Google Bulk Being Upgraded to Google Plus Capability

Nicolai Helling of the United Digital Group is reporting on Google Plus the upgrade of the Bulk Upload to allow multiple administrators. Apparently this upgrade will add full social functionality as well (the link from the help file is currently not working).

Image from Google Help files

I have not seen this new feature in dashbaords that I have access to. Here is his post in its entirety:

    Multi-Admin for Google Places Bulk Upload becomes reality

With the ability to enable companies to upload location data in a corporate Google account and then authorize another Google account to manage a single location, a feature is going live that has been awaited for a decade in local search!

This development was preceded by lots of smaller changes to the bulk upload tool, that had been long treated as an unwanted offspring. But as the demand from local search experts and businesses for a more robust Google Places bulk upload backend had steadily increased, this step was somewhat overdue.

It is noteworthy that users using the bulk upload have to wait, until Google changes the account to an upgraded account. A good indication for an upgraded account are the new owner status icons in the backend (see attached screenshot).

With the ability to have multiple admins the bulk upload will also use the rights management architecture and the “one claim rule” that is already in use for listings in the Google+ backend and for manually verified locations in the regular Google Places for Business Center.

So to be clear at this point: A company can now upload and manage up to 10.000 locations in one corporate Google account and remains in full control over each listing by adding and removing other Google accounts (i.e. store managers) for single locations at the same time.

Nicolai notes in the comments on a previous post about recent Bulk changes updates to the help file:

There has been an update to the announcement page (

It now lists:

Manage access to your locations by adding and removing managers and transferring location ownership – New!

as a new feature for upgraded accounts!

There is also a new help page about adding and removing admins:

And a new help page about transferring account management (i.e. using a different Google account for managing bulk uploads):

And a new one about transferring ownership on a per location basis:

And another one about requesting ownership on a per location basis:

I think Google is getting serious! :)

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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31 thoughts on “Google Bulk Being Upgraded to Google Plus Capability”

  1. Took them long enough. Perhaps I’ll work up some more enthusiasm once this happens, and there are no major hiccups. I had gone through this several times with Bing, and it was extremely frustrating going through the rigmarole of verifying ownership each time. (Note: I’ve given up coffee recently, so I’m grumpier than normal.)

    1. @Elizabeth coffee or no grumpiness and google go hand in hand.

      In the bifurcated mess if the transition Google has created as many or more problems then they solved.

      This is particularly true with bulk users where corporate was controlling the feed and the Locations were “stealing their listings for Plus upgrades.

      Hopefully, if this rollout doesn’t take 1.5 or 2 years and gets pushed quickly we can start seeing rational behaviors for businesses with multiple locations.

  2. Hi Mike,
    This is great news. I’m a little unclear as to how integrated the bulk tool and G+ Local will be. Will the data be synced and be accessible from both tools? Or will All changes need made in one tool or the other?

  3. Awesome! I can’t wait. I have a few accounts with which we used the bulk tool and which up til now have been “stuck” in the old places dashboard. Yesterday while logging in we noticed one of these three accounts gave us a message saying Google updates were in progress and to try back later. I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!

  4. Nice to see them addressing duplicates. From the documentation, it seems clear that Google+ Verified Humans take on the management roles. I wasn’t so clear on if the main bulk upload account had to be a Google+Local account or should it be transferred to be part of a Google+ national brand account?

    1. Managers need to have full Google Plus personal profiles. Owners of the bulk dashboard (or the Places dashboard) just need a google account but don’t need it upgraded to a full Google Plus profile.

  5. Thanks for putting all of these links together in one place Mike. We are managing a bulk account that has not yet been upgraded to take advantage of these features.

    Onwards and upwards.

  6. Just wanted to let you know: The link to the help file about socials functionality is now working.

    There is an interesting fact about the icon link to Google+ pages:
    “Note: Google+ pages are not created instantaneously. It can take up to a week for Google+ pages and icons to appear. You may see some locations display icons before others. If you do not see a Google+ page for a location after a week, please let us know.”

    So far I’ve only been seeing the “location display icons” but none of the icons for Google+ pages. I guess I just wait until Wednesday or Thursday, maybe then I’m lucky 🙂

  7. I’m a little concerned about the Google+ pages as I already have pages for all of my stores. The message I see in the dashboard is “A Google+ page will be created for this new location in about a day. ” But, it’s not a new location and there are already well established Google+ pages, reviews and all.

    Do you suppose Google will actually link the two?

    Any ideas?

    1. They will make every effort to link the two. The bulk user is likely to advised that the listing is already managed by the + user.

      If all works as planned the + user can add the bulk owner as a manager.

  8. Mike,

    Have you heard anything about being able to transfer the email address linked to the account for Bulk account?

    I know they just made that available for single location accounts.

  9. Hi Mike et. al.,

    As of 6/18 we are starting to see new features in bulk upload. We can now assign “managers” (can edit all data for an individual shop, add photos / images, respond to reviews, and make social posts) and “Communications Managers” (add photos / images, respond to reviews, and make social posts – BUT cannot change NAP or Website data).

