If you’ve experienced issues with your Google Business Profile including reviews not showing up, accounts getting suspended, etc. then you are not alone. Google acknowledges there have been bugs. In this video we break down what it means and what you can do.
What is up everybody? Welcome to the Restoration Rundown Podcast, the podcast that’s dedicated to you, the restoration business owner. My name is Ben. I’m your host today and I’m the CEO of Ironclad Restoration Marketing, where I help restoration business owners get more sales just by getting their internet marketing right.
So if you’re a restoration contractor, anybody in the home service based industry, then you already know that you need to be, active on Google, right? Whether it’s SEO, Pay-Per-Click, or what we’re gonna talk about today, your Google Business profile. Now if you’ve been paying attention, listening to our other podcast, listening to some of the interviews, or you follow along with Ironclad Restoration Marketing social media, then you know that Google Business profile, formally known as Google My Business, Google Plus, Google Places, whatever you might call it, Google’s calling a Google Business Profile now, is crucial for your business, right?
That’s where you get your maps rankings, which are huge in your industry ’cause that’s how people find companies they need that are in close proximity to their home, especially with catastrophic property damage or any kind of property damage to residences or businesses. The first place they’re gonna look typically, unless they have a referral from an adjuster or somebody, a property manager, they’re gonna go on Google, right? And, on mobile phones, which is going to, pretty much, I think is overtaking the lion’s share of search right now. Just the nature of how people are looking for things.
One of the first things you see is the map section on a mobile result. So it goes without saying that you need to have, that good snack pack, the top three positions on Google, your Google Business Profile and Google Maps. You need to have those top three position rankings to compete in your area. Aside from all the optimization that you need to do, and aside from all the weekly, monthly work you need to be doing, we’ll save that for another time.
Today we’re gonna talk about something that’s been frustrating us here at Ironclad Restoration Marketing, but also, mostly everybody out there has been dealing with this. So a couple things have been happening lately. One, we had the big algorithm update last November, switched the name of Google Business Profile. Google’s training their AI to handle a lot of the requests for Google Business Profiles, maps rankings now are tied into organic rankings, and you need to be managing your Google business profile, getting reviews and all that stuff.
Couple things have been happening. One, people have been noticing that their accounts have been suspended for nothing, right? Whether you’re trying to update some info, add a photo, change your business hours, log in, look at it, funny, Google’s been shutting these accounts down left and right. We did a certain level of, hair pulling out here at Ironclad, for our clients trying to figure out what was going on.
We’ve had instances where we went to verify a new account and as soon as we entered the verification code with a postcard, boom, Google suspended the account. And there’s a whole appeals process that you need to go through, which is painstakingly long sometimes to try to get those accounts back in order, right? To get them reverified and get them active and lift the suspension.
So, we went through this all year, almost every single account that we’ve managed, we’ve had people come to us with suspended accounts. We have a hundred percent track record of getting them reinstated, so that’s not been an issue. It’s just more of a time consuming, time crunch. But we were just pulling our hair out, trying to figure out what was going on, why this was happening.
The other thing that’s been happening, and this has been a little bit more prevalent lately. It happened a little bit towards the end of last year. A lot we noticed, is reviews aren’t popping up, right? And that’s a big pain in a butt because it seems like Google has no problem throwing up those one stars. Even if they’re fake, even if they’re from a competitor or a disgruntled ex employee. Those seem to pop up anytime. But when you have legitimate reviews that are coming from clients, we already know it’s hard enough to get those reviews, but then when you’re getting the reviews and they’re just not populating on your Google business profile, that’s super frustrating for everybody involved.
And we’ve never really been able to figure out what or why, or how this was happening. Well, lo and behold, couple months ago Google announced a bug with their Google Business Profiles that specifically affected the suspensions. So this bug, and they, they didn’t catch it for a very long time. This, what this bug was doing is it was just suspending profiles for no reason.
And what that did in turn, the snowballing effect is it increased the amount of appeals that were coming to Google, right? So everybody’s getting suspended, everybody’s contacting Google. So that puts the queue in the waiting list very long. Which doesn’t bode well for somebody that’s trying to get their profile reinstated, and especially people that are relying on their Google business profile to get leads, that sucks, right? You have a suspended account, you’re not showing up in maps. It’s gonna affect your organic traffic. And if you’re spending money on an agency like what we do, managing accounts, it’s frustrating.
So, of course the Google said, “Oopsie! We, we noticed a bug and we’ve got it fixed.” And your appeals process is gonna be a little bit longer. Typically what we see when we’re trying to get an account reinstated is a one to two week window, right? You, you have to provide specific documentation proving you’re a legitimate business in that legitimate location. Whether that’s photos, we’ve sent in COIs, we’ve sent in, photos of the business from across the street. We’ve sent in articles of incorporation. Anything Google asks you for, we usually package it up and we get these things, reinstated quite frequently.
