Having Issues with Your G+Local Social Merge? My Advice: Don’t

Googler Jade has posted a tip at the Google for Business forums with resources for solving the issues that might crop up if you are doing a merge (hat tip to Linda Buquet for highlighting this). My recommendation: DO NOT MERGE YET. Wait for Google to fully flesh our their product line and feature sets so you can make an informed decision.

Here is Jade’s post:

Issues with merging the local business/place page in Google+ and the local Google+ page (with reviews)?

Wondering whether you should attempt the merge/verification? Read this post first. More information and FAQ on the original announcement post.

  • Help! My social local Google+ page (that I made in the local business/place category) has been verified but doesn’t seem to have merged with the correct reviews.
    • Submit these pages to be merged as duplicates here, selecting, “There is a duplicate listing that I would like to have removed.”
  • The social local Google+ page I made is stuck in verification and still says “In progress” after over a week.
    • A handful of pages appear seem to be stuck in verification, and we’re working on getting them out. Sit tight!
  • The PIN I received isn’t working.
    • Make sure your business location is findable on Google Maps. Go into http://maps.google.com and type in the exact text you have as your address on the page. Make sure Maps can find your location without needing to go through any “Did you mean…?” links.
    • Make sure no information on the page is set to “Private.”
    • Don’t change any info on your page in between requesting the PIN and entering the PIN.
    • Request a new PIN if possible.
    • If you can’t request a new PIN, contact support via the Google+ verification troubleshooter.
Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Having Issues with Your G+Local Social Merge? My Advice: Don't by

17 thoughts on “Having Issues with Your G+Local Social Merge? My Advice: Don’t”

  1. Thanks for the hat tip Mike!

    I just added that I was negligent in not giving my 2 cents about whether you SHOULD try to merge/verify, if you have not yet. And said I’m with Mike. WAIT! And linked back to this post.

    G+ is sooo cool. Would be great Google could get things ironed out.

    I wonder if ‘they’ ever wonder what it would be like if things worked well and they had people like you and I constantly singing their praises and saying GO! instead of “no, wait, stop, hold, still buggy”.

  2. I haven’t been following this closely, so please tell me if my impressions are right or wrong:

    1) The whole process has been a mess/nightmare/disaster.

    2) It’s taking forever.

    3) Many users (like me) have essentially been unable to do ANY Google+ Local Marketing because of this situation.

    Seriously, Google Maps/Google+ Local has basically been dead to me for months now because of the disconnect between the Places dashboard and the new G+ pages. I’ve done nothing to update or promote my wife’s Google listing/page and, frankly, we’re not losing any sleep over it. It’s strange to not care about Google local, but that’s where I’m at now because of this.

  3. @Matt

    They have two broken and/or partially working products.

    One choice for managing your listing, the Dashboard has lost functionality in the process of the upgrade and data changes take a long time. But it still works.

    The other choice, the merged G+Page for social has some bugs in the merge process and some quirks in its function so it is problematic.

    The reality is that currently, until Google fixes one or the other or both, you are best off making changes in the old Dashboard and waiting for the next batch of updates.

    The dashboard, as it currently is designed, is a do it and leave it environment and there is no real reason to return to it currently other than some bogus stats or to see if you are being punished.

    Its not that you shouldn’t care about your listing, it is hopefully doing what it has always done and that is send you business.

    My suggestion to folks is to put your data in the dashboard and return once in a while to make that it has not been fracked up by some internal Google process and leave it at that.

  4. I agree with you Matt, i have not done any Google + Marketing ever since the problems with the merge/migration, no work i have done has helped a brand new listing rank in a 7 pack, so following the standard process has achieved little results.

    Will need to wait till everything is fixed and hopefully things go back to normal so promoting businesses in Google Local can be effective.

  5. @Matt: Good question, good point of view and attitude.

    @Mike: Good answer.

    Big mess, IMHO but not worth losing sleep over.

  6. Agreed!

    It’s not worth the hassle or the time, and the “benefits” to merging now aren’t spectacular enough to get into the whole mess. It’s also inconsistent across the board, and not all listings can be verified, some still don’t even have the option.

    If [you are lucky and your] listings aren’t broke – don’t try to fix them!

  7. This from Google when I tried to get into the new Google+ page that they had set up for me after I had a ‘location not supported error’ and agreed not to display my address. I found that I couldn’t make any status updates:

    Thanks for contacting us about your Social Local Google+ page. It looks like your listing is a mobile service and should have service areas instead of listing an exact address. Unfortunately, we’re not ready to support service area businesses yet. You will need to continue to manage your listing through Google Places where service area business are still supported.

