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Google Business Profile Suspended: How to Reinstate?

google business profile suspended

If a Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is suspended, it can have serious consequences for a small business, as GBP is often the primary marketing tool for local businesses.

A suspended Google Business listing can lead to a significant decrease in traffic, calls, and customers, potentially even causing a business to go out of business.

Reasons for a GBP suspension can vary, but common causes include spammy tactics, changes made to the listing, or reports from users through the Redressal Form or the “Suggest an edit” feature on Google Maps or search.

What is a Google Business Profile Suspension?

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A Google Business Profile suspension occurs when Google removes a business’s listing from search results and Maps due to a violation of their guidelines. Suspended profiles are effectively invisible to potential customers, and the business loses access to insights and review management capabilities.

  • Consequences of a suspension: A suspended Google Business Profile listing can lead to a drastic reduction in online visibility, resulting in fewer calls, website visits, and ultimately, a loss of customers and revenue. For businesses that rely heavily on their GBP for marketing, a suspension can be devastating.

  • Common reasons for suspensions: Google Business profiles can be suspended for various reasons, including violating Google’s guidelines, using spammy tactics like keyword stuffing in the business name, having inconsistent or inaccurate information, or receiving user reports of policy violations through Google’s Redressal Form or the “Suggest an edit” feature.

  • High-risk categories: Certain business categories, such as locksmiths, plumbers, and lawyers, are more prone to suspensions due to a higher prevalence of spam and fake listings in these industries. Google and SEO professionals have been working to crack down on these spammy listings, which can lead to increased scrutiny and suspensions for legitimate businesses in these categories.

Why Would Google Suspend a Business Profile?

Google may suspend a Business Profile for various reasons, all stemming from violations of their guidelines or suspicious activity. Familiarizing yourself with these common infractions can help you avoid a suspension and maintain a strong online presence.

  • Inaccurate business information: Ensuring your name, business address, phone number, website, and other details are accurate and consistent across all platforms is crucial. Discrepancies or misleading information can lead to a suspension.

  • Keyword stuffing: Adding unnecessary keywords to your business name or description in an attempt to manipulate search rankings is a violation of Google’s guidelines. Stick to your genuine business name and provide a clear, concise description of your offerings.

  • Creating duplicate listings: Having multiple Google Business profiles for the same business location is against Google’s policies. Consolidate any duplicates and focus on optimizing a single, comprehensive profile for each location.

  • Violating terms of service: Breaching Google’s terms of service for any of their products, such as Google Ads or Google Maps, can result in a Business Profile suspension. Familiarize yourself with these terms and adhere to them strictly.

  • Suspicious activity or user complaints: Google may suspend a profile if they detect suspicious activity, such as an unusual influx of fake reviews or sudden changes to business information. Additionally, user complaints about spammy behavior or policy violations can trigger a suspension.

How to Check if Your Google Business Profile is Suspended

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If you suspect your Google Business Profile may be suspended, there are a few telltale signs to look out for:

  1. Your business no longer appears in Google search results or on Google Maps when searching for your business name or relevant keywords.

  2. You are unable to access or manage your Business Profile through the Google Business Profile Manager.

  3. You receive a notification or alert in your Google Business Profile dashboard indicating that your profile has been suspended.

To confirm whether your profile is indeed suspended, log into your Google Business Profile Manager account and check for any business account suspension notices or alerts. If you find a notification stating that your profile has been suspended, it will typically include information about the reason for the restricted access and steps you can take to appeal the decision.

How to Fix a Suspended Google Business Profile

If your Google Business Profile is suspended, you must identify and correct any guideline violations to have your business listing reinstated. Here’s how to fix a suspended account:

  1. Review Google’s Business Profile guidelines: Carefully read through Google’s Business Profile guidelines to pinpoint any service area business where your listing might be non-compliant. Pay close attention to policies related to business information accuracy, prohibited content, and spam practices.