And it usually takes about one to two weeks, like I mentioned, well, with this new bug, they actually increase their wait time to almost 70 days, I think, is what they said it could take up to. So, If you found yourself in a situation where your profiles been suspended, I’ve made a couple videos about how to get it reinstated, but the gist of it is, basically, you appeal it, you know, Google, when they say your account’s suspended, you can click a thing that says Learn more. And then they have a whole form that you get to fill out that gives you the opportunity to say why you feel like your profile should be in reinstated.
So you, you know, put in your business information, your address, the name of your company, who owns it, contact information, and then they give you an ability to submit documentation to prove it. Sometimes Google’s specific with what they want. Sometimes they just want a utility bill. I tend to like to go overboard, so I provide a picture of the storefront, if you have one. Remember you can’t use PO boxes or those paid mailboxes, don’t even try that. If you’re in a situation where you are using one or you’re working outta your house, just set a service area and just make sure that you have documentation that shows your business name and an address, right? Just so you, they know you’re legit. That’s all they’re looking for.
So once you provide all that information, it’s a waiting game. You get an automatic response, you reply to that automatic response with the same reason that you think that your profile should be reinstated and send that same documentation over, and usually within a couple of weeks, you get reinstated. Sometimes they let you know that they’re reinstating the account and sometimes it just pops up and it’s back. So it’s something you should monitor every day. You will get an email. They say they’re gonna call you, but we have not seen this situation where they’ve called us or any of our clients.
Now, the other thing we talk about, we know it’s a pain in the butt to get Google reviews, right? And there’s so many different reasons why, and those same reasons why it’s hard to get Google reviews is why Google weighs so heavily on those reviews. So not only does Google weigh heavily on the reviews, but they help with conversions. People are gonna look at your reviews, right? They, they’re already dealing with property damage, they’re already pissed. The last thing they wanna do is go to somebody that has crappy reviews, right? People have left their home in a bad situation, et cetera, et cetera. So, Google reviews are a really great way to combat that.
So, Google announced, because we’ve been noticing that reviews are just not populating. We’ve had clients get seven or eight legitimate reviews, from legitimate clients, and they just don’t pop up in our account. Well, Google sent out another, well, they leaked out another article or we came across something that said, “Oopsie! We found another bug in our review profile in our review management system.” So, Google has these two bugs. They seemingly have worked out a solution to them.
So if you found yourself, you know, going crazy, trying to figure out firing people, whatever, but you’re not getting these reviews in, don’t fret Google’s identify the problem now, however long it takes them to remedy it. They say they’ve already created a fix. We’ll see. Just continue to try to get those reviews. Don’t let them not popping up on your profile stop you from trying to elicit more reviews from your clients. You should have a really solid system or be paying a third party to try to get you Google reviews. Just because of how powerful they are and how much they can affect your conversion rates for your business.
So again, if you’ve noticed that your profile’s been suspended, it’s not your fault. Well, sometimes it’s your fault, sometimes it’s your agency’s fault. But if you got suspended, you have no idea why, and you’re following all their guidelines. And just remember that there was a bug and it’s probably been going on for about five months now, and they have fixed it, and there is a path, and there is some light at the end of the tunnel, just you can get your profile reinstated.
If you have any questions about that, you can reach out to us, go to our website at ironcladrestorationmarketing.com. Fill out the contact form or just pick up the phone and call. Like I said, we have a hundred percent success rate so far, knock on wood. And then the review things. So if you were having an issue getting your reviews to pop up on your page, just continue to get ’em. At some point they will come back. You can go through and talk to Google, through their forms and just let them know, give ’em your profile ID, they will look into the problem, but we haven’t found, not once yet, that they’ve made us, they fixed it. They usually just say, “Hey, we don’t see any problems.” Which is probably part of the bug, all right.
So make sure you’re continuing to get those reviews, try to get your profiles reinstated if you have been suspended. Make sure when you are doing filing for an appeal that you have a legitimate service area filled out and all your information follows their guidelines. They don’t want keywords in your profile name, none of that stuff. Their guidelines are very straightforward and you can find them anywhere.
Just do a Google search and within your Google Business dashboard, you should be able to see any of that stuff. And if you’re following a guidelines, and you appeal it properly and you have the infrastructure in place to get more reviews, you will see more sales for your business. You will see, have more visibility in the map section and you will get more reviews to get better conversions. All right?
If you have any questions at all, check out our website, check out our YouTube, Ironclad Restoration Marketing, check out our Instagram make videos about how to fix that stuff almost daily. And our team standing by to help you out with any of these problems you might have with your Google business profile because it is a very important aspect of your business if you wanna get leads and you wanna convert traffic into sales. Until next time, we’ll talk to you then. Thanks for tuning in.
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Benjamin Ricciardi is the founder of Ironclad Restoration Marketing, A digital marketing agency that specializes in the Restoration and Cleaning industry based in South Florida. Benjamin is the author of The No Bulls**t Guide to Internet Marketing for Restoration Contractors and hosts The Restoration Rundown Podcast, a podcast that is focused on everything related to marketing and owning a Restoration and Cleaning Business. Connect with Benjamin and Ironclad Restoration Marketing on social media for the latest tips and tricks on how to grow your Restoration Business.