. But could not include a detailed service area on one.

First "hides" their address. Single woman, working from home, etc. Other has a place of biz where clients come to him. He, there is no option to set a service area. I usually have an option to plug in specific communities that they (want to) draw from. Get the map with "Adwords-like" map interface. But not now. Another dynamic change?
Other has a place of biz where clients come to him. He, there is no option to set a service area. I usually have an option to plug in specific communities that they (want to) draw from. Get the map with "Adwords-like" map interface. But not now. Another dynamic change?

No if customeres come to him then you don't select service area. So if set to "No, all customers come to the business location" you don't even get that feature.

FYI even if it's a service area business - picking a bunch of cities does not really work and is typically not the best way to do it. So you can't really pick "specific communities that they (want to) draw from." I mean you could list the cities, the feature is there, but doesn't really work and it's not best practice to do it that way AND it can cause problems.
"I mean you could list the cities, the feature is there, but doesn't really work and it's not best practice to do it that way AND it can cause problems."

How could listing specific cities cause problems? I didn't know there was a major difference between listing cities and listing a radius.
Best practice is 20 mile radius. Anything more I think tends to be a scattergun approach that can water down results and the big issue is they aren't going to rank in a city they aren't located in normally anyway. (Based on competitiveness of term of course.) Listing the city their service area isn't going to make one iota difference.

But the problem I mentioned with listing indiv cities, comes into play more so if it's an SAB that needs to hide their address. If you list 3 cities or 5 cites or whatever then Google will put your map marker right in the center point between all the locations. Sometimes that ends up being in the middle of a lake or out in a rural area where there are no customers.

Once a guy came to the Google forum complaining Google was stupid and broken and placed his mapmarker in the desert. I researched and found he'd set up 5 cities and yep, Google put him exactly in the center of them all, which happened to be out in the middle of nowhere.
As long as all locations are equidistant from the city you want to rank for... :D

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