Deke

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So glad to be a part of the community here! Look forward to participating!

I have a client that is a brick & mortar storefront in a local city. They want to improve their local SEO for people searching for their services in the local area.
The problem is, they have a Google Places For Business listing under a Google account of a former employee (let's call it, formeremployee@gmail.com).

Luckily this former employee is fully cooperative, but we definitely want to take ownership of this local listing at all costs and move the control of it over to a global Google account for employees.It's important to note that Google automatically created a Google+ Local Business page for this company using the Google Places For Business listing's information under the (formeremployee@gmail.com) account.When you visit the auto-generated Google+ Local Page, it has a button that asks, "Are You The Owner of This Business?" with a button beneath saying "Manage This Page". This Google+ Local page has TONS of great reviews, so I want to make sure I don't mess anything up.

If I log into our newly created global Google email account for employees and click "Manage This Page" (which I very much want to do!), it takes me to the new Google Places for Business dashboard where I fill out NAP/etc and searches for the business. It found the current listing and asked if I wanted to claim it. If I click to claim it, asks me to Verify ownership via postcard or phone call. This is perfectly fine, since I am working at the office location and can take the call/postcard, but if I verify this business under the new Google account, do I risk losing the reviews or wiping out any other information currently attached to the Google+ Local Page? I've read some instances where merging pages/listings/etc have resulted in loss in reviews, or worse... decreases in rankings.

So how do we safely take ownership of this Google+ Local page? And if we can, what happens to our old Google Places for Business listing that is under (formeremployee@gmail.com)? Is there a way we can just create our own listing or transfer that listing to our newly created Google account for the company?

Thank you so much for your kind help and assistance.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Hi Deke,

Unfortunately there are always risks with re-claiming a G+ Local page into a new account.

Reviews can be lost, ranking can suffer.

However, if the NAP is staying the exact same, and you wait until the listing is verified in the new account before removing for the other account, you should be OK.

I'm wondering however, if there will be issues with the new dashboard and the rumors that listings will no longer be able to be claimed in multiple accounts. Either way, this would just add a step or a tweak to the process.
 
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