Google My Business FAQs

The most commonly asked questions about Google My Business

Welcome to the unofficial Google My Business FAQ’s. Here we collect the most commonly asked questions about Google My Business and give our best answers to them. This page updates with new questions frequently and is designed to be a great resource to help you find answers that will help you understand, optimize, and thrive on Google My Business.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answer: Google My Business was launched on June 11th, 2014. The platform was built to allow business owners to have more say in how their business appears on Google Maps and in Google’s “Local Pack” (i.e. a map with business listings that appears inside of search results). Prior to Google My Business being launched small business owners, managers, and marketing consultants had to use various platforms to update their data inside of Google often causing confusion, anger, and frustration with tools like Google+ Local and Map Maker.

Answer: Yes, at the moment Google My Business and all related features are free. However, there has been signs that Google will start charging business owners for some current features or new advanced features in the future.

Answer: The answer to this is that “it depends”. Having your business listed on Google My Business is practically required to be listed on Google Maps and to rank for search queries on Google when the Local Pack appears. However, it does not appear to directly impact the normal organic ranking results outside of these areas. There is a chance that Google may use this data in the future to rank local organic results, but so far no evidence of this has surfaced.

Answer: The answer to this is sadly, yes. Anyone can suggest edits to a business listing at any time by clicking the ‘suggest an edit’ link on the business listing on Google Maps or inside of the Knowledge Panel on Google Search results. The changes are nearly always accepted by Google and can be damaging to your local presence.

Answer: You can claim your Google My Business listing by searching for your business on Google Maps and then clicking on the link that says “Claim this Business”. Google will ask you for some verification and will mail you out a postcard to your business location. That postcard will contain a numerical sequence which you’ll use to verify the location received mail correctly.

Answer: Google My Business posts show up when users on Google search for your brand name or when someone looks at your business profile on Google Maps.

Answer: Google My Business will suspend a profile for any number of reasons, most often because the profile violates the quality guidelines for Google My Business. A profile will also be suspended if Google believes it is a fake or spam listing, if the business operates out of a virtual office but has no employees present, if the business is located at a residential address and does not have the profile set to be shown as a ‘service area’ business, and many other reasons.

Answer: Technically you can add keywords to the name of your business inside of Google My Business because editing the name is allowed. However, this is not recommended as it is a violation of the quality guidelines and will have your business suspended or removed from the platform. A study found that adding keywords to a business name did lead to an immediate jump in Google Map rankings, Google responded by offering a spam form to report listings with this violation.

Answer: Yes, and it is encouraged that you do so. Google My Business profiles with a unique, well-written, description tend to rank higher in Google Maps and Google’s Local Pack than those without a description

Answer: If you have granted someone manager access to your Google My Business profile and another profile on their account is suspended by Google My Business for quality violations it is highly likely that GMB will suspend your listing as well for being related. The idea is likely that this will help GMB take down large networks of fake business listings that plague the service, but it has the very chilling and unfortunate side-effect of hurting real small businesses who just happen to share a local seo manager with spammers but are not related to their spam activity.

Answer: Yes, the good news is that your listing is likely eligible to be reinstated. Before requesting your listing to be reinstated we recommend having a local seo analyze your profile to see what the problem might be and then to fix it. When you apply for reinstatement Google will ask you what you’ve changed to comply with their rules and based on this will either reinstate your listing or not. If your profile is within guidelines your reinstatement can happen as quickly as 24 hours or take as long as 2 weeks.

Answer: Yes, Google My Business has some staff responding to tweets and DM’s via their Twitter handle @GoogleMyBiz. They used to reply very quickly via this account, but as knowledge of it has grown response times have slowed down to several days or weeks.