Five Frequently Asked GMB Questions

Every month dbaPlatform holds a live “ask the expert” webinar. Local SEOs (both pro and amateur) present their queries. And the same questions pop up time after time. Chances are that these distinctions have crossed your mind too.

Managing a Google My Business listing is not difficult but here are the nuances that lead to common questions.

Why Does my GMB Listing Information Keep Changing by Itself?

There are two ways that listing information can be updated without a listing owner or manager making changes:

Suggested user edits
Automatic edits
Anyone with a Google account can suggest edits to a GMB listing. When this occurs, three things can happen. The edit gets automatically accepted, the edit gets automatically denied, the edit goes into ‘pending’ and it is checked by a human person.

Automatic edits occur when Google gets information about your business that is consistent with what Google already knows, has reason to believe is accurate and will enhance your listing. Usually, Google will display edits in orange color and you will see a banner at the top of the dashboard to review the changes.

If you deny the edits (or inadvertently accept the edits that the algorithm has added and change the information back), your denial signals to Google that it should no longer make changes to those fields.

Do Google Posts Help Increase Rankings?
Yes, but probably not the way you think it does. Google Posts do help ranking but not directly. Posts add user engagement signals which are a ranking factor. Every time someone clicks on a Google Post, that action is recorded. More clicks tell Google that your profile is more interesting to users and Google is more likely to serve your listing higher than the competitor.

To make it clear, rankings are not increased from adding specific keywords in the Post content.

Does Adding Images to the GMB Increase Rankings?
Similar to the Google Posts answer, adding more images does not directly help increase rankings but can serve to add areas for user engagement signals.

Important to add, however, is that Google scans the image and can identify objects within the image. Google sometimes returns related images alongside the GMB listing, if the image matches the query.

The businesses that do not have an engagement ring photo are at a disadvantage in this specific search.

How Can I Remove a Fake Review?
Let’s just start out by saying that Google doesn’t have the same definition of “fake” as you do. The area which frustrates people most when trying to remove a review is that Google does not check if something is fake the same way you would. What is easy for you to identify as “fake” may not explicitly break one of the Google guidelines below, thus the review will not be removed.

Google publishes a list of reviews that it will remove here:

The first step is to flag the review from within your GMB dashboard.

If after three days the review is not removed, head on over to the official GMB forum and create a thread with the details. The Product Experts there will be able to escalate the issue if they believe the review does, in fact, violate guidelines.

Can I Delete a GMB Listing?
This question comes up for various reasons, but usually, it’s a listing owner that has terrible reviews. They want to delete the listing and start over.

Unfortunately, unless the listing should not have existed in the first place, there is no way to completely delete the listing. The best thing you can do is to mark the listing as “permanently closed.” Eventually, Google stops displaying listings that are permanently closed unless very specific searches (with the business name and address) are performed.

Now, there are things you can do to make it more difficult– to “hide” your listing even though you can not delete the listing. Before marking the listing as closed, you can try to update the listing name, address, or phone number to something other than your real business info. This may even get your listing suspended, which effectively removes your listing from public view. So it’s not quite deleted from Google’s servers, but no searches will reveal it.

Do You Have More Questions?
This is just a sample of questions that we get asked at dbaPlatform and Local Falcon. If you have any of your own questions about GMB, feel free to join us on one of our webinars [join our mailing list] where you will be able to interact with us, or join our private Facebook group and get access to Yan Gilbert, our very own Google My Business Product Expert.