Pending in Places – A new manual review or a new bug?

For the past 24 hours a number of posters in the forums (and people contacting me privately) have noted that their listings in their Places Dashboard have gone to a “Pending” status.

In this post in response to a complaint that all of a users listing had gone pending, Google Employee Brianna noted:

Hello,

Thanks for reporting this issue. We are aware that listings have reverted to pending in users’ accounts. To check if your listing is live, please do a search in Google Maps for [BUSINESS NAME in POSTAL CODE].
Boost ads are unaffected by this issue.
We will follow up with more information when we have it.

Thanks,

Brianna

The statement, although ambiguous, does imply a new bug in Places. It would seem that if your listing is still visible in the index then you have been been bitten. Although as I noted to several email correspondents, Google might also be putting more listings under manual review.

My suggestion in times like this is stays the same (even if Google’s is ever changing): Take two beers and come back in the morning

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Pending in Places - A new manual review or a new bug? by

25 thoughts on “Pending in Places – A new manual review or a new bug?”

  1. [fingers crossed] – hopefully this is an indication that Google is fixing something on the back end.

  2. Oh man.. i think I’ll go buy a whole liquor store..
    Pending again! i have 1 listing that is live 5 months. 4 out of those 5 it was Pending & now again.
    that’s make me sick already!

  3. Well, I don’t know what’s worse- having your listing under ‘Pending’ or having it under a fake ‘Active’ status where you can’t see a dashboard nor can you see any statistics.
    In both cases- listing is still online- is that a good or a bad thing?

  4. Someone posted a quick, easy “fix” several times in the forum and it appears does it has the pending review bug resolve instantly. BUT some are reporting after they do it, they lose their stats.

    (I’m not re-posting the ‘fix’ here because it’s not coming from the horse’s mouth and I’d hate to spread bad advice, if by some chance it just makes matters worse.)

    I just spot checked some clients and they are pending too, even tho I know for a fact there are no probs and they are still ranking high.

    So my strategy is – if my client is still ranking high, then it’s not broken, so don’t start tweaking. With GP sometimes tweaking just makes things worse.

    So I’m just waiting. Hopefully they will fix or make an announcement to calm everyone’s fears in the forum.

    As Mike says, take 2 beers…

  5. My listing (live for years) revereted to ‘Pending/Being Reviewed’ status this morning. It confused me since I haven’t made any changes for a while no so glad to see I’m not the only one. I did, however, change my listing by adding a space between sentences in my description and submitting. This resulted in a change to ‘Active’ status.

    Who knows whether I actually accomplished anything as my listing was appearing in Maps even whilst under review. Google, how I love thee!

  6. Sorry typos. That should read:

    “Someone posted a quick, easy “fix” several times in the forum and it appears those that try it have the pending review bug resolve instantly.”

  7. In the Google Places group (not forum) Vanessa the GP community manager just said:

    “FYI all: Thomas is experiencing a technical issue we’re working to fix.
    Thanks for being patient, Thomas, and to anyone else out there who might be seeing the same thing!”

  8. I actually got a “Account Has Suspended Notice” along with “pending” notices on all listings. There was a “request re-inclusion/review” link which I clicked but not sure why account was suspended in 1st place.

    Listings are still active. Glad to know that it might be a bug/glitch as I haven’t done anything that should merit a suspension.

    Any others seeing “Account Suspended” messages?

  9. Mike,

    Thanks so much for the post. Our client G. Falzon & Company, Holliston MA has this problem. I emailed my partner tonight that his Places page has gone from Active to Pending review. Luckily, she saw your blog post today. Now, I can go have that beer and deal with it tomorrow.

    Susan
    elSue

  10. Two things prove (to some extent) this is a bug, but not a manual check:

    1) Google admits it (they could say anything of course, but still they do admit)

    2) The so-called “fix”, i.e. “poking” a bit the listing does lead to returning the listing to “Active” (although this “fix” causes major problems, so I think it isn’t really a fix…)

    Anyway, none of these means that the glitch was not a result of a manual check up, but my opinion is that a new algorithm update is on the way.

  11. @Puresheer

    The lack of sleep means that you should have self medicated with 4 beers. :)

    @Nyagoslav
    I agree with you. Google does seem to be admitting to a bug but the change of state was precipitated by some action on Google’s part. That change was likely an update of some sort.

  12. I run about 10 different Places accounts and all were marked as “Pending” yesterday…however, they were still all active on Maps. I noticed that if I just went into the details page and hit the “Submit” button, it brought them back up to “Active” – I did this for all accounts and they all appear to still be listed as “Active” now.

  13. @Eric
    The idea of resubmitting a listing has been previously mentioned in the above comments although in some cases it seems to have led to a loss of rank or a loss of analytic data or in some cases both. Google seems aware of this “bug” thus I think that the best course of action is “watchful, waiting” or you may end up on the wrong side of the outcome.

  14. @Linda
    Thanks for the update. Now we can just suffer the normal stress associated with Places as opposed to the extraordinary stress of a bug :)

  15. What about those of us who took the advice of the forum and did the Edit/Submit and we are Active again, but our Listings won’t come up even when searching BUSINESS NAME and ZIP?

  16. I suggest the possibility that Google may have employed this status change as a tactic for the purpose of drawing immediate attention and prompting instant incentive to comply with guidelines, ie, fictitious reviews, category stuffing, etc. I mean, even if there is a borderline concern, wouldn’t a person make the changes to error on the side of caution knowing if a possible manual review was forthcoming?

  17. @Laura

    I think that you need to wait a week and see if it recovers. Sooner or later the indices realign and things should get back to normal

    @Jim

    I do think there was some change that was made on the part of Google, I doubt that it was a warning arrow over the bow…. more likely some change in algo that did more than was expected… but who knows.

  18. some google boost ads run, without having any google places active listings.
    looks like additional bug there. that works to some of my clients, good bug i guess?

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