Hi everyone, and welcome back to the GMB series with Chloe! If you missed the first post on Bulk Location Management, you can read it here. Google My Business is a great way to get your business found, and contains a wealth of information. Best of all, and worst of all, anybody can contribute. So what happens if you find that other people have already added your business locations? Today I’ll show you how to handle duplicate locations, merging, deletion and manager access.
So, you have duplicate locations…
Duplicate locations can confuse Google. It’s best to have only one page per physical address. There are exceptions to this rule, like the practitioner and business division example I discussed in my last post. However, one per address is generally a best practice. These duplicate locations can be owned by you, by someone else, or be unclaimed. In the case that the duplicate page is owned by you or unclaimed, it will be a simple fix.
To claim a page, simply view the page and scroll down to the bottom left area. You should see a button to manage the page. If the location is claimed by somebody already, you will not see this option. Once you are the verified owner of the page, you can feel free to merge or delete the page.
If somebody else is the verified owner of your location, you can follow the on-screen instructions to request manager access or ownership, or ask for Google’s assistance via a chat or phone call. The process can take up to a month to complete.
Note: there may be some pages that you don’t know about floating around on Google. Do a search for your address and a separate search for your business name to see if there are any other pages.
Manager Access Levels
There are three levels of manager access:
- Owner: complete access
- Manager: cannot add other managers or delete pages
- Communications Manager: can only access social aspect of Google+
If switching ownership, the current owner must give the desired new owner manager access. Once the desired new owner has been a manager of the page for two weeks, the transfer can take place.
Say you have one location that has customer reviews, but you also have a duplicate location page that you’ve been using for Google+. This is a common problem, especially for accounts with legacy pages from before Google My Business rolled out. Rather than delete a location and get rid of your work or reviews, merging pages is the best option. Merging of two pages can only be done if you are the owner of both pages (can be under two separate email addresses), and can only be completed with the assistance of a Google rep.
Once the merge is complete, the old, inactive location will have a status of pending review or unverified. After a few days, you should check to ensure the merge was truly successful, and you can delete the inactive page.
Deletion is a great option for your duplicate locations if they have no data. If you no longer manage a location and have nobody to relinquish ownership to, you can either delete the page or contact a Google rep to remove it from your account.
The longer I deal with Google My Business, the more quirky situations I find. I’m currently dealing with things such as having ownership of a Google+ page in my account, but not having ownership of its respective GMB maps location. I also have an account with several owner conflict locations in which the owner is the same across all. What’s the process… what do I do next? These are the tough questions, people! When in doubt, call Google. Their GMB support team is very responsive and always willing to help.
I hope this helped some of your owner conflict and duplicate location woes. Let me know in the comments if you have a Google My Business question or topic suggestion. Thanks!