Google My Business is a free and simple tool that helps you promote your business and improve its online presence. Your business will be visible on Google Search and Maps, making it easily accessible to all the customers. However, there are certain challenges that may appear with your online image. One of them is certainly having duplicates in Google my Business. Multiple similar or completely the same listings can be frustrating and can stop your business from developing its online image properly. Therefore, let’s learn everything about these obstacles, and ways you can deal with duplicates in Google My Business properly.
What are duplicate listings on Google My Business?
One of the ways to deal with duplicates is to understand everything about them. So, before you start dealing with this issue, let’s see what are duplicate listings and how they are created. When different sources add the same or similar information about a location, service, or product at the same platform, you get a duplicate listing. When a location has already been verified by Google, any additional listings will appear as its duplicates. There are various examples of duplicates you can find:
- listings of businesses with the same name and cover image,
- many listings of the same product in various or single accounts,
- listing the same product in various options like size or color,
- listing a property for rent/sale many times within the same account – even though there are identical apartments within a building, these are considered duplicates if listed in the same way.
Duplicate listings can be created in a couple of ways. Most commonly, websites create a claimable listing by pulling information from reliable sources like Google. Also, these can happen with Google AdWords, too, with information for a campaign that’s not synced with the original account. Apart from these accidental occasions, you can create duplicates manually, as well – by changing your business information, by ignoring Terms or Guidelines, or unintentionally creating a duplicate listing.
Why duplicate listings are not good?
Even though duplicate listings don’t have a negative impact on your ranking on Google like they once had, there are several reasons why you should deal with duplicates in Google My Business. Here’s why:
- the original listings can lose the chance to get more online reviews due to many duplicate listings. Therefore, the original listing will not get as many reviews, since these will be dispersed to many duplicates.
- duplicates can confuse new clients/customers – when seeing too many listings with the same name, a potential customer can get confused and even give up on looking for the original one;
- with many duplicates, there’s a lack of visibility for the original listing
- possibility of losing the verification, or simply being harder to get one. This way, a business not be as reputable as it would be with Google verification.
As you can see, multiple duplicate listings can seriously limit the growth of your business, so getting rid of them is the smartest thing to do. And we’ll show you how to properly deal with duplicates in Google My Business. Let’s start.
What are the ways to deal with duplicates in Google My Business?
To make sure your Google My Business account works properly and gives the most to your business, you can merge, edit, or delete the duplicates. This depends on the situation and the reason why the duplicate is created.
Merging duplicates is a good solution when two listings are pretty much the same. If you have two listings of the same business at the same address, that are both verified, make sure you unverify one before you merge. Also, both listings need to be in your ownership before you merge them. In every case, contact GMB to help you out. They will help you mash the two listings together and therefore gets rid of a duplicate.
The option to edit a listing is helpful when a listing has an incorrect address on Google Maps, for example. Go to Google Maps, and ‘ Suggest an Edit” and select one of the correct options like ‘Place Never Existed’, or ‘ Place Permanently Closed’. However, if a listing has an old address – you can have the listing moved – just contact the GMB support.
Delete a listing
You can delete a listing you added and found out you already have the same location verified. In this case, you can visit the page “Account Summary” and then find ” Duplicate Locations”. On this list, you can delete all the duplicate locations you want by clicking on ” Delete This Listing” or ” Remove”. However, be careful not to remove the verified listing, so you don’t have to go through the trouble of getting the verification again.
More tips on dealing with duplicate listings
When you need to deal with duplicates in Google My Business, don’t forget the following:
- if a duplicate listing has some reviews, make sure you have them transferred to the verified one.
- in case you own a Service Area Business (SAB) without a storefront, remember they should be removed if closed since they relate to a private address, which shouldn’t be on the map.
- if you want to merge two listings that are both verified – you need to get the ownership for both before you do so. Claim the listing that you don’t have the ownership of, and start the process.
- make a website – even though GMB is very important for searches, a good website will give more info about your business and give customers the chance to get to know you better and have a good customer experience.