If you own any kind of business in the United States you are most likely familiar with the top 3 map listings on Google which are called the Google My Business listings and they account for about 85% of the leads that business owners get from customers in search for their services locally, for free. These listings are truly one of the only remaining ways that business owners find sales for their business free of charge while small business in our country is literally getting slammed with another business closing every day. To obtain a listing, Business owners will create a free listing here and then they will work hard to get good reviews, update info to keep it true, and even use the Google update section to announce specials, deals, and general updates. Business owners and Digital Marketing Companies spend a lot of time and sometimes money (when hiring a service to do it for the business) to keep their listings updated but more so to get into the top 3 so that customers can see their businesses in hopes that they get that call. When a listing gets good reviews they usually go up in rank and then they come to depend on these listings to stay in business. These listings have become so powerful that they can genuinely make or break a business.
We have been seeing more and more quality, valid, correct listings being suspended and we were truly getting concerned. We can understand some suspensions by taking advantage of the system by gouging their listings and names with powerful keywords and fake addresses but in this case, we are seeing firsthand that the listings are good and correct and our clients are being suspended or denied a listing for no reason at all. When they deny you or suspend you they do not give you a clearly defined reason, they simply say "You are not meeting our community guidelines" which leaves a lot to be deciphered all while these business owners are losing out on one of the only true chances they have to gain new sales and customers. We have numerous clients that have been waiting patiently for over 45 days without any reply at all. When you cannot speak to someone at Google or even get an email how are you supposed to clarify or correct the issue?
With that being said and stressing how important these listings are, we are truly frustrated and saddened to see what GMB is doing to small business owners across the country. We did our own test to see if this is simply about money and in our opinion it is. If we are interested in setting up a PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign we can get a live person on the phone in minutes. If we wanted to get someone on the phone with GMB (Separate Divisions) we cant. If you want to see Agencies & Business Owners who are being screwed over day by day by Google My Business you will be floored when visiting the Reddit Thread which you can find here.
Our goal is to simply see who else is going through this because this seems to be a national issue with many small business owners and agency reps lost with no help by Google at all. If you would like to provide feedback or your story please use the Reddit Thread for Google My Business https://www.reddit.com/r/GoogleMyBusiness/ and we will update this story based on feedback on the Google My Business Thread.
Sorry to all the fellow business owners and agencies that are going through this.