More threads by bfrazier


Jan 25, 2021
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Is losing a verification because of a GBP category update likely?

For this client, we ADDED secondary categories (at scale, through Birdeye) and kept the primary category the same. Almost immediately, more than half of their locations became unverified. It had to be the category updates because the time of the changes aligns all too well, but... why only half of the locations? Not that I WANT more to become unverified, but it just doesn't make sense.
Never seen this happen from adding a secondary category myself! What is your original primary category and what is the new category that was added?
Thanks @ElizabethRule and @noahlearner! The primary category was nursing homes (which is the one we kept the same), and we added aged care, rehabilitation center, plus the other therapies they offer. Anything we added is truly what they provide... no gray areas/nothing "shady."
So I talked to some Local SEO experts who have dealt with this issue, and it seems this is an error that can happen when you are in a specific industry/category and Google does not want you to add a specific type of secondary category. Because you used the API it is now asking you to reverify, compared to if you had done it on the front end dashboard it may have just given you an "error". Unfortunately, you will just have to reverify all the listings that became unverified.

I suggest testing category additions on the front end before doing them in bulk via the API next time.

h/t @krystaltaing @BenFisher :)
We’ve seen this happen when updating a listing for an Urgent Care Center (primary) location to add Medical Clinic as a secondary category. 50 of 70 or so locations had Medical Clinic as the secondary category already and we added it to the remaining 20. 7 of them got unverified and confirmed by Google that it was due to the category change. Another instance we updated a Dog Trainer listing to have Pet Trainer as the secondary category and it got unverified. I have other examples too. We’ve done this plenty of times before, but it seems as if there are certain sensitivities with these updates now. All instances have been updates made directly in the GBP UI, not via API.

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