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Everything You Need to Know About the New Google My Business Site Manager Role

As of Monday of this week we started to see Google roll out the new Site Manager role that was first announced back in November of 2018.

What is New?

For several large chains, we are now seeing a new option in the Knowledge Panel that says “Manage this Listing”.  These are showing up on listings that are already verified through Google My Business but this new functionality will let someone claim the listing and be given the Site Manager role.   Prior to this, there has not been a way for a business owner to claim an already-verified listing without going through the request ownership transfer process.

What Happens if You Click “Manage This Listing”?

The button works similar to the “Own this Business” label that appears on unverified listings and will let you verify the listing.  Upon completing verification (phone, postcard etc) the current owner will get a notification that you now have access to the listing.  Your access will be limited and the chart on this page clarifies what actions you’ll be able to do in comparison with managers and listing owners.

I’m a Chain Owner and I Don’t Want This on My Listings!

If are seeing the feature and don’t want it on your business, you can opt out of this program by contacting Google My Business.

Do you have questions about the new Site Manager role?  Feel free to ask us in the comments.

Does someone keep making address changes on your Google Business Profile? How do you track leads in Google My Business? See how to track the data and answer those questions, by subscribing to our blog.

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Joy Hawkins

Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006, writes for publications such as Search Engine Land, and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove, and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Thank you for this!! I’m incredibly frustrated that they did away with the Communications Manager level access. It was exactly what we needed — people folks make Posts, add photos, and respond to reviews / Q&A, but now most of our clients can’t grant Site Manager access because of the permissions that allow people to edit the address and phone number.

    I wonder why they made that change?

    1. Cori,

      Why would the corporate level not want the branch owner to be able to adjust the phone number or address? Would people actually change these 2 fields to something incorrect? I’m trying to figure out the use case here.

      1. Completely agree with you, Cori! Joy, when we have a franchise system, we want to make sure all of our directory listings are accurate and match. When users are allowed to go in and make address changes, this skews directory data and is poor SEO. Google knows this so I’m surprised they ever did away with the Communications level access that allowed them to communicate but not skew data.

  2. I can shed some light here, having worked with enterprise brands in local for 10 years. In the enterprise world, corporate manages the listing data and is the central repository of the data. Corporate typically engages the help of a local vendor specializing in enterprise listing management. With Google, this means using the GMB API. Let’s say a more proactive location manager edits the phone or hours directly in GMB – in my experience, that message often does not make it back to corporate. The next time corporate/local vendor pushes a feed via the API, it wipes out the update the individual made. And that’s just Google – that phone or set of hours is also no longer matching the data that’s being pushed out to other channels like Apple Maps or Bing Places. A frustrating experience for all. Corporate/local vendor is the central repository of the data that is being pushed everywhere, including GMB. The data has to be updated in that central repository first and foremost. When corporate allows individuals to make edits to data on the various channels, that creates a very difficult free-for-all situation, which leads to data inconsistencies, listing confusion, and inaccuracies across the board.

    1. I believe the role is nationwide but the “manage this listing” that I referred to is only in the USA for some chains.

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