More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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In case you missed the big news yesterday the 1st phase was announced and many of you can start merging your Google Places Page (G+ Local) with your Google+ Business Page.

<a href="!-Google-Business-Merge-with-Google-Place-Pages-Starts-Now!">BREAKING! Google+ Business Merge with Google Place Pages Starts Now!</a>

That is UNLESS you are a service area or home based business with address hidden on your Place page. Then this initial merge option is not available for you!

Don't waste your time like I did. This was initially not spelled out anywhere until Mike and I brought it to Google's attention that there was a problem with hidden address listings verifying. So here's the back story.

Last night I went to merge and verify and I have my address hidden on my Place page.

Verification process showed me a pic of the postcard and said ? this is how it will look. It was addressed to Name, City with no address.

<a href=""><img src="" alt="" width="450" /></a>​

So if I were an SMB I would DEF think I would not get the mail.

Link under the postcard image says "Address problem? Correct here". So I followed the instructions (as I would if I were an SMB that didn?t know better). Took me to profile. Changed address there. Went back to verify again. The postcard preview STILL only showed Name, City.

If I were an SMB at that point I probably would have gone to forum and said ?the system is broken I can?t verify, no mailing address?.

Instead I hit submit anyway thinking it would come back with error saying address was missing, but it went through and told me my postcard should arrive in a week.

Then I think I hit back arrow in browser to take a screenshot and it took me to PIN screen and there said a postcard was sent to name + full address.

SO now (again pretending I?m an SMB who does not understand the importance of hiding address) ? Now my address on my G+ profile is showing.

Would I think to go back and change it??? Doubt it.

Plus the G+ help docs on service area business say if you?ve hidden address on your Place page that setting will carry over to your new G+ page. BUT in this case if I don?t change address on G+

I wonder what will happen after they merge? Will it automatically hide my address for me?
I ain't taking any chances on getting deleted, so I'm going back to remove my address from my G+ page, but would an SMB think to do that? No!

So ya the process needs tweaking.

THEN I FIND OUT AFTER ALL THAT - I was not qualified to upgrade yet because I have a home based business with address hidden.

So then I read comments on Mike's post: <a href="">Step by Step Guide to the Google+ Business/Local Merge Verification Process</a> Someone there had the same problem, so I posted my experience above.

Mike had emailed Google about it, then I alerted them to the problems I had as well.

THEN we find out, this current merge option is NOT available for home-based or service area businesses with hidden addresses. But that was never spelled out in the initial announcement so we likely already have tons of SMBs who tried to merge and will once again be frustrated.

Jade edited original post and added an FAQ that addresses some common questions.

NOTE: Home-based or service area businesses with address hidden. You can?t upgrade yet.

Don?t know why Google could not just put a notice at top of verification screen OR give an error and explain that hidden address listings cannot merge yet, instead of wasting our time. (OR mention in the original announcement ? given they know how many businesses are in this boat, based on other recent problems.)

I documented my experience above. I jumped through a bunch of hoops and it seemed to have worked. If I was an SMB I?d be sitting here waiting for my postcard, then complaining when it never came.

Would have been nice if it was explained up front that this upgrade was not available for home-based businesses who are SOL once again! Salt in the wounds, like Mike said above!
Hey Linda,

I have a client in the same situation... Service area business with the address not being displayed. However, when I went to verify the business through the Google+ page, it actually showed the full address. I double-checked to make sure that his address is not being displayed, and it's not. But on the Google+ verification window (the same window as your screenshot), it showed his address.

I've went ahead and requested the postcard for my client and Google said it should take about a week.

Maybe this was a temporary bug that was fixed, or maybe it's something else. I've had Google manually edit this listing multiple times because of various issues and problems, so that may have something to do with it.

What I am REALLY curious about is if verifying the Google+ page through the postcard will bring the listing back to life... right now, I get the good 'ol "We currently do not support this location" message when trying to view the Google+ Local page.

It will be interesting to see what happens in a week...

- Andrew
Hmmm Andrew, that's weird that the address showed for you. Maybe they already fixed it but I wouldn't think so. The reason Jade said hidden addresses could not merge yet, is that part of verification needed to be made to work right. And from my experience engineers don't usually work weekends.

I'm wondering if your client or I will actually get the postcards? Because in my case it also told me it was in the mail and should be here in a week.

What was sequence with your client's do not support? Actually if you want to discuss, please start new thread in the help section and let me know if do not support happened 1st THEN you hid address or address was already hidden and if you used troubleshooter, etc. Just give me a brief run down in new thread, if you'd like help/advice on that listing.
I'm wondering if your client or I will actually get the postcards? Because in my case it also told me it was in the mail and should be here in a week.

Yes, it will be interesting to see. The only difference between your process and mine is that you had to manually correct the address through the "Correct Address" link. My client's address was already in there.

What was sequence with your client's do not support? Actually if you want to discuss, please start new thread in the help section and let me know if do not support happened 1st THEN you hid address or address was already hidden and if you used troubleshooter, etc.

I've done so much with this client listing because of issues after issue, it'd be hard for me to list out exactly what I did step-by-step. I have a general idea of what I did though, and will make a new thread to see if others have advice. It may be useful to others as well.

This is a great forum by the way! Awesome idea!
Thanks Andrew, this forum has been on my to-do list for like I year and I knew the industry really needed a community. I'm just so busy it took a long time before I could pull it off.
Hi Linda

I'm not sure if there has been an update on this but this morning I managed to verify and merge my Google + pages even though I have my business address hidden in the search results. I won't go into the details in case this problem has been rectified by Google without my knowledge but if you'd like further details I can send them in.

Many thanks

Jody Thomas
Thanks for letting us know Jody. Google has not announced any changes for service area businesses yet. BUT I know they are doing a few things that make verification easier for some listings.

I was able verify with address hidden it like I said as well. But they don't really want people to because the verification process is confusing with address hidden. PLUS there is no service area radius feature in Plus yet.

Was your process similar to mine as explained above or was anything different?
Hi Linda

I had a similar experience to the Andrew's above - my address simply appeared when I clicked the verify link even though my business address is hidden. I followed the verify process and my pin came through about 10 days later. It was that simple, it appears that the process looks likely to work with my other business's as well, although I'm still waiting for the pin for those. Will update you when/if those come through too!

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