  10. No Mike, sorry. We are able to #1 respond to reviews, create social posts and events through the bulk upload, and in addition we are able to assign managers or communications managers to listings within the bulk upload. We have found that for our purposes the “Communications Manager” role is prefered as it allows the business owner to respond to reviews, create Google+ posts and events, but they (the communications manager) cannot change any NAPW data. Maybe this isn’t new, but it is for us – we have been watching daily.

    1. Right communication managers have always been limited to content things only and have never (in G+) had the ability to modify core information. That is left to managers and owners.

  11. Hi Mike,

    Since the latest update, the link you shared with me on May 19th is now dead. Do you have another link that explains how to transfer a bulk account to a new email address?


  12. @Jason
    At this point Google is suggesting NOT transferring ownership until an account is upgraded although I am not sure of the process in that case. I will check.

  13. Hi Mike,

    Are you aware of a dashboard that allows managers of multiple locations within a single account to get reporting on impressions and clicks?

    Right now it appears as though you have to manually click on the insights tab next to each location, wait for the page to load and then access the data that way. Looking for a quick and dirty way of getting the reporting data.

  14. Hi Mike,
    Google finally upgraded our bulk account this week. We have nearly 1300 locations in the account. We expected to see a few “Owner Conflicts” due to individual locations that may have claimed their listing at some point, and do indeed see those. However, we have one owner of 9 locations who claimed his listings years ago. We anticipated he would be an “Owner Conflict” but he is not. We have total control over his listings. When I logged into the account he used to claim the listings, it’s clear that he is seeing the “Owner Conflict” message. We assigned him as a Communication Manager from the bulk account but Google didn’t send him the invite. However when I assigned a colleague as a Comm Manager to that store she got the invite immediately. Then I logged in as the store owner, navigated to his business pages and requested manager access. The request was forwarded to our bulk account, and we responded to that by granting access. He was not sent that notification either, and nothing has changed in what he sees when he logs in. There is still an Ownership Conflict. Would you recommend we log in as this store owner and use the Remove Duplicates feature to disassociate him from those listings? My hope would be that we could then assign him as a Communications Manager and be done with it. We obviously don’t wish to make any bigger mess of things here and thought it best to consult the expert before moving on. Thanks!

  15. Mike, hoping you can help out a fellow upstate NY-er! I work for Home Properties (Rochester headquarters) and we centrally manage the marketing for 125 apartment communities in the North East. We previously managed our Google business locations using the Locations dashboard so all of our communities were BULK accounts. Somewhere during the Google transition when they upgraded to Google +, we ended up with half our portfolio as BULK and half as SINGULAR accounts. It’s in the past but it had something to do with NOT fully understanding the differences between the two types and wanting to access the G+ features before the migration was done. We ended up with duplicates and someone was given direction to delete one of them and they deleted the BULK accounts because they spent oodles of time time optimizing the G+ page SINGULAR account.

    We’ve come to recently understand the differences between the two and are really struggling with which way to move forward with managing the entire portfolio. We love the advanced marketing features of the SINGULAR- longer business descriptions for each apartment (it’s hard to tell the story in 160 characters), more photos and the ability to manage albums and tag them with geo-locations, etc. but we don’t love the lack of visibility to all the ‘updates’ Google makes to our NAP/business data. Clicking through each “tile” on the pages dashboard one by one to look for a yellow bar at the top and then hunting into each section to figure out what it is really stinks. We just don’t have the resources for it. The locations dashboard flags those for review/approval so nicely which is a trigger for us to take action, and potentially, make further updates. I had a lengthy call with (the most experienced I’ve dealt with so far) a Google rep who acknowledged those key differences and several more. She mentioned BULK flags everything for notification but SINGULAR only flags “bigger” NAP changes. She further said BULK was designed for companies like McDonalds and SINGULAR was for pretty much everyone else which I’d assume doesn’t leave a good solution for many folks!

    Any directional insight into this mess for us?

    1. @Nicky
      You really need to get ALL of your listings in Bulk where you will deal with basic listing data etc in a single place and then assign the social, local enhancement to either groups or individual users.

  16. Thanks, Mike. Can I ask why? We manage it all centrally, so the same “person” who manages the listing data also manages the photos/albums, G+ page posting, etc – the division of the work isn’t a decision making factor for me.

    That is what we’re doing today on 60 pages in Bulk but our challenge is if we update the description via the singular account for our Bulk listings (to increase it more than 160 characters) we cannot acknowledge ANY notifications that get flagged in the Bulk Locations dashboard because they will throw an error that the listing description is too long, or the photos. For example: We recently added categories to all 120 listings. The 60 bulk listings received a ‘notification’ 3 weeks later that the “primary category” needed to be set. They would not let us set the primary category until we reduced the description listing to under 160 characters.

    That is one example of a handful. We also don’t like how we can’t “manage” the 6-10 photos added through the Bulk locations dashboard. No geo-local tags, no albums, etc.

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