Per the Google Quality Guidelines, "Do not create more than one listing for each business location, either in a single account or multiple accounts." The reason I bring this up is because it is such a common issue for so many people, but we're not talking about it.
Many people out there have heard of the dreaded "Google Local Suspension" or heard a client say, "why am I not showing up on Google?" What so many professionals fail to bring up are some of the reasons outside of page content that may answer WHY a listing is not showing up in a top spot or at all.
This is a major violation on Google that can happen when local listings are claimed in more than one account including:
- Pending review
- Data inconsistencies (changes on the live listing you can't control - data keeps changing back and forth between the 2 listings)
- Missing images
- The inability to respond to reviews
- Suspension and ranking penalties
- Problems with page edits.
This also creates a debacle when dealing with Google support, because they require you to verify the email address which "owns" the page. If there are multiple email addresses linked to the page, it creates a lot of problems all around. This is one of the biggest problems for a Google local listing that most people don't talk about.
So that is why claiming a page under multiple accounts is a bad idea. You must be asking how we can fix a situation like this or prevent it from happening, right? Well you're in luck because there are multiple ways around this potentially sticky situation. The first solution is to stop it from happening in the beginning. In every questionnaire required to start work on a local SEO program there is a section for login information. By pressing the client a little bit to remember, it can save months of headache and get them off to the right start.