If you are like me and need to take control of a previously verified Google+ page (an orphaned page), you've probably visited the Google My Business help area. The help article guides users on how to submit a request to release the listing, there's just one problem: it takes too long!
It's not surprising that Google has recently updated their help section with handy guides on how to accomplish any task in Google My Business. After all, they were probably inundated with support calls after adding a live support feature in 2013. Google's official support article spells out step by step instructions on how to re-claim a verified listing which involves reclaiming admin rights and waiting 1-2 weeks to gain full control of your listing. I don't know about you, but 1-2 weeks is a helluva long time for me to wait when the issue could be resolved in under 10 minutes! Oh, and if you spot a duplicate, you can also take care of that on the call and avoid having to deal with reporting listings, waiting for merges etc…
Take control of your previously verified Google listing
If this is your business or you have access to the phone number on the listing, follow the steps below. For marketing consultants, the process is exactly the same, except they must notify the client to expect a call from Google. This works best if they can answer the phone the same day, or even the same hour.
1. Sign in to a Gmail account you wish to use to control your listing. If you don’t have one, create it.
2. Navigate to the main help area.
2. Click on Contact Us
3. Choose Ownership or access to my business
4. Select Other problem
5. Request a call
6. Select I'm an owner or employee of this business. Marketing consultants should say they represent the business.
7. When the rep answers, tell them you’d like to take control over your listing and you’re not sure who claimed it previously. They’ll be happy to assist!
While on Call:
8. During the call the rep will release your previously claimed listing and will ask you to request a post card verification the same way you would when create a new Google+ page. Don’t worry, this is only required to associate your Google+ account with the listing. Navigate to https://plus.google.com/pages/create
9. Select your business type, storefront or service area.
10. Search for your currently claimed listing and select the correct listing.
11. Click on send post card verification.
At this point the rep will bypass the post card verification step and assign the listing to the your signed-in Gmail account.
Removing Duplicate Listings in Seconds
If you spotted a duplicate or near duplicate listing of your business in step 10, don’t forget to let the rep know there’s a duplicate floating around and they’ll squash it for you. During my call I was put on hold while the rep checked to make sure the listing was an actual duplicate of the same business. Sure enough – it was. They merged it right there and then, all under a minute!
Note: the actual merging process may take longer than seconds. Expect at least a week for the merge to finalize in Maps.
Additional Steps for Marketing Consultants
If you’re a marketing consultant and you’re going through this process for your client, there are just a few additional steps: the representative will need to contact your client to verify your affiliation with the business.
- To prep ahead of time, call your client and let them know you’ll be trying to re-claim their Google+ listing and that they should expect a call from Google to verify your affiliation.
Your support rep will need to get your consent to share your information and will do so by sending you a simple email while you’re on the call.
- Enter your name, Gmail address and company email address and reply with something along the lines “I give my consent to share this information” and hit reply.
At this point the rep will put you on hold and will call your client to verify your affiliation. Once verified, they will make all of the changes you request.
Have you recently claimed an orphaned page with the same or a different method? How did that go for you?