Update: Google has posted at the forum with an explanation.
Update: Google has added that it is not necessary to do a “null edit” just be logged into GMB.
First reported by Integrated Marketing, Google is now requiring that US accounts periodically go to a given listing and do a null edit to prove that it is active. In the article, Integrated Marketing noted that support informed him that if the account was inactive for 6 months this process would commence. I assume that Google support may be overstating this timeframe. Regardless Google will provide a 2 weeks notice of the pending unverification via email.
Here is an updated comment from Google: “We may contact Google My Business users via email to confirm that they are still actively managing a business page. If a user is unresponsive to our attempts to contact him or her and has not logged into Google My Business for a significant length of time, then we may unverify pages in the account. We’re doing this in order to continue to provide users with the best experience when they’re looking for local businesses like yours. If you find that a page in your account has been incorrectly unverified, please contact support to get assistance restoring verification. ”
Here’s a copy of the warning email –
Important information about your Google My Business account
Dear business owner,
Thanks for being part of the small business community on Google. This email requires action from you so your Google My Business pages can maintain their current ‘verified’ status. It’s very quick—it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes.
We’re doing this because we haven’t heard from you in a while, and we want to make sure that people looking for your following businesses find the most up-to-date information on Google:
• Googleplex (business name)
Simply follow these three easy steps:
1. Sign in to your Google My Business account. Click here if you have any trouble signing in.
2. Review and update your information for each page.
3. Click the “Done editing” button.
That’s it! Please note that if you don’t take action before May 29th, 2015, you’ll have to verify your pages again for future updates to be shown on Google.
If you have any questions, you can contact us anytime. Thank you for helping us make Google Maps better.
The Google My Business Team
This is consistent with previous Google actions in Australia and Canada in February of last year (As well as the UK and Germany earlier this year). I assume that it keeps their list more up to date and helps purge stale listings that have gone out of business which otherwise could not be pruned because they are verified. It might also have to do with Google’s current plan of “owning” the listings rather than renting them.