Step by Step Guide to the Google+ Business/Local Merge Verification Process

Update July 2014: If you are looking to convert a Brand page to a Local page Google has recently released that functionality. Read about it here:  Google Now Allows Brand Pages to Become Google+ Local Pages

Updated Saturday, Aug 4th.

If you already have a Google+ Business page (or create one) then you can now merge that Google+ Business page with your existing G+ Local page by following the new verification procedure.

The process is initiated from the Google+ Business page. Any manager of the page can initiate the process which will require postcard verification even if the email addresses match between the G+ Business page and your Dashboard. Apparently, in several months, a more automatic merge will be available to those businesses that have only a Google+Local Page/Dashboard.

Here are the steps to the process:

1. Login in as the manager for the Google+ Business page and make sure that all necessary fields are public. I just ran through this process for Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law in Orlando. Click on the unverified icon to the immediate right of your business name. A warning will show if you neglected to make any of the required fields available for public view. Fix the non public fields by changing the visibility of the specific fields noted. (Not sure what is happening with the message being blocked- Google has noted that message being blocked is a known bug that is being fixed):

(click to view the rest)

2. After you have made the appropriate field(s) public (or they already are) click on the unverified icon again and you will be presented with an opportunity to verify:

3. You are then offered likely choices for businesses to associate with your +Business Page (and no I do not yet know how an individual in a multipractioner firm is supposed to verify their +Local page although I suppose that it means creating an additional +Business Page):

4. You will be asked to agree to the terms and are given the option of entering a contact name and modifying your listing data at that point:

5. Google will send you an actual envelope that is surprisingly well marked (so that it is unlikely to be thrown away- yea!):

6. The card provides a pin and instructs you to goto google.com/local/verify/:

7. When you visit the google.com/local/verify/ page you are presented with the option to enter your PIN:

8. While waiting for the postcard the public view of the page the unverfied icon is no longer visible. To managers of the +Business page there is a note that the verification is pending.

9. Known gotchas…
– If you do not have a +Business page then you can’t start this process until you create one.
– If you have a +Business Page which doesn’t have a page category of Local can not be upgraded.
According to poster Dan Rippon of Australia there is a bug whereby the postcard is missing the street address for those listings with their address hidden.
Update: Google has confirmed that the postcard verification DOES NOT SUPPORT service area businesses:
What about if I’m a service area business with hidden address?
The new verification process does not currently support service area businesses with hidden addresses.

Update: google has added these help files to the Google+ Business page support area:

Edits to verified local Google+ pages appearing (where it notes that edits will be moderated and may not appear immediately. Most edits will appear immediate but you are left to guess if and why it doesn’t get published.)
Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Step by Step Guide to the Google+ Business/Local Merge Verification Process by

169 thoughts on “Step by Step Guide to the Google+ Business/Local Merge Verification Process”

  1. +1 on Mike’s last post.

    It can be tough to wait (some of our clients have been waiting for over a year) but I’ve gone the other route … trust me, you don’t want to do that ;)

  2. Quick question. I did a bulk upload and Google keeps calling me to verify my locations. Is doing a bulk upload not trustworthy in Google’s eyes because it doesn’t seem that we are ranking very well locally.

  3. @Zach
    There is no difference in ranking between a bulk upload and a straight up claim. An untrustworthy bulk upload is not trustworthy. They will call as many locations as they need to feel confident that they are fully staffed and open locations.

  4. Once a business page is set up and verified as a local business,
    is there a way to change from using the standard icon on the map for it?

  5. I have 2 stores in mumbai and wish to add 2 locations to my google+ page but am finding it very difficult to do so. both the Locations have different addresses, contact details, etc. I dont understand why im not being able to add the 2nd location. I dont want 2 seperate pages for both my locations, which is what i happening right now.

  6. Hi Mike,

    Do you know if things have changed with this merging process. I did it for a client previously but now when coming to do it for another client who has both a Business and a G+ Local listing I go to the business page (as the owner) and there is no unverified icon to kick start the process?

    Any thoughts/suggestions would be much appreciated.

    Cheers, Nick

  7. Here are the instructions:
    Only the page owner can delete a Google+ page. When you delete a page, everything is deleted: all content, photos, videos, the page’s profile, and any record of who followed or managed the page. Before you can delete this page, you will need to disconnect or delete any YouTube channels connected to it. If your page was created from an existing local listing, any edits you made to that listing will be lost. If you created the local listing, the listing information will be deleted.

    If you don’t want to delete your page, you can transfer ownership of the page to someone else.
    To delete a page you own:

    Make sure you’re using Google+ as your page.

  8. Choose Dashboard from the left-hand Google+ navigation menu and select Settings from the top of the Dashboard.
    Click Delete page at the bottom of the settings page.
    Confirm that you want to delete that page.
  9. As a note you should do some minimum cleanup work on your local page. Here are some tips.

  10. Hey Mike – I wasn’t looking to delete the page I’m looking to merge it with it’s G+ Local Page but as I said, there’s no verification icon. I think though I realise now what the issue is. When they created their G+ Business page, they didn’t do it as type ‘Local Business’ bur instead as a ‘Company’. I’m assuming that’s probably why there is not verification option for this page.

  11. Hi. Is there any chance to make `Google Analytics` card’s data – located in a page’s dashboard – public and visible to anyone? Or, better, is there any way to make analytics reports public? The entire report I mean.
    Thanks in advance.

  12. Is there anyway that you can change a Google+ brand page to a local business after it’s gone live? The page I manage was set up as a brand page – which means I’m unable to claim a location. It also means that a local business’ Google+ details (and a link to their page) that is not associated with the company I work for is showing up as our address under our website in search engine results.

    Any feedback would be much appreciated!

  13. We moved and where given our phone number by our phone company.
    This number was previously used by a business apparently. Have been trying to get it deleted but as we never set it up how do we do this .

    I can’t find a site to contact google business direct .

    This has been going on for 7 years enough already

  14. Hi Mike, thanks for this great info! I’ve been searching the web for a solution to my dilemma, but haven’t found one yet and hoped maybe you could help.

    I’ve recently taken over a position handling the social media accounts for a small business. There were two people prior to me that had handled this, and each one of them had set up separate Google accounts (along with separate G+ and YouTube accounts). I have access to the most recent log-in info from the latest person that was here, but that person didn’t realize that her predecessor had already set up Google accounts, and I have no access to that log-in info.

    The main issue is that the original person setting this up (which I have no log-in details for) had already verified our Local page and it has a nice amount of visits, as well as the little badge with the checkmark by the company name. Also, the YouTube account associated with this has the sweet short URL that we’d like to use for our current YouTube account. On our current G+ page, I verified our website, and there’s a little checkmark next to it, but no verification badge or request for verification next to the business name.

    I’d like to merge all the accounts together, but since I can’t log-in to the initial one to transfer ownership, I’m pretty much stuck. Not sure how to go about explaining this to Google and getting it resolved. Do you have any advice? Thank you so much for your time….

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