Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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I HATE shady companies that do this. It just gives our industry a big black eye!


Hijacking a listing that belongs to the business owner is NOT OK and I wish Google would bust companies that do this! Suspend every one of their accounts! Wait, that would hurt the poor businesses inside. No Wait, that would force those companies to go find someone else to help them and would hit the sleazy company in the pocketbook, where it hurt.

Anyway Greg over at AutoRevo has the story and the voicemail message from the customer describing what this company said.

<a href="">Website Provider Holds Google Places Page Hostage</a>

It’s utterly amazing that shady providers can stay in business with tactics like this…

We recently signed up a new dealer, and during the set up process, he ran into a HUGE roadblock: His previous website provider refused to give him access to his own Google Places page!

He called us in frustration and shared their shady tactics with us. You can read the transcript or listen to the voicemail below, but let’s take a quick second to point out the important parts:

3) They said he’d have to go through legal steps to “get it back from Google”, but that the process was long and drawn out. Again, a bold-faced lie.

What liars! Click over to read the transcript or listen.

My guess is that in addition to being shady, this company does not know what they are doing and stupidly set up all their clients in the same Google account too, so could not just give log in if they wanted to. They could, if they know enough to do this, remove the listing and be nice enough to let the business know how to reclaim. But no, business ethics are not in this company's DNA.

Have you had personal experiences with hijacks like this???

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Jun 16, 2013
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How about domain name hijacking.?

I have had clients come to me for website help, without even knowing that they do not own thier domain name. Their for web designer register their domain name in their own name, and then hold for ransom when the client tries to leave. Completely unethical and unprofessional behaviour.
Nov 18, 2013
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Unfortunately there is way too much of this happening out there. I have gotten very good at recovering Google listings from these situations and it always involves calling Google support. The listing will have to be re-verified, but it can be done. Thank goodness Google does provide suppport for this now.
Jul 18, 2012
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I haven't run into Google+ Local hijackings but I have run into domain/website hostages. Unfortunately, it's all too common.



Jul 22, 2012
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If i were the business owner, I would get a hold of Google help to unverify the listing.

Its kind of frustrating these days how you cannot verify a listing if it has already been verified by another user, but the Google help team has always been very responsive in releasing access when one of my clients forgets their login, or had another company managing it in the past.

They should be able to release access to the listing in less than a week after a conversation with the Google Help team, especially if the business owner is calling from the number on the Google Listing.
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