Google Local: Improved Messaging on Moved Businesses Now Showing

Starting in December Google started rolling out improved instructions & listing messaging on pages for businesses that Google knew had moved locations. Instead of stating that the business was closed Google will, if proper procedure is followed, indicate that a business has relocated. This new messaging is starting to appear in the wild. While still not perfect and the moving process is still too complicated, it is an improvement.

Google Maps




Here are the instructions to mark a place as moved:

Google has noted that the improved messaging will only appear for pages that Google knows represent businesses that have moved. Business owners can indicate that a page is an old location and where the new one is by:
– click Edit business details
– select “Place is permanently closed”
– fill in the new address in the text box
– This is outlined in this Help Center article.


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13 thoughts on “Google Local: Improved Messaging on Moved Businesses Now Showing”

  1. Good info Mike. This is one the entire commercial real estate world should pay attention to. Of course every business should become aware of this, but all the landlords and brokers that facilitate relocations by commercial tenants should be made aware of this.

    I used to be a commercial broker and did a lot of tenant work, relocating tenants. It should be in the quiver of everyone involved w/ commercial real estate to assist tenants.

    Its so interesting, Mike, over many years we have discussed google places. I used to cringe every time I knew a business relocated or a new business occupied space previously occupied by a different business. Odds were probably 9 to 1 that google places would screw up the information, rather than get it right. It was soooooooooooo bad and inflexible, and tied to engineering algos that had little connection to the real world.

    This is a big step in the right direction. Hope it works.

  2. @Dave
    The whole moving thing is still not resolved very well… a business that moves a few block away or even a few miles should not have to “close” the business and go through the extra step of informing Google of where they have relocated to and do so in a different interface. This should all just be transparent in the dashboard.

    In addition there are discrepancies in policy about moving a business. In G+Local you close the business via community edit and indicate in the comments the new location. In MapMaker, the current rule is that you enter the new address and the edit gets approved.

  3. Ahhhhh, Mike. You burst my bubble.

    ….and suppose the mapmaker edit doesn’t get approved.

    Another friggin nightmare of google complications and the right hand and left hand not coordinating.

    so you are letting us know that…relocating businesses could still have all sorts of crazy crappy data.

    I throw up my hands in anguish… The google system still trumps reality and normalcy. Uggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhh

  4. Thanks Mike. When Google shared that example with us I forgot to post an update about it.

    @Dave I really gave Google pushback on same city moves since the MM RERS at my forum kept saying the MM rules say DON’T open new and close old – simply edit existing. And I didn’t want have to keep advising businesses to jump through these hoops, if simply editing was an option. Especially since most business moves are nearby/same city.

    But in a nutshell I was told by G, on business listings, they really recommend you start new/close old to avoid data conflicts – even though the MM guidelines say the opposite.

    IMO this whole problem is because the G+L scraper is out of control. Every time it finds the old data it will try to change your address back. THAT causes support problems. But if the old listing is closed I think it sort of suppresses the old location so it does not keep creating data conflicts. Easier for Google. Much harder and many extra steps for us.

  5. Mike I just found out the MM guidelines or help docs were updated to be consistent with what Google told us.

    Joel and Jade had both posted in my forum in Dec. that MM conflicted and was out of date and we should follow their advice to open/close even if nearby move in-city – not follow MM which said if in-city, just edit existing feature.

    Andrew just posted tonight that the MM rules were changed Jan 4 and now are consistent with what Joel and Jade told us to do:
    “This place is closed: Indicates that the feature has relocated from one place to another, regardless of distance.”

    So now at least it’s consistent and they are in sync, but didn’t go in the direction I hoped it would.

  6. Ah. one small step for relocating businesses, consistency from the monopoly on eyeballs, Google. Maybe not best case alternative but at least consistent between G’ s owndata sources populating the places record.

    A positive small step.

    tx for the update, Linda

  7. What if someone else close your business? I have one client that have this problem and we’re waiting to Google to belive them. It is a company and office with 200 employees!

    1. @Elchanan
      You can ping it in the Dashboard, reopen it in MapMaker and ask for help from Google via that Google Help Fix a Problem troubleshooters. Ultimately it is necessary to get Google to lock the listing in MapMaker to prevent the vandalism.

  8. Now it is locked and we did contact Google using “Google Help Fix a Problem troubleshooters” and “Not True” link on Jan 14, 2013.

    The mapmaker history shows that it closed by “Google Automated Internal Syncer” Oct 18, 2012. Not by vandalyst, my error.

  9. It’s about time. Oddly enough, my team and I have been taking this exact course of action (the reporting procedure) for over a year for clients whose addresses have changed. If only Google would retro-actively update all those listings we reported with this new feature…

  10. I wish 🙂 I have several issues with Bing Local (Bing Business Portal) and I was amazed with the fast response and even follow up until problems has been solved. Bravo Bing!

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