Google My Business is a powerful tool from Google for small and medium businesses to take control of the information customers receive about their businesses from Google. Unfortunately, many small businesses encounter issues when trying to use this tool. What should you do when you encounter a duplicate Google My Business listing for your establishment? Your friends at Website Design Kingston are here to help. As your local SEO experts, WDK understands the ins and outs of Google My Business and can get you back in control in no time.Follow the advice below to sort out your listings and eliminate any stray duplicates.

The basics of Google My Business

Google My Business allows businesses and organizations to manage the way they appear online across all of Google’s services, from Google Maps to Search and more.Google My Business is a great way to polish your web presence by showing customers your address, your business hours, your website, and photos of your business. Any business owner can get started at creating their own Google My Business entry.Google claims that users are more likely to consider your business real or legitimate when you verify Google My Business information for your business or organization. And being easier to find in search and maps can be a significant boost to foot and web traffic.To sum up, it’s an exceedingly wise move for any local small business to set up Google My Business.

The problem: Duplicate listings

That said, Google My Business isn’t perfect, and many small businesses end up with duplicate listings. Not only can this create confusion with customers, it becomes a nightmare to manage. Often these duplicate listings start to creep into the picture when you add multiple locations for your business, though this is not always the case.Because there are multiple ways to create and edit information in Google My Business, there are several approaches to removing duplicate listings. If the first approach below doesn’t work for you, that’s OK. Move on to the next one until you find a solution that works.A quick note before we dive in: if you should find yourself in a situation where there are one or more Google My Business listings for your business that you don’t have access to, creating your own account is the place to start. Google can help you claim or reclaim your Google My Business. This will start with a Verify Google My Business process, but that can’t happen until you’ve created an account of your own.

Option 1: Remove a single duplicate location in your account

This is the most common solution if you have a single location that has two competing Google My Business entries that are both associated with your account.First, sign in to Google My Business. Here’s a direct link for your convenience.Next, navigate over to the Info tab. On that tab, you should see the option to Remove listing. If you’re sure you’re looking at the duplicate location rather than the one you want to keep, click Remove listing.That’s it! If your issue was in this category, you should be good to go. If you’re still having issues or if this section didn’t describe the problem you’re having, read on.

Option 2: Remove multiple duplicate locations in your account

If your business has grown beyond a single location and is dealing with duplicate listings at multiple sites, there’s a better way to solve your problem.First, sign in to Google My Business. Again, here’s a direct link for your convenience.Next, you’ll want to navigate to Manage locations. Here you’ll see a list of all the locations Google My Business knows about.Check the box for each entry that shouldn’t be there. Once all the duplicates listings have been selected, click on the dropdown menu labeled Actions.Last, click Remove location. This will remove all the selected duplicate locations.

Option 3: Use Google Maps to report duplicate locations

Sometimes you don’t discover a duplicate location until you’re using Google Maps to navigate to one of your properties. If you’re scrolling around Google Maps and see two listings where you should only see one, you can report the duplicate directly from Google Maps.Here’s what to do.First, if you haven’t already done so, open Google Maps and find the map area where the duplicate listings are. Click on the result that shouldn’t be there. In the information that pops up, look for a button you can tap or click that says Suggest an edit.After selecting Suggest an edit, select Place is permanently closed or has never existed from the options presented.Next, you’ll be asked to give a reason. Select Duplicate as the reason and then click Submit.

Two quick notes about COVID-19

Many businesses are dealing with unusual closures or changes to hours thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. If this is true of your business, Google My Business is the perfect tool to keep your customers apprised of changes to operating hours or closures. Simply log in to your account and edit your business information whenever you have a change in hours or operational status.Google notes that marking your business “Temporarily closed” helps your customers and will not hurt your local search rankings. Also, if you’re offering pickup or delivery, don’t mark “closed.”Secondly, Google is dealing with reduced staffing across the board, including on the Google My Business team. Some of the actions described above require review by Google, so results may not always show up instantly — especially during the pandemic.

Get more help with local SEO

Following the steps above will resolve your duplicate Google My Business listing issues, but that’s only the first step to bolstering your broader local SEO approach. WDK is an authority in digital marketing and local SEO. Our experienced team is well equipped to take your business to the next level of SEO, including local SEO. Contact us today to learn more about the real results we’ve achieved for businesses like yours.

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