  2. Edit and correct inaccurate information: Log into your Google Business Profile Manager and update any inaccurate or misleading information, such as your business name, address, phone number, website, and categories. Ensure your business details are consistent across all online platforms.

  3. Remove duplicate listings: If you have multiple listings for the same business location, delete the duplicates and keep only the most accurate and comprehensive profile. Google prohibits creating duplicate listings for a single business.

  4. Ensure compliance with all policies: Go through your Business Profile content, including photos, videos, and posts, to ensure none of it violates Google’s content policies. Remove any content that could be considered spam, offensive, or misleading.

  5. Gather supporting documentation: Collect documents that prove your business’s legitimacy and adherence to Google’s guidelines. This may include your official business registration, licenses, tax identification documents, or utility bills showing your business name and address.

How to Submit a Google Business Profile Reinstatement Request

appeal process for suspended accounts

If your Google Business Profile has been suspended, you can submit a reinstatement request to regain access and visibility on Google Search and Maps. Here’s how to go about it:

1. Access the Appeals Tool

Find the link to the appeals form in the suspension notification email you received from Google, or visit the Google Business Profile Help Center and navigate to the appeals tool.

2. Explain Corrective Actions

In the appeal form, provide a clear and concise explanation of the steps you took to address the violations that led to your profile’s suspension. Be specific about the changes you made to ensure compliance with Google’s Business Profile guidelines.

3. Include Supporting Evidence

Attach relevant documents that prove your business’s legitimacy and adherence to guidelines, such as:

  • Official business registration
  • Business license
  • Tax certificates
  • Utility bills (electricity, phone, internet, etc.) showing your business name and physical address

These documents help Google verify the accuracy of your profile information and strengthen your reinstatement case.

4. Submit the Request

After double-checking that you’ve provided all the necessary information and evidence, submit your Google Business Profile reinstatement request through the appeals tool.

5. Await Google’s Decision

Google’s support team will review your case, which can take several days to a few weeks. You’ll receive an email notification once a decision has been made.

  • If approved, your Business Profile will be reinstated, and your listing will reappear on Google Search and Maps.

  • If denied, you may need to make further changes or gather additional evidence before submitting another request.

Throughout the reinstatement process, be patient and persistent and wait for the appeal decision. Carefully review Google’s guidelines, address any violations thoroughly, and provide compelling evidence to support your case. If your first attempt is unsuccessful, don’t give up – continue working to bring your profile into compliance and submit a new request when you’re ready.

Remember, maintaining an accurate and up-to-date Google Business Profile is crucial for local businesses to maintain a healthy online presence and visibility in local search results.

How to Prevent Future Google Business Profile Suspensions

To maintain a strong online presence and avoid the hassle of dealing with a suspended Google Business Profile, implement these best practices on your GBP account:

Regularly Review and Update Your Profile

Set a reminder to check your GBP listing at least once a month. Verify that all information, including your business name, physical address, phone number, website, business hours, and categories, is accurate and up-to-date. Promptly make any necessary changes to keep your profile current. Inaccurate or outdated information can lead to a suspension

Avoid Prohibited Practices

Steer clear of tactics that violate Google’s standards, such as keyword stuffing in your business name or description, creating multiple listings for the same location, or offering incentives for reviews. These practices can quickly lead to a suspension and damage your online reputation. Here are some specific practices to avoid:

  • Keyword Stuffing: Do not overload your business name or description with irrelevant keywords.
  • Multiple Listings: Ensure you have only one listing per business location.
  • Incentivizing Reviews: Avoid offering discounts, gifts, or cash in exchange for reviews.

Monitor User Suggestions and Reviews

Keep an eye on any user-generated content associated with your GBP listing, such as reviews, photos, and suggested edits. Respond professionally to reviews, report any inappropriate content, and address any legitimate concerns or complaints promptly. Demonstrating active engagement and responsiveness can help prevent user reports that may trigger a suspension.

Maintain Consistency Across Online Platforms

Ensure that your business information is consistent across all online channels, including your website, social media profiles, and local directories. Inconsistencies can confuse both customers and Google’s algorithms, potentially leading to a suspension. Using a tool like Moz Local can help you streamline the process of managing your online listings and maintaining consistency.

