If you have noticed changes to your Google Business Profile (GBP) that you weren’t responsible for or didn’t consent to, there are four sources changes can stem from. The sources include your website, third-party apps, another manager or owner, or a public user.
Many business owners expect foul play when they notice changes to their GBP listings, such as a change to the business contact number, the business name on Google, the business hours, or the business category. However, the reasons behind the unexpected changes aren’t always as nefarious as they may initially appear. Yet, even if the changes are incredibly minor, they can still impact tracking and ranking.
The best way to ensure your Google Business Profile is putting out the correct information to your customers is to regularly check your profile for unauthorised changes and edits. Below, we will cover the main sources of changes to your profile, tips for determining which sources are the culprit, and how to limit future changes which can happen without your consent.
1. Changes from Your Website
Google Business Profiles are a great way to let your customers and potential customers know essential information about your business. However, Google can automatically and incorrectly add business information to listings, and it has been in the habit of doing it a lot recently.
It is quick and easy to remove any erroneous information after they’ve been added, and once deleted, it is unlikely that they will return. Although, you should check your GBP listings at least once a month to ensure they haven’t been reinserted as incorrect information.
2. Changes from Third-Party Apps
If you have noticed multiple changes to your GBP profile that you cannot account for, check which third-party apps have access to your Google Business Profile by looking at the security settings. You can easily view which apps have access, what date they were given access and what they have access to and remove the access from third-party apps you no longer use or need.
Some third-party apps are developed to push data to business profiles such as Reputation.com, Uberall Yext and SEMRush. To prevent further changes that are incorrect, either ensure all of the information registered on those apps are correct or remove the authorisation to push data to your Google Business Profile. If there are multiple GBP managers, ask every profile manager to check what they have authorised.
3. Changes from Other Users and Managers
If you run a large team and multiple people have the authority to change your Google Business Profile, this could be the source of your changes. This source of changes may seem obvious, but it is up there as one of the most common edit sources. While checking which third-party apps can push data to your business profile, review the managers who have permission to make changes to your listings. Always remove profile managers you do not recognise or employees who are no longer working for you.
4. Changes from Public Users
Google Business Profiles and Google Maps both allow members of the public to make edits to GBP listings. These edits won’t always be accepted by Google and go live, but if the user has a high trust level, there is a chance that it will go live.
To check if the edits to your profile came from public users, there are two ways to go about it. The first is to review your listing in Google Maps; if the update came from a public user, this will be disclosed. For example, if a public user suggested a category for your business, it would show in orange “a user suggested this category”.
The second way to check if your changes came from a public user is to look at your dashboard when you conduct a branded search via Google. Again, the dashboard would display if a user suggested the edit.
How to Deal with Google Updates That Have Been Published
Your Dashboard is also a great way to review all newly published updates. However, usually, Google will notify listing owners as soon as edits have been submitted via email – always check your email account regularly and review any edits to make sure that no incorrect information has been submitted.
Why It Is Important to Fix and Remove Incorrect GBP Edits
There are three main ways incorrect information can harm your Google Business Listings, and the longer you leave them up, the more harm they can do.
Incorrect Information Affects the User Experience
There are multiple ways that incorrect information can affect the user experience for your business. One of the most popular is your listed business hours being incorrect, which can leave customers going out of their way to turn up to your business when it is closed. Others include the services listed being incorrect and the address being incorrect. All these examples could lead to negative reviews posted on your Google Business Profile or business being lost in the future.
Inaccurate GBP Information Can Affect Call Tracking
Call tracking services determine where phone calls have come from and they can be a vital tool for business owners. Without it set up correctly, and the correct information displayed on your profile, you could lose vital data and UTM codes.
Incorrect Information Can Lead to Loss in Organic Traffic
Last but certainly not least, having your business name or category altered without your consent can be detrimental to your SEO ranking, which can result in less traffic reaching your website. For example, if your company category changed from a primary to a secondary category which doesn’t hold much weight, your website and Google Business Profile could drop from the first page.
How can Localise help?
Our team of experts including a Google Business Profile Product Expert use all of their GBP experience to troubleshoot any issues you are facing with your Google Business Profile. We offer this service within our monthly package or on an ad hoc basis. Contact us today for more information.