Merged Google Local/Social Pages
I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of important information regarding merged Google social/local listings.
If you have a client who is a service area business (clients can not stop by their physical address and see them during normal business hours), they should not create a merged social and local page. Some people have asked me about this, and only businesses with a physical storefront/office will qualify.
Service area businesses can still have a Google+ Local (maps listing), but they will have their address hidden. This only applies if you are thinking about merging their social page and their local page together.
I assume there are some people a little confused by what I just wrote, so I can clarify any questions.
Yeah... at first it sounded like good news.. and then it sounded like small businesses lost something. Which is it?
service area businesses definitely lost out on this one. If the business does not see customers at their location (carpet cleaners, plumbers, etc..), then they can't merge their social and local page. If they do, they'll risk being suspended from local (maps) listings.
Bummer. Do you have some sample links of a merged / un-merged listing? Would be good for people to see what they look like.
I can pull some samples together. I want to blur out business names, etc to protect privacy.
Well that sucks. We merged most all our clients accounts. How can we un-merge them?
Well if they have a physical storefront/office where customers can visit, they're fine. If it's a service area business then you need to delete the social page.
"If you do not accept customers at your location, then your address should be hidden. At this time, Google+ currently does not support hidden addresses. You should delete your social local Google+ page from within Google+ (Click on Pages on the ribbon on the left, go to the Settings of your page, and scroll to the bottom and click Delete page). "
I sound like a broken record but does Google think they are a government bureaucracy?
Full disclosure - spell check on Windows 7 couldn't help me spell bureaucracy... so I Googled it and they helped... still how can this be the same company?
You really wouldn't be surprised how many calls for class action lawsuits are floating around forums. I usually take time to read through and help people out with google+local issues on the G forum (yes, I actually volunteer free time to help people), and some threads get pretty rough. It's tough because Google's tanking a lot of small businesses by suspending their pages. Local results drive a lot of direct sales for small business so I see why they're upset.
Anyway... to correct the incorrectly merged listing problem you need to delete your social page, but you can create a new one... just don't merge it again with the local.
Always good to keep updated with the wonderful world of Google.
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