Top 9 Reasons Google Suspends Local Listings

Written by: Jason Bayless | December 17, 2016
Business owners quite often need to know the rule applied by Google, causing their suspension, but Google is not about to aid the rule-breakers to enhance their abilities at breaking rules and avoiding consequences.

There are two major types of suspensions

Soft suspension: When logging into Google’s My Business, the “suspended” label appears and you can no longer manage your listing, though it still shows up on Google Maps, Google and Map Maker. As a result of breaking Google’s guidelines, your listing is unverified with the revocation your ability to manage the listing. There is however no impact on the ranking of your listing.

Hard suspension: Means your listing has been entirely removed from Google, including photos and reviews, and indicates “removed” when you pull records in Google Map Maker. The only solution is for Google to reinstate you listing, although chances of this happening are rather slim, especially since by then the business listing is no longer eligible to be on Google Maps, according to Google.

The top reasons why Google suspends local listings are:

1. A forwarding URL in the website field
As per Google’s guidelines, you must not provide URLs or phone numbers that redirect users to landing pages. If the URL used in Google My Business is a vanity URL that forwards to a different domain, the result would be a soft suspension.

2. Addition of extra keywords to the business name field
As per guidelines, the addition of unnecessary information to your name, store codes, special characters, website URLs, marketing taglines, closed and open status or hours, phone numbers, location, address or directions, service or product information, and containment information, is prohibited. And will often result in a soft suspension.

3. A service-area business that did not hide its address
You can only show your address if consumers show up at that location. It is, therefore, quite important to verify the service-area businesses’ listing, and although Google My Business permits them, Map Maker does not, meaning any non-verified listing that shows on Google Maps for the service-area businesses might get a hard suspension.

4. Multiple verified listings for a single business
According to the guidelines, you must not create more than a single page for every single location of your business, in multiple or single accounts. Google often suspends both the original and duplicate listings, with the real one getting a soft suspension while the duplicate gets a hard suspension.

5. Sensitive or unpermitted businesses on Google Plus
According to the guidelines of Google plus, regulated goods will be allowed only if they set an age and geographic restriction, and every verified listing gets on G+ automatically. So the Sensitive or unpermitted businesses on Google Plus get a soft suspension.

6. Creation of a listing at a virtual mailbox or office
In case your business leases a temporary “virtual” office, separate from your central business, you must not create a page unless the said location is staffed during the normal business hours. Businesses will often create multiple listings at the virtual offices just to rank in multiple areas apart from their primary locality. This might result in a hard suspension.

7. Creation of listings for online businesses without physical storefronts
Eligible businesses must make in-person contact with consumers, and because most of the online businesses rarely do this, Google has specified instead of a local page, they must create a G+ brand page, meaning they will not rank on Google Maps or in the 3-pack. The creation of listings for online businesses without physical storefronts might lead to hard suspension.

8. Operating a class or service in a building you do not own
According to the guidelines, an ongoing service, meeting or class at a location not owned by you or without a representation authority, results in a business being ineligible.

9. Tighter spam filters due to a spam-cluttered industry
A spam filter might accidentally take you down. As a solution, posting on Google’s My Business Forum might result in the escalation of your case to Google, by a to contributor.