Google Places: Non-compliant Offers Being Rejected

Google has started rejecting Offers from Google Places for quality and policy violations. Business owners that have had Offers rejected will receive an email with a clear indication of which guideline was not satisfied. Offers that do not provide actual % discounts or dollar value off will be suspended. Google has upgraded their Google Help with a Troubleshooter Your Offers Form if an a business owner feels that an offer was rejected inappropriately. Here is a recently sent rejection email:

From: googleplaces-noreply@google.com
Date: December 2, 2011 5:27:40 AM EST
To: xxxx@xxx.com
Subject: Important: Some of your offers on Google have been marked as suspended

Hello,

Thank you for creating an offer for your Google Places page. We’ve found that one or more of your offers does not meet our guidelines. These offers have been suspended and are listed below. Your Google Places listing is not otherwise changed and remains active.

Offer with summary: Free Consult w/ Attorney, created: Dec 11, 2009.

Reasons for suspension:
Offer does not include a monetary discount or an additional good or service that is not normally included.

You can review the Offers Guidelines in the Places for Business Help Center here.

To create a new offer, visit Places for Business.

Offers that violate policy will be suspended. Please ensure that your new offer follows the offers policies listed in the Help Center. You cannot edit an offer once it has been suspended.

This message was sent from a notification-only email address so email responses will not be seen. If you have any questions, please review the Google Places for Business Help Center.

Sincerely,
The Google Places Team

 

From the guidelines:

Your offer must be a deal.

Offers should provide a monetary discount or an additional good or service not normally included. We do not allow offers that are only promotional text or sweepstakes. We also do not allow free offers for products or services that are normally offered for free, this includes but is not limited to, free quotes, consultations, and inspections. Unacceptable Offer models include, but are not limited to:

”Best offers in the area. Call to receive your quote.”
“Discounted savings in all departments.”
“Enter now to win.”
“Call now for a free quote.”

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Places: Non-compliant Offers Being Rejected by

15 thoughts on “Google Places: Non-compliant Offers Being Rejected”

  1. Oh, this is the first time I hear about an offer being suspended. Mike, do you think that has something to do with the integration with +? Also did you notice that the Review Posting Guidelines were changed to Review Removal a couple of weeks ago? Google getting callous finally? Or should I say “started caring”?

  2. @Nyagoslav

    The coupon offers started being suspended at the very end of November. I do think that + integration is a driving force to upgrade coupon quality.

    I had not noticed the change in the Policy. I do think that we will see a more responsive Google on the review front over the next 3-6 months.

  3. They actually started being more responsive a bit after they closed the moderated forum for ideas sharing. They kept a relatively good pace up until around mid-November and then I feel like they got lazy/distracted again… But yes, they seem to be working hard on the review front and I even heard some rumors related to them (I wrote about it a few days ago by the way – not sure if you are following my stuff though :) ).

  4. I did read the article but I find the rumor about them reducing login requirements to be just that …. a rumor. But it wasn’t that long ago that anonymous reviews were allowed, perhaps it will happen again… till then it stays in the rumor category.

  5. This creates some challenges for certain industries. For example, insurance agents have no control over rates, and are not allowed to offer incentives valued greater than $10 (at least in WA state).

    That being said, I question the marketing value of valueless coupons in the first place…

  6. Mike,

    Good catch. I will have to double check all my clients coupons/offers this week. Some were not set-up by me and I bet some have their suspended.

  7. All three of my hotel packages have been suspended, and I tried editing them with no success. Since the offer includes more incentives (tickets to children’s museum), the offer isn’t just 15% off the hotel rate. Plus hotel rates change daily; therefore, I can’t use Offers in the way Google wants me too. I even tried seeing if using that type of text would at least allow me to “Publish”, but I still can’t push any edits live. Annoying to say the least.

  8. @Chris
    The coupons may take on life via + and check ins but for now they are mostly invisible anyways.

    @Mathew
    They should have received an email. But the suspensions are on a rolling basis. So if they didn’t get hit in the first wave, they will get it in the 2nd or 3rd wave.

    @Lauren
    You can ask for help via the new Google Places Help Troubleshooters.

  9. Blake, the problem with offers like “free consultation” isn’t that they’re free, it’s that the consultation is free to people who don’t check-in, too.

    Google is cracking down on companies that use the “check-in special” as advertisement for things that non-Google users also get.

  10. Appartently Google does not like creativity in the look of the offer either. My offers got suspended for the word “LoO0@0OoK”. After I fixed the word, it got reinstated. Maybe, if the word is not in Google’s Dictionary they don’t like it.

  11. @dan that is a travesty. I am an aficianado of ascii art. Doesn’t this look like Mike a bit?

    _…
    o_.-”` `\
    .–. _ `’-._.-’”"-; _
    .’ \`_\_ {_.-a”a-} _ / \
    _/ .-’ ‘. {c-._o_.){\|` |
    (@`-._ / \{ ^ } \\ _/
    `~\ ‘-._ /’. } \} .-.
    |>:::< \\_\\_\ | ;
    \ \\-{}-\/ \
    \ '._\\' /)
    '. /(
    `-._ _____ _ _____ __.'\ \
    / \ / \ / \ \ \
    jgs _.'/^\'._.'/^\'._.'/^\'.__) \
    ,==' `—` '—' '—' )
    `"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""`

    http://www.chris.com/ascii/index.php?art=holiday/christmas/santa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Comments links could be nofollow free.