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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

Basic Places Practices Update: How do you claim an owner-verified listing?

A common issue that arises in the forums is the business owner that is unable to change or enhance their listing because they no longer have access to the account that it is in, perhaps because they lost the password , the employee that had claimed the listing is no longer employed or they had a falling out with their SEO company.

It is possible to reclaim the listing and last year I provided instructions on how to do so. The instructions are accurate as far as they went but there are often complications with a listing claimed into multiple accounts. For example the Place page might display unwanted photos or categories from the previous Places Dashboard. Worse might the fact the even though you had claimed the listing, you would still not be able to comment on reviews as the system thought that the other claimant was domininant.

With Google now offering additional customer service it is possible to solve some of the quirks and issues that arise with the reclaiming process.

Here are the updated steps:

1) Go to the Places dashboard/locations page of the new account and select Add another business.

2) Enter the phone number for the existing claimed listing, select “find business information” and go through the process of editing the listing that Google displays.

3) Change as little as possible initially and be sure to keep name, address and phone number the same.

4) Google will require you to reverify but you will be the dominant controller of the listing. As the last to claim the listing most of your data will be given preference.

5) It is preferable to claim it with an email at your business domain so if there is a dispute in the future, you will be recognized as the authoritative listing holder.

Suggested Additional Steps:

6) Get in touch with Google Places support using this form:

Select: Someone else has verified the listing.

This will have the previous claimant removed and prevent the listing being reaccessed from this account. This will guarantee that the new claimant will be the account that is able to respond to review. It will also prevent the other account holder from making changes to the listing. 

If there are still unwanted photos or categories still in the listing (from the old claim) communicate back to the Google support person that helped originally via the same case number and ask them to remove them.

Google support still has a long way to go but it has made progress and at least now common problems like this can be addressed.