It is not uncommon in Google Maps for one business location to have multiple business listings. They come from Google’s many data providers, readers who create new records before checking for existing records and from the Local Business Center itself.
There has always been confusion about how to handle these duplicate records as the wrong click could remove the business from Maps completely. Even though you thought you were suspending the duplicate you might be suspending all of your records. The process is counter intuitive to the point that in the past even Google has had trouble describing the process of duplicate record removal.
Google has now published an authoritative description of the duplicate removal process (updated 5/9):
Disclaimer: Before you get started, it’s important to remember that a listing contains information merged from multiple sources. Suspending a duplicate listing could cause the original listing to be removed from Maps, because all sources of information for both the original and the duplicate might be suppressed.
- Choose the listing that you’d prefer to keep in your account. Make sure that you have all your enhanced content (photos, business hours, description) attached to this listing and this listing only.
- For duplicates of this listing in your account (the ones you want to remove), remove all enhanced information. Keep only required information, like the business title, address, and onephone number.
- Submit these changes and verify as necessary.
- Now, sit tight for a couple of weeks – just for good measure.
- Delete the duplicates from your account, choosing Remove this listing from my Local Business Center account.
That’s it! Now you should only have one entry to control the details of your business listing. Be patient with updating certain kinds of information, like pictures — they should eventually appear in Maps.
Kudos to Google and Joel for posting this instruction.