Verify Your Business Profile

Verification is a crucial step in establishing the legitimacy of your business on Google. Follow the verification process accurately, whether through postcard, phone, email, or video verification. Regularly re-verify your business if there are significant changes to your business information.

Adhere to Google’s Guidelines

Familiarize yourself with Google’s guidelines for representing your business on Google. Ensure that all aspects of your profile comply with these guidelines to avoid suspensions. Regularly review the guidelines as they may be updated periodically.

Use Accurate Business Information

Ensure that your business name, address, phone number, and other details are accurate and match your official business registration documents. Avoid using P.O. Box addresses, UPS Box addresses, or virtual office addresses unless they meet Google’s specific criteria.

Monitor Account Activity

Regularly audit account activity to ensure that all actions taken by profile managers or account owners comply with Google’s standards. Suspicious activities, such as spamming or phishing, can lead to a suspension.

Handle Reviews Appropriately

Flag and report fake or inappropriate reviews promptly. Respond to legitimate negative reviews professionally and constructively. This not only helps in maintaining a positive online reputation but also prevents potential suspensions due to user reports.

Avoid Using Virtual Offices or Co-working Spaces

If possible, avoid using virtual offices or co-working spaces as your business address. If necessary, be prepared to provide substantial proof of your business’s legitimacy at that location.

Stay in Contact with Google Support

If your profile gets suspended, stay in contact with Google Support and follow their instructions carefully. Persistence and adherence to their guidelines can help in getting your profile reinstated quickly.

By incorporating these preventive measures into your regular business operations, you can significantly reduce the risk of a Google Business Profile suspension and maintain a strong, reliable online presence for your brand.

Key Takeaways for Dealing with a Suspended Google Business Profile

Handling a suspended Google Business Profile properly can help you quickly regain your online presence and avoid future issues. Here are key points to remember:

  • Immediate action is necessary: As soon as you notice your Google Business Profile is suspended, take immediate steps to understand the reason behind the suspension and start the reinstatement process. Delaying this can prolong the period your business remains invisible to potential customers.

  • Accuracy and honesty are paramount: When reviewing your profile for violations or submitting a reinstatement request, ensure all information is accurate and honest. Misrepresentation can lead to further complications with Google.

  • Documentation supports your case: Having clear, up-to-date documentation ready when submitting a reinstatement request can significantly increase the chances of a favorable outcome. This includes business registration, utility bills, or photographs of your physical location.

  • Patience and persistence pay off: The review process for reinstating a Google Business Profile can take time. If your initial reinstatement request is denied, review any additional feedback provided by Google, make necessary adjustments, and consider submitting another request.

If you’re facing a Google Business Profile suspension and need expert advice, contact us today. Let’s get your business back online and visible to your customers.

FAQs about Google Business Profile Suspensions

Review times vary: Google’s review process for reinstatement requests can vary, generally taking from a few days up to several weeks. Factors such as the complexity of the case and the volume of pending reviews can affect this timeline.

Creating a new profile is not recommended: If your Google Business Profile is suspended, creating a new one instead of resolving the issues with the existing profile can further complicate the situation and is against Google’s guidelines.

Content should be restored: Upon successful reinstatement of your Google Business Profile, previously associated content like reviews and photos typically gets restored along with the profile.

Use provided channels: For assistance with a suspension, use the contact options provided through the Google Business Profile Help Center or the suspension notification email. Direct support options can offer guidance tailored to your specific situation.

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I'm Sophie Kessner

First generation Mexican American mama that’s gone from hood to strategic hustle. I’ve spent the last 10+ years inside the personal development space supporting 100’s of coaches in scaling 6 figure businesses online & supported 4 different companies in surpassing the 7 figure mark. Today, I focus on making scaling more sustainable by integrating the lenses of business, systems, automation and CEO Development through an Equity centered and Trauma informed lens.

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