Google Places Reconsiders Reconsideration Requests – What To Do If You Are Suspended

Google is no longer accepting Places reinclusion requests via the link in the Places Dashboard. I just received this email from a client that had recently requested reinclusion for a suspended account. I have bolded the significant points in the email:

From: Google Places
Date: Sun, Apr 29, 2012 at 7:34 PM
Subject: Re: [#10101010101] Your Google Places Reconsideration Request
To: xxxx@gmail.com

Hello,
Thank you for requesting a review of your rejected listing(s).

Unfortunately, this process is no longer supported.
You may create a new listing that adheres to our guidelines in order to
show up on Maps.

If your listing shows as pending, please check on Maps to see if it is
live. In that case please be patient as we are currently overhauling the
reconsideration process. Please also have a look in the Help Center at
http://support.google.com/places/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=176520 for
further updates.

Cheers,
The Google Places Team

On a tactical level this means that if your listings have been suspended you have to create a new account, add your listings and re-verify.

It is also interesting to speculate about this on more strategic level. Is Google just coming up with a better, more streamlined way to allow listings to be reincluded or is there more to it than that?

When viewed in light of the recent move to pull AdWords Express from the Places Dashboard and the fact that Places is one of the only Pages not to be brought under the Google Plus umbrella, one has to wonder whether Places and the Places Dashboard are long for this world in their current form.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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16 thoughts on “Google Places Reconsiders Reconsideration Requests – What To Do If You Are Suspended”

  1. Mike,

    I’m glad you at least threw out the notion that the Google Places experiment could, with a heavy emphasis on could, be something that is slated for a complete redo and ultimately blended into the Plus initiative in a different, more effective way.

    Honestly, it needs a do over. The information game of claiming listings then having Google simply ignore the data while replacing it with inaccurate data etc, etc is not working. It’s a dance with rules that change constantly or are simply never clearly stated. In a word, it’s simply annoying. Annoying is usually not a word you associate with a successful effort.

    Also, the stripping away of a lot of the most useful data for visitors to Place pages makes them much less useful and really just a place for someone to hopefully give a review from inside a Google account.

    I understand I don’t know much at all about this whole subject area compared to you and MANY others but it really feels like it is losing steam on many levels. Would love to get your “expanded” thoughts on the possibility of a Places “re-start”. Would Google really go there?

  2. I think a restart of Google Places is possible but not highly plausible at this phase.

    The recent changes to AdWords Express and now reinclusion is perplexing change of events. I think it is housekeeping more than anything else.

    Only time will tell.

  3. Interesting conclusion to come to… Raises the question of “what next?” If Google does indeed complete its transition from search engine to quasi social network what entity will fill the void of search engine? I may be of a minority but personally I do not use FB or G+ and never have. I would venture a guess that there is a large audience of folks right there with me. Will the Yellow Pages come back into style online for local search?

  4. Thanks for posting, Mike. That was news – and a surprise – to me.

    My two cents is that this is largely a deterrent. Although black-hat types by definition are incorrigible, it’s just a little less convenient for them to get and keep a spammy listing on Places if every time they get “slapped” they have to create a new account and re-verify. It just becomes a Sisyphean task.

  5. It’s possible for a client to get banned because of ignorance. But it seems not too hard to get it fixed. This seems like a decent option of re-creating the listing rather than waiting for reconsideration. I how long it will be before you see “re-inclusion” bots for sale on fiverr :)

  6. Mike, this is very interesting. Now it was ONLY for suspended status, not pending, right?

    I have some clients who have been stuck in pending for a while. Listings are live. So I guess that does not affect them, and looks like if you get suspended it’s best to just start over.

    Interesting.

    I don’t have any suspended accounts, but go to know. I bet a lot of SMb’s can benefit from this knowledge.

  7. You know when I read this I questioned the advice to just give up and start a new listing. Even though I know that’s what the email said.

    Vanessa just confirmed what I thought to be true. There is at least some hope of getting Google to re-evaluate a suspension.

    She just posted this to a user: https://groups.google.com/a/googleproductforums.com/d/topic/business/MeROqT1pe-Y/discussion

    As she said in another thread, there is no guarantee support will approve it and if you know it’s a spammy listing in violation I would not bother. BUT if you honestly believe the listing is clean I’d follow her advice for a re-eval because there are sometimes bugs and false positives and I personally would not give up and start over unless that was the only option left.

  8. Hitting the reset button and creating a brand new listing isn’t always so easy. Especially in ultra-competitive spaces (like attorney) where the age of a google places listing is one of the major factors for ranking.

    I’ve found recently that age of the listing actually trumps A LOT of other factors, including things like category placement, number of citations, and organic ranking.

    Of course, nobody knows how big a citation cluster for a particular places listing is, and I imagine if you have a google places listing from say, 2005, it’s going to have a much larger cluster of citations just because it’s been around so long.

    It still doesn’t change the fact that creating a brand new listing and starting from scratch is going to put a business at a distinct disadvantage. We’re talking 3-6 months at a minimum.

  9. I really wish there was a more formal way of requesting a reconsideration request. I have a client with offices worldwide and they got a couple of listings suspended, having to open new accounts adds a level of admin work that just leads to more chances of listings being outdated and forgotten.

  10. My Google Places reviews all got removed and some new ones my clients have put in are not showing up. I have been recently been contacted frequently by google to start paying them for placement. Could my rejection of their advances be the reason? For years I was at the top of local searches. Now my google places has dropped to page 3. It all started when I posted a link for my customers to give a google places review. After a day I dropped from page 1 to page 2 AND all of my reviews accumulated over several years were deleted. It may be that part of the problem was that I had a few customers place comments from my office and they saw that as illegitimate. Not only did the reviews ALL disappear and drop me to page 2 then 3, but the link I had posted then went to a competitors listing. Does anyone know if I can get back where I belong???? And get my reviews back???

  11. @Jeff b

    Reviews are a weak point with Google. Between technical glitches and their spam control, the loss of reviews is quite common. See my recent article on what to tell your client when Google loses their reviews. . The “rejection of their advances” is NOT the reason. The sides of Google’s house are in fact separate and while there is some cross over from one to the other, they would not and have not “punished” a listing in this way.

    The more likely explanation of the loss of rank and the loss of reviews is that your CID (cluster id #) have changed due to a merge with another listing of your place or perhaps a competitor. This would explain the loss of reivews, the loss of rank and the fact that the old CID is assigned to a different listing.

  12. @Jeff b

    Reviews are a weak point with Google. Between technical glitches and their spam control, the loss of reviews is quite common. See my recent article on what to tell your client when Google loses their reviews. . The “rejection of their advances” is NOT the reason. The sides of Google’s house are in fact separate and while there is some cross over from one to the other, they would not and have not “punished” a listing in this way.

    The more likely explanation of the loss of rank and the loss of reviews is that your CID (cluster id #) have changed due to a merge with another listing of your place or perhaps a competitor. This would explain the loss of reivews, the loss of rank and the fact that the old CID is assigned to a different listing.

  13. @Jeff b

    Reviews are a weak point with Google. Between technical glitches and their spam control, the loss of reviews is quite common. See my recent article on what to tell your client when Google loses their reviews. . The “rejection of their advances” is NOT the reason. The sides of Google’s house are in fact separate and while there is some cross over from one to the other, they would not and have not “punished” a listing in this way.

    The more likely explanation of the loss of rank and the loss of reviews is that your CID (cluster id #) have changed due to a merge with another listing of your place or perhaps a competitor. This would explain the loss of reivews, the loss of rank and the fact that the old CID is assigned to a different listing.

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