Oliver Keates

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Does anyone know of any guides or best practices as to how to manage a handful of clients GMB listing as a freelancer/consultant? Ideally its just the invitation process i am looking for to become a manager. I understand the client can log into their GMB listing and invite you via email. Being a sole trader and not having a company i would initially manage a few clients so i would be unable to create an agency dashboard due to not having a business name and a company website.

thanks
 

Conor Treacy

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We don't actually use the Agency Dashboard for GMB, and instead utilize a handful of accounts that the client has invited to manage their account. We just tell them to invite XXXX on the user dashboard, and we're off and running.

This is a portion of the template email we send to clients when we onboard them. We provide explicit steps for each of the various things we need. Web Hosting collaboration access (depending on host, we provide the exact steps for that host), Analytics, Tag Manager (if avail), etc and then the Business Access. Once we have Analytics, we can tie in Search Console, or update their domain DNS with the code from Google.

Google Business Access (Google My Business)​

  1. Login into https://google.com/business/
  2. Click on Location you wish to share
  3. On the left, click "users"
  4. On the top right of the new window, click the "people" icon
  5. Add the user "XXXXXXXXXXXXXX" with the status of "Manager"
 

Conor Treacy

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Is there a limit as to how many GMB listings you can manage from a standard free gmail account?
I can't recall actually. I know on Google Analytics it's 100. We usually just put about 10 per account, sometimes less.

The big fear in the back of my mind is that something bad happens on one account, it gets suspended, them Google turns around and suspends all accounts it's linked to. I hate having all eggs in one basket.
 

Oliver Keates

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Interesting point about 10 per account. I suppose you could request access as an agency through the client knowledge panel?

Yes when a client logs into their gmb and amends things they can accidentally break Google’s guidelines and get suspended.
 

JeffClevelandTN

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Hi Oliver, we have a little different process than @Conor Treacy but very similar. We setup a group/shared email address for each individual client, something like this: seo.clientname@ourdomain.com. We then setup that email address as a Google account too. You could use the same process with free gmail or outlook.com, seo.clientname@gmail.com or @outlook.com.

That way we can assign one or more team members to each client's account, but it is also unique for Google, which avoids the issue of bad things like suspension affecting more than one client. We also use this account for other account related setup for other related seo work besides GMB (e.g. Adwords, Analytics, Google Search Console). If you think this may become more than just a side business, it may be worth creating a custom email domain on Google or Office365. I personally feel that Office365's email is more robust, especially with group related functionality, but that's just my opinion :).
 

studentoflife

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You guys use different email accounts to prevent suspensions from one clients account affecting your other clients.

Do you also worry about the IP address that you’re using? Do you use a VPN?
 

JeffClevelandTN

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You guys use different email accounts to prevent suspensions from one clients account affecting your other clients.

Do you also worry about the IP address that you’re using? Do you use a VPN?
I can't speak for anybody else, but as mentioned in my earlier reply, we use our own email address (seo.clientname@ourdomain.com) then create a google account using that email address. The reason I bring this up again, is because there is a limit to the number of gmail accounts you can use with a single phone or IP address, something like 4 or 5. We haven't encountered this restriction but we are strictly using a Google Account with our own email accounts, no gmail account. According to what I've found, there isn't a known limit to the number of Google Accounts you can associate with a given phone number.
 

JoyHawkins

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You guys use different email accounts to prevent suspensions from one clients account affecting your other clients.

If one of your client's accounts gets suspended, it will only suspend their listing. It's only when your account is the issue that it causes a suspension on every listing in your account.
 

rgblocal

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If one of your client's accounts gets suspended, it will only suspend their listing. It's only when your account is the issue that it causes a suspension on every listing in your account.
Not to hijack the thread, but what is your recommendation to avoid the latter scenario? (Knowing anything is possible.)

Would we literally go back through 25+ locations, create individual Google accounts, make them owners, then set everyone else as managers?
 

Conor Treacy

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If one of your client's accounts gets suspended, it will only suspend their listing. It's only when your account is the issue that it causes a suspension on every listing in your account.
Ah, interesting. So maybe it is worth using the agency account after all. I've always feared one trickling over into the other. So as long as the agency account isn't suspended, then the other accounts wouldn't be affected.
 

JoyHawkins

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Would we literally go back through 25+ locations, create individual Google accounts, make them owners, then set everyone else as managers?

That sounds like a bit of a nightmare from an organization standpoint so I wouldn't advise doing that. I would just make sure your account isn't breaking any of Google's guidelines either on the GMB side or the Google Ads side. Also, never use that account for submitting edits on Google Maps. It's way too easy for someone at Google to see your edit and think it's spammy, even if it's not.
 

studentoflife

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Also, never use that account for submitting edits on Google Maps. It's way too easy for someone at Google to see your edit and think it's spammy, even if it's not.
I have been doing that since the beginning, 10 years of using my original personal Google account to both administrate my business listing as well as making edits.

I am going to stop doing that immediately. But I am curious if any penalization that my business listing has received due to spammy edits will go away in time?
 

studentoflife

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No, generally speaking, if an account is labeled as spam there is no coming back from it.
Wow. :(

I do pretty good in the local listings, I come up first in my own town and I also show in many other towns around me. Would that mean that my account hasn’t been penalized?

Is it an on/off type of thing or diminished ranking type of thing?
 

JoyHawkins

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If your account is banned, all your listings would be suspended and every edit you make would be automatically rejected. It has no impact on ranking.
 

studentoflife

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If your account is banned, all your listings would be suspended and every edit you make would be automatically rejected. It has no impact on ranking.
OK, thank you. That’s really a relief. I’ll stop making edits with that account now.

I thought that being active with my personal Google account would help my business listing in some small way.

Then when reading here I got worried that maybe it was holding back my business listing because I noticed some of my edits wouldn’t be approved when they really should’ve been, such as business names with full paragraphs full of keywords. I got worried that maybe my account was marked as spam.
 

Tony Wang

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@JoyHawkins that's good to know , that making Maps edits are easily mistaken as spam. I recall years ago folks saying that if you establish a good track record of Map edits, your account is more likely to be trusted with future edits. Maybe that was just hearsay? Or maybe I remember wrongly :-(
 

Oliver Keates

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Do you have to be a registered company with a website to have access to a gmb agency account @JoyHawkins . It would be good to write an article on best gmb practices when setting up to be a gmb freelancer/consultant or an organisation managing multiple gmb listings?
 

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