Does your local business have a Google My Business account? If you do, have you checked your associated email or updated your info lately?
Google My Business is an integrated approach which emerged last year simplifying the way in which businesses can be found online. Google My Business allows business owners to update their relevant business info in one application, making it easier for customers to locate them via Google Search, Maps and Google+. This was a beneficial step for small businesses, streamlining local marketing efforts in many ways.
This week, Google made an announcement that Google My Business pages could become “unverified” if no activity occurs on the page for a significant time period (approximately 6 months). At first, Google My Business users suspected that a “null edit” was required to show that a business page was still active, but Google confirmed that keeping a page active only necessitates logging into your account.
On the Google Business Help forums, Google representative Jade Wang explained:
“In some cases, we may contact Google My Business users via email to confirm that they are still actively managing a business page. If a user is unresponsive to our attempts to contact him or her and has not logged into Google My Business for a significant length of time, then we may unverify pages in the account. We’re doing this in order to continue to provide users with the best experience when they’re looking for local businesses like yours. If you find that a page in your account has been incorrectly unverified, please contact support to get assistance restoring verification.”
Google is taking these steps in order to give precedence to real, active businesses.
What Can You Do?
As indicated in the above statement, prior to unverifying a page, Google may attempt to reach the manager of the account, so it’s a good idea to keep current with the email address associated with your Google My Business page. Check your inbox for messages from Google if you suspect your account has been inactive for some time.
It’s a smart move to log into your Google My Business account frequently. This may be all that is required to be seen as “active”, but it also gives you the opportunity to make necessary updates, to keep your business information as current as possible. You may also wish to post from time to time, both for activity purposes and for customer engagement. If you do this a few times within a six-month period, it appears you’ll be good to go.