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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

An Internet Change of Address Guide

I recently read and responded to this post in the Google Maps for Business Group:

TOPIC: Fix our phone number – repetitive problem.
== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Wed, Aug 13 2008 11:26 am
From: rihard2000

Sorry to butt into this discussion, but I am having the same problem with my updated listing.

We recently moved our offices and switched our phone number. After updating the information in our Google Local Business center account, the new phone number isn’t showing on Google Maps or Local 10 pack (the new address is showing though). It has been about 1 week since we first updated our information.

Local 10 URL for North Coast Events
Google Maps URL for North Coast Events –

Please advise. Thank-you.

Dear rihard2000,

It generally takes 8 weeks or so for all of the information to filter through Google’s system so I wouldn’t worry until October sometime. It is unfortunate but it is the reality of the Google Local Business Center. It takes time for all of the pieces and parts of the database to realign themselves after a change like this. If after 8 weeks the discrepancy has not cleared up you should return to the group and plead with one of the Google Maps Guides to look into it. I would note, however that this is a small part of your concern.

I would strongly suggest that you scour the internet for your old address and phone number and start the Internet Change of Address Niggle Trauma (ICANT). Your old address/phone is embedded in the ether in a way that makes permanently changing it a task for the Gods and not mere mortals.

First go to the upstream primary data suppliers (InfoUSA, Axcion, Localeze & iBegin) and get it changed there. These companies are the primary data source for the many internet yellow pages (IYP), on line directories, MSN, Google & Yahoo. These primary data suppliers are used by Google and the other directories to verify that you are who you say you are and that you are located where you say you are located.

Next, change your record at Yahoo, the Superpages, InsiderPages & MerchantCircle manually as Google relies heavily on these directories for verification, categorization and ranking of your Google listing.

I would then go into your Maps listing and see what other directories and review sites that Google is referencing and make changes at those industry specific directories as well. If your address is different in the Google Local Business Center than at these supporting directories then Google might show your business as having less web pages (citations) pointing to your business and possibly less reviews singing your praises. This will definitely affect your ranking at Google and could lead to your falling off of the Local 10 Pack..

I am sure that you have done the traditional things in regards to your change of address such as notify the post office and your phone company. But you also need to be sure to notify the many phone books that service your area as well as the local government authorities that control your business record of the needed changes. Some of the upstream primary data suppliers (like InfoUSA) rely on these records more heavily than a change of address order provided to them on their site. They may not feed correct information to Google and the others until they have “on the ground” verification.

It is important that Google and all of the IYPs get a consistent view of your business. The days of only telling the postman and the phone company of your new address are over. You need to do this change of address two step or your old address will haunt you for years to come and the loss of business in your case could be significant.

It is unfortunate that in the Internet Age that this problem has made the life of the small businessperson much more complicated than it used to be. There is not yet a single solution in site although a few companies seem to be trying.