Thursday, March 17, 2011

HiJacked Listings; Problem and Solution

Your Google Places has been hijacked when search engine results give your competitors phone number or website address under your Google Places listing.

In Google Places set up a new profile using a new business name, claim the physical address and verify it by Phone.   Verification ensures that the listing is correct therefore merging the two business listings.  Sit back and relax while you enjoy free phone leads from your competitors listing. 

To reclaim your hijacked listing just go into your Google Places and delete the Listing with your merged address.  This does mean you are going to lose your reviews for that listing, but it's insignificant compared to how many leads you are currently losing.  Don't worry if you are a great business because your clients will continue to sing your praises!  It may take a couple weeks before the system is reset with your listing.   I advise you do not report the problem to Google because your account can be suspended or inadvertently given to your competitor.

Top Tips: 
    1.    Review your Local Listings frequently
    2.    Follow the Google Guidelines
    3.    Use one primary Local Listing per Service type and localize using Service Areas.

Google Places Policies - Quality guidelines

Google Merged Listings - Quality guidelines

Google Known Issues

An example of a common hijacking problem