Google Local listings beam powerful signals about businesses to whoever is looking for related services, so the search giant keeps vigilant watch on this vital information. But signals can get crossed when a business has multiple entries floating around the Interweb. We deal with this all the time at The Web Guys, so let’s go through some ways to detect these rogue listings.
But first things first…
Why Should I Care About Duplicate Listings?
The problem with duplicate listings is that they’re rarely identical — meaning only one is completely accurate. Old addresses and phone numbers have a way of resurfacing online, creating confusion both for Google and for potential customers. Google will recognize that a business has multiple listings, but it can’t tell which one to trust and may return bad information in search results. In particularly messy situations, it may even suspend the verified (and correct) account because of the uncertainty.
How to Locate a Duplicate Listing
Thanks to Google’s recent updates to local listing results and its Map Maker program, detecting duplicates is harder than ever. Google even removed the option to look up listings on Map Maker using the business phone number, usually the best way to find duplicates because it tends to be the most consistent data available. If you remember old addresses or former names of the business, you could try searching that information too.
Google Local listings are connected to Google+ pages, so the following tactics involve searching for both:
1) Search on Google Maps using the phone number. You’ll see any listings that are associated with the phone number.
2) Then log into Google+ and search for the phone number. The search result should include related Google+ Local pages.
3) Head over to Google Map Maker and look up the business name, city, and state.
4) Lastly, it doesn’t hurt to search the phone number on Google Search. Type in “plus.google.com” “phone number” “Review Summary” to see results for Google+ pages.
Once you’ve found any duplicates, the next step is removal, which in most cases is trickier than locating a listing. The process may involve transferring ownership of the page or verifying the listing and deleting it.
From finding a duplicate to calling Google to get the listing removed, the process of managing a business’ online presence has become needlessly difficult. We recommend hiring the trusted experts at The Web Guys to handle all your digital marketing efforts. To learn how we can manage your local listings effectively, contact us at (317) 805-4933 today.