More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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There has been a big uptick in Google My Business verification issues for the past month or so. And now that I think about it, they've been increasing pretty much since GMB launched. So could be more newbie users or a change on the back end.

Have you had this problem happen??? You order a verification PIN. Wait 2 weeks. It finally comes. Then it either does not work OR there is nowhere to enter the PIN. So then it forces to request a new one. Wait another 2 weeks, rinse, repeat.

Lots of users at the Google and your Business Forum have been having this problem where they get the verification PIN and there is nowhere to enter it and they are forced to request a new one. (Which can cause big delays and is quite frustrating.)

I always assumed it was caused by one of 2 user problems.

1) The business owner (or consultant) made NAP changes in dash while waiting for the PIN, which invalidates the PIN.

2) The other thing that will make a PIN not work is if you get anxious waiting and request another. Then the 1st one finally shows up, but it will not work and is invalid once the 2nd one is requested. (Only the last PIN will be valid.)

Many of the old pros know about both issues above, but evidently many folks do not, judging by the number of verification problems I've been seeing.

So I wanted to share a warning about these issues that could be a big time saver. (No one likes getting a PIN that does not work and having to wait for a 2nd one. )

PLUS yesterday I found out a little more granular detail so wanted to share that as well.

Chad Russell a local search consultant had the problem and shared this on Google+:

<a href="">Google My Business PIN Verification Hiccup - Verification PIN Arrives But GMB Won't Allow You To Verify The Business</a>

A week and a half ago, I sent out a verification postcard to one of my clients to get their business verified in Google My Business. I received the PIN this weekend. This morning when I tried to enter it in, GMB wanted me to send out another PIN postcard. Nowhere to enter in the PIN I had just received.

I called Google (rather, I had them call me). They told me that a PIN number will become invalid if you do any of the following when waiting on the PIN number:

1. Changes to the Business Address
2. Changes to the business phone number
3. Addition or subtraction of any business categories
4. Changes to the business email address

The Google rep said that about the only thing you can safely do while awaiting the PIN is add images.

From now on, I am making it my policy to completely ignore the Google My Business listing once the PIN is sent out. It's not worth the extra time and frustrated clients that are created when this kind of thing happens.

Why wouldn't Google just disable these things until the listing is verified? Hopefully this'll get ironed out soon....

Many of us, in the know, realize NAP changes would invalidate the PIN. But I've seen users at the G forum swear they didn't make NAP changes and their PIN would not work. So it's good to know that other changes can invalidate PIN too.

I always stressed in my OLD Places training for some totally different reasons... That you should do new claim edits in 2 passes. Make all your other dash edits BEFORE editing NAP. Do your cats, description, hours and images and hit save. Then add URL and email and edit NAP.

I took that part out of the new GMB training, because the old reasons for doing that in the old Places dash are no longer valid.

Thank goodness, good timing! I just finished the 1st half the new Google My Business course and am just getting ready to launch today. So I can go in and add this post really quick before opening the doors. Let everyone know they should still edit new listings in 2 passes as I explained above.

Then good idea to take Chad's advice and ignore dash while waiting for PIN!

What do you think???
Have you struggled with invalid PINS?
Did you know even editing cats while PIN is in transit can cause problems?

<meta property="og:type" content="article"><meta property="og:title" content=""><meta property="og:description" content="There has been a big uptick in Google My Business verification issues for the past month. Here's why...">
<meta property="og:image" content="">
Thx for this post Linda, the other thing i'd love to understand is why sometimes you get to phone verify and other times you don't.
Hi Carl, it's based on level of trust in that particular listing, but I don't know exactly what signals she's looking at to determine that.
Thanks Linda, We have not noticed a delay, but we have noticed that more of the Support staff are not trained. We have been having to explain things to them.
I put the policy in place for my analysts to build out the page as completely as they can get it, and then send the PIN. After the PIN gets sent, they're not supposed to touch the page. As long as you stress to the client/your team that the changes need to be "locked" when that postcard gets sent, but can be edited after verification then you'll be fine.

The way Google is doing it definitely makes sense. We wouldn't want a spammer sending a postcard to a legit address only to change all the information mid-verification and get a let up on a legit business.

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