In recent months, I’ve heard from an increasing number of businesses that have lost control of their Google My Business (GMB) listing. Far too often, someone at the business will claim the page using their personal account, and when they leave, the owner has no way to access the listing.
Every time I hear about this situation, I ask if anyone has tried using Google’s phone support — and every time I suggest this, it’s met with anything from confusion to a blank stare. As local SEOs, we assume that everyone knows about GMB phone support; in reality, most business owners have no idea it exists.
In fact, outside of the Local SEO niche, most other SEOs and online marketers don’t seem to know phone support is an option either. If someone is trying to reclaim a listing, they follow the steps listed in Google’s support system and wait around a few weeks to gain control of the listing again.
Now, I don’t know how about any of you, but that’s not an acceptable timeframe for me. If you’re a business owner, you don’t want to wait that long; and if you’re an SEO, you don’t want your clients to wait (and blame the slow progress on you).
Top Secret GMB Phone Support Pro Tip #1
GMB Phone Support has been available since 2013, but it seems that Google has recently outsourced some of its support staff. The outsourced staff is still incredibly helpful, but they’re more likely to follow a help script. If you’re lucky enough to catch someone in the California or Michigan call center, and it’s clear that you know what you’re doing, they’ll skip any script and you’ll solve your problem even faster.
In our experience, you’re more likely to get the U.S. call centers if you call between noon and 5pm Pacific Time. If you’re in the UK or Europe, you’re better off waiting until the evening to call, so that you’re calling during that magic window.
Top Secret GMB Phone Support Pro Tip #2
GMB Phone Support can help with almost anything related to your Google My Business listing. While you’re on the phone with a support agent, ask them if there are any duplicate listings. If any exist, they’ll be able to shut them down immediately. If you’re working with a business that set up a personal Google Plus page for their business, Phone Support can help you get it converted to a GMB listing.
You’ve got Google on the phone, and they’re willing to help — take advantage of the opportunity!