what to do when your google listing is suspended

GBP (GMB Listing) Suspended: Here's What You Should Do to Reinstate

Did your Google listing get suspended? Depending on the reason for suspension you may be unsure how to proceed. We’re here to help you work through the GMB suspension process so you know what to do when your listing is suspended! 

We will start by determining the cause of the listing suspension and the types of suspensions you may encounter. Then, we will work through the steps to take to reinstate your listing. 

What is a GBP Suspension?

A listing suspension is when Google flags your listing for violating one or multiple of their terms of service (TOS). When the listing is suspended, it is removed from the local search results so searchers cannot find the business. 

In order to better detect spam, fake listings, and fraud, Google’s local algorithm has become more sensitive to TOS violations. This means your GMB listings are under higher scrutiny, especially across industries like locksmiths, garage doors, and home services, , which has always been more affected. Even if you do not intentionally violate Google’s guidelines (or violate them at all), your listing can still be suspended. 

Keep in mind, Google does not alert you when a suspension hits, so you must monitor your listings proactively. You will know you have been hit by a suspension when your GBP listing is no longer visible on Google Search and Google Maps. You will also not be able to make changes to the listing once it is suspended. 

Why Listing Suspensions Matter

Google’s map pack, which features local listings, is shown at the top in 93% of local searches. Additionally, 64% of searchers use Google My Business to find contact details and reviews about a local business according to Bright Local’s study. 

Getting hit with a suspension could lead to a significant loss of lead flow, especially for smaller businesses on tighter budgets that rely more heavily on their listings for calls and lead generation. We have seen many businesses struggle with leads after their listing is suspended. 

Types of Listing Suspensions

There are three types of suspensions you’ll mostly come across. Each of these scenarios can cause different issues. 

  • Soft suspensions
  • Hard suspensions
  • Account suspensions

Soft Suspensions

With soft suspensions, your GMB listing still appears on Search and in Maps, but will show as “Unverified” and you will no longer have control or can manage it. Moreover, the listing becomes prone to others suggesting edits or claiming your profile. This puts your listing at risk. Your competitors can suggest incorrect edits or even claim your listing to get ownership over it. 

A soft suspension can usually be resolved in a few steps and we recommend addressing this as soon as possible. Reasons for a soft suspension include:

  • Business name changes
  • Business address changes
  • Phone number changes
  • Map pin changes
  • Primary category changes

Hard Suspensions

A hard suspension is when your Google My Business listing is no longer visible on Search and Maps, generally due to a TOS violation. This type of suspension is more serious and more difficult to address.

Receiving a hard suspension will results in a significant drop or total loss of leads, website clicks, storefront visits, and potentially having your accumulated reviews removed forever. This will significantly impact your local business. If not addressed, it can severely impact the business’s ability to make money and pay bills. 

In order to get this type of suspension removed, you must follow Google’s protocol for addressing the issues. The process will take much longer to get back on track, so get started early. It can sometimes be challenging to get a response from Google. In some instances it has taken months of consistent follow up. But, under no circumstances should you create a new duplicate listing during this time. It will only prolong the overall process. 

Account Suspensions

This type of suspension occurs when a Google account with ownership rights to the GBP listing gets suspended. This creates a domino effect where all or several listings owned by  that account are suspended. If Google reinstates the owner’s accounts, then their listings get reinstated too (most of the time). 

In cases where the manager account gets suspended, they’ll only suspend the manager account on the listing. The listings themselves will be unaffected. If the manager account gets reinstated, they’ll immediately regain managerial rights on the listings where they were previously suspended.

For this reason, you have to be careful with your Google accounts. You do not want to be flagged for suspicious or spammy activities by violating Google’s Terms of Service, especially  if you are the owner of any GMB listings.

When you get hit by a listing suspension, and you get reinstated, the owner and managers of the listing will also get reinstated. However, with listing suspensions, you can still make edits to your GMB listing and appeal for reinstatements, while with account suspensions, that is no longer the case. 

reasons why Google My Business listings get suspended?

Google wants searchers to get the best, most accurate search results possible. So, they depend on trustworthy, up-to-date, and accurate business information on local listings.

There are many reasons GBP listings get suspended, and it can be difficult to determine why the listing is suspended since Google doesn’t give you a reason. Generally, listings are suspended for engaging in spammy tactics, providing misinformation, or not following Google’s guidelines.

Oftentimes, listings are suspended because Google simply analyzes the listings when red flags mentioned below arise. Someone can also report your listing through Google’s Redressal Form. Google will then review the listing and potentially give a Manual Suspension if they find issues with your GBP listing. Users can also use the ‘Suggesting edits’ feature to update info on your listing, and if they are trusted enough by Google, those changes could take immediate effect.

Below are the most common reasons why listings may get suspended. However, there can be other reasons for suspensions, like algorithm updates, a glitch on Google’s end, or other extraneous factors. You can cause your listing to get suspended if you do any of the following:

Make several edits to your listing at once

We don’t generally recommend making more than one major edit to your listing at a time. It can be dangerous. For example, you do not want to update the business name and change the listing to a SAB at the same time.

Display A Physical Address When You Should Be A Service Area Business (SAB) or Change from one type to the other

If your business has a physical location where customers come your listing should display the address. This makes it easy for potential customers “If your business doesn’t have a storefront with clear signage but travels to customers at their physical locations, you’re allowed one service-area Business Profile.” according to Google’s guidance

There are also hybrid listings where the business has a physical location they welcome customers and employees that go out to service different areas.