MeganR

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I was contacted by a business who had their entire GMB account suspended for having multiple virtual locations. It seems they had an epiphany and are looking to go "legit."

They've relied on cheap virtual locations for years, but they are thinking about stripping their GMB account down to the studs, keeping their main location, and actually paying for a real office/signage/staffed/etc; in two additional locations (as opposed to the 15+ locations they've had for the last several years.)

To me, that part seems reasonable - real, staffed locations and downsizing their operation.

What concerns me is their building out the new legitimate listings in the existing GMB account. I'm concerned that when they do this, the new listings will be automatically suspended by Google.

So, my questions:

1) How can they avoid an automatic suspension, or can they?

2) Is their URL "burnt?" In other words, anytime they punch in that url or business name for a new listing, will there be an automatic suspension in GMB?

I really hesitate to take them on as a client, because I'm not sure if these efforts (purchasing real office space, etc) will pay off for them.
 

JoyHawkins

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Hey Megan,

I've had several businesses in this scenario call me before. I haven't taken a single one on as a client for a couple reasons.

1. They are very likely to get suspended again if this isn't their first time.
2. The traffic/calls they are used to getting with that many locations would be pretty high. It's going to be very hard for you to even come close to what they were getting before. This is a red flag to me as they probably won't be satisfied with the new level of traffic you're getting them.

To answer your second question, it's definitely possible that new locations could get suspended. Given what you're describing it's going to be an uphill battle. This is why I tell people it doesn't pay long-term to break the guidelines.
 

freerunr

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2) Is their URL "burnt?" In other words, anytime they punch in that url or business name for a new listing, will there be an automatic suspension in GMB?

I was about to start a new thread that's a riff off of this question, but I think it's related enough to start it here. I'm curious specifically if anyone has seen direct impact to the domain in these instances. It may sound a bit outrageous, but I've heard rumblings of this. Obviously there would be an impact to traffic to the URL used on the GMB page if the page is filtered from results, but I'm wondering if anyone has seen any other impact to the domain directly. I'm thinking some change in performance that would almost look like a manual penalty (though I realize there are always lots of variables to consider when seeing a drop in site performance). Feel free to define performance however you see fit.
 

chadkimball

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yes, google blacklists domains at times, but necessarily every time there is a suspension. But there isn't a public list of "burnt" or blacklisted domains that we can see so we don't know which ones are blacklisted and which are not
 

bhartzer

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There's certainly no public list of blacklisted domain names, as each service (google, facebook, twitter, etc.) have their own lists. If the business has done spammy things with their GMB listing(s) then you can bet that they've probably done something on their website, as well. Typically when someone hires a spammy SEO firm, the SEO firm does stuff on the GMB listing(s) and the site, at the same time.

Google in particular could very well keep a list or some sort of internal tracking and could ban a domain at the same time something's been done on the GMB listing(s). I know that Google, Yahoo, and Bing share some databases, and have done so in the past. If a site is banned in Google it's most likely going to be banned in Bing within 24 hours, as well.

I recommend you do your own domain name due diligence--or use a service like Verified Domains to do the due diligence for you.
 

Linda Buquet

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Since we are talking GMB suspension, I don't think it's domain per se.

I've seen complaints at the G forum in the past where some folks once they got suspended could not get a new listing set up whatever they tried. Instant suspension on the new one too.

So my guess is that if they break certain rules or are spammy over a certain threshold then any part of NAP+W could trigger it. (Just a guess based on things I've seen.)

But hopefully by now Megan has taken Joy's advice and shined them on?
 

freerunr

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I've seen complaints at the G forum in the past where some folks once they got suspended could not get a new listing set up whatever they tried. Instant suspension on the new one too.

So my guess is that if they break certain rules or are spammy over a certain threshold then any part of NAP+W could trigger it. (Just a guess based on things I've seen.)

Yeah, I've heard that as well, Linda.

I was looking more if anyone had seen direct performance impact to the site, not even blacklisted like Chad mentions, or banned like Bill does. More just something like a drop in ranking (whatever that means anymore) or something similar, even if nothing spammy is being done on the website. My fault for latching onto Megan's thread! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Serendipitously and unfortunate at the same time, a client situation like this crossed my desk just after I wrote my question earlier, so I now have a test case to use :)
 
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