  8. Funny timing of this post. I just had a 2 hour conversation with Nyagoslav about whether or not, and what kind of updates to do via Map Maker, Google Places Dashboard and the new Google+ Local Platform. I’ll maybe post a link to my blog post containing our conversation transcription here when it’s uploaded if that’s ok?

  9. What about in circumstances where a customer or client who doesn’t have a Google Places page (claimed or unclaimed) creates their business listing through the new platform of Google Plus found here:

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/pages/create (you need to be logged in)

    I did this for a client of ours, as this is supposed to be the new way to create a business. You select whether you’re a local business, product or brand, company or organization etc. and then do a search by phone number to see if they have any records. However, after doing this AND VERIFYING the business through the new platform – when logging into the clients master Places dashboard, the new business that was created isn’t listed in the dashboad – therefore no edits can be made to categories etc. Has anyone else noticed this? Me an Nyagolsav were quite stumped …

  10. My business listing has been stuck in Pending Verification for over 4 weeks now. This is a new business listing, and for whatever reason, it did not publish automatically. I received the code and after submitting it, received the “verification pending” status.

    Google gave me no choice but to publish it as a Google + Page, which is also aggravating, because now when my clients go to post a review on me, they must also join Google+ to post a review. So a simple review request to my clients turns into an hour long project for them. This is truly backwards customer service!

    I’m in pending status still, but if I type in my business phone number, I can pull it up on Google Places. You can’t find it by typing in my business name or by typing in type of business, local city search. It basically is non-existent. So I don’t come up in any search results.

    When I thought I had been published, I sent a link to a client who did submit a review for me. However, the review does not show up, so that is my indication that this is not working on any level.

    What do you recommend?

    Failing fast in Phoenix

  11. I have updated several of my dental clients to G+…before reading this post. I don’t see any problems so far. Is there danger or doing so, or just the chance that the road could be bumpy? Do you have an update to offer on your stance?

    Thanks!
    Kelly

  12. @Kelly
    My position has and is the same. For most businesses the merge is not quite ready for prime time and we don’t fully know Google’s direction.

    If you are a Bricks and Mortar single location operation and have a need for a social presence and there are no dupes or merging issues with your listing then it makes sense to upgrade. For all others I would suggest waiting.

  13. Mike,
    Just like Kelly above I also have merged a few of my clients pages before reading this article. These are “brick and mortar” businesses with no duplicates or merging issues. In a few instances the business listing disappeared from the first page of the search. The business was coming up in the 7 pack on page 1 and now after the merge, my client cannot be found anywhere in the first 30 pages. The clients listing is still there if you do a specific search for the business name. Has this happened to anyone else? What would you suggest to try to bring it back?

    Thank you!
    Ryan

  14. I merged months ago. I don’t think I have any duplicate listings anymore and other than some recent reviews not showing up, I thought my business page on Google+ was in pretty good shape. Until recently, I was coming up first in the 7 pack when I did a search for “dog boarding+my city.” When I checked it tonight, I don’t even come up as one of the choices that have a designated letter on the map. There is a dot on the map that will show my business name and info if I hover over it, but I don’t understand how I am not coming up in the 7 pack, first page or any for that matter, as I am the only business offering dog boarding in my area. Any idea what could’ve happened and what I can do to resolve this? Thanks!

  15. Well, I had a client with 2 brick and mortar locations, the 1st merged nicely with no issues. The 2nd location merger has been quite a nightmare. We fell under this case:

    “Help! My social local Google+ page (that I made in the local business/place category) has been verified but doesn’t seem to have merged with the correct reviews.

    Submit these pages to be merged as duplicates here, selecting, “There is a duplicate listing that I would like to have removed.”

    As we had the google + local page verified along with a verified google business listing for the same location. After multiple attempts to contact google and get this corrected, I finally followed the above advice and quoted the instructions from the ‘googler’.

    I am excited to report that quoting one of their own in a response seemed to do the trick as the 2nd location (https://plus.google.com/111165657543633317645/about?hl=en) has now been merged successfully.

    Note that I actually had to quote the information above to the responder from Google to my inquiry who initially just said that each listing was a separate product and nothing could be done.

    Appreciate the heads up and am glad to be ‘post-merge’, at least as of today.

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