Who Keeps Updating My Google Business Profile Listing?
Who keeps updating my Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) listing? In most cases, edits to your GBP are coming from 1 of 4 sources; your website, 3rd party apps, another owner/manager, or a public user.
Why is Google Updating My Business Listing?
We often see these types of posts on the Local Search Forum from people wondering why business details on their Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) listings have changed without their knowledge or consent (such as a change of the business phone number, change of the Google business name, changes to Google business information like categories, business hours, etc.)
Unauthorized changes or google listing updates on GBP (no matter how minor they seem) can lead to major issues with ranking and tracking. It can also show customers the wrong information about your business. The best way to make sure you’re sending the right message to your clients on GBP is to monitor your listings for unauthorized edits.
Since having details on your Google Business Profile listing change without your knowledge can harm your business, it’s important to figure out where they’re coming from. Again, edits are likely coming from 1 of 4 sources; your website, 3rd party apps, another owner/manager, or a public user.
1. Your Website
Google has been adding services to listings a lot lately. You might go into the GBP (formerly GMB) dashboard and see a massive list of things that were added to the service options on Google. The main source that Google is getting these from is the business’ website.
Tip: If you remove these services after they have been added, they should not come back again, although you might want to check once a month or so to make sure they weren’t reinserted in your service options.
2. Third-Party Apps
This is something many people overlook when analyzing an issue with GBP. You’ve likely given a ton of 3rd party apps access to your listing over the years. Some that you probably don’t even use anymore. You can check what apps have access to your account under the security section of your account settings (or use this link).
Apps can be set up to push data to Google Business Profiles so you’ll want to make sure to either remove the authorization, turn that setting off, or make sure all information in those apps is correct. If you see any apps that you don’t recognize or don’t use anymore, remove their access to your account. Some of the apps we have found in the past were responsible for updating GBP data include:
Tip: If there is a group of users that has access to the listing, every single user that is in that group needs to check their account to see what they have authorized. If you run an agency that has 20 people in a group, all 20 people need to check what they have authorized via that link above.
3. Another Manager/Owner
This is another edit source that might seem obvious but many people don’t consider it when trying to figure out where their edits came from. It’s important to periodically review all authorized users and remove old employees and users you don’t recognize. Any user on the listing can make edits at any time without your knowledge so you need to make sure that only people you trust have access can make changes to your Google business listing.
4. A Public User
Google Maps and GBP are both set up to allow the public to make edits to listings. It’s important to note that just because someone makes an edit it doesn’t necessarily mean it will go live, but if Google trusts the source (for example, a Google Maps user with a high trust level edits a Google maps listing), it’s more likely to get approved and pushed live.
How do you know if a public user made an edit?
There are 2 places where you can see if a public user suggested an edit to your listing:
1. The Local Finder. When you pull up your listing in maps, you’ll see in orange “A user suggested” followed by the edit they made.
2. The Dashboard in Search. When you’re logged in, do a branded search on Google. You should see your knowledge panel show up on the right. Under the ads on the left (if there are any), you’ll see a box that says “Your business on Google”. If there was a user-suggested edit on your listing, you’ll see it in that dashboard.
Updates from Google are Already Published
The final takeaway is that when you see “Updates from Google” from within your dashboard, those edits have already been published.
If you see this in your dashboard, carefully review those edits and fix any incorrect information. Google sends out alert emails to the managers and owners on the listings when something has been updated in your google listing, so make sure to check that email account regularly.
The longer you have incorrect information on your GBP listing, the more harm it can do to your business.
- The first issue is user experience. For example, an edit changes your listed business hours, and someone shows up to your business when you’re closed. Another example could be an incorrect address in which case you would want to change your Google Business Profile address to the right location. Needless to say, these are bad user experiences, which is something Google tries to avoid. You also don’t want to be unknowingly upsetting your clients or turning away potential future business.
- Tracking is another issue that can affect the way you do business. If you’re using a call tracking phone number or UTM codes, they can be stripped off the listing. This can be problematic and you’ll want to change your business number on Google to avoid leaving you with incorrect data in Google Analytics.
- The final and most important issue is ranking. Having your name or categories switched without your knowledge can completely change how you rank. We had an HVAC company whose primary category was changed from “Air Conditioning Repair Service” to “Air Conditioning Contractor” and they dropped from 1st to 31st overnight. The primary category holds more weight than any other category so when it’s changed, it has a large impact on ranking.
Contact Top Rated SEO Experts At Sterling Sky Inc.
If you’re a local business that needs help with their Google Business Profile listing or their business’s online presence on Google and other search engines, at Sterling Sky we can help. We offer SEO audits, consulting, or monthly local SEO services. Contact our office today for more information.
Check out what Kayla had to say about our local SEO services on Google.
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January 19, 2021
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This Post Has 29 Comments
3D party apps sounds like one that might get overlooked – great tips.
Great advice – thanks Nikki 🙂
“but if Google trusts the source (for example, a high-level local guide), it’s more likely to get approved and pushed live.”
Local Guide levels have NO bearing on edit approval, although this is a common belief of Local Guides. One can reach Level 10 simply by posting reviews, ratings, photos… What Google does use is the “so-called” “trust score” a mapper has — which is likely based on thousands, if not tens of thousands of high-quality, published edits.
There is no such “physical thing” as a “user trust score” that can be known, or looked at (like a credit score), other than by Google algorithms.
I agree 100% and that wasn’t what we meant with that comment but since it was a bit confusing – I just updated it.
This all happens a lot to our besiness listing just one week ago our service area was changed
Did it change from a radius by any chance? If so, it was likely related to this: https://support.google.com/business/answer/9418674
Great article. The best example I saw is when our local high school’s GMB website got changed to a hard-core porn site. It was like that for 24+ hours before the school switched it back. The kids had a great time with it. I use that screen shot all the time in my GMB presentations!
GMB updates for attributes are a nightmare. It will simply won’t stick and 5 min after the same attribute(s) will be pending again for review. It does not make sense and that’s not information Google can source from anywhere a third party (i.e. halal food for restaurants). I think there is some AI, machine learning behind it because I tend to see the same update across 800 locations for the same brand and there are clearly not 800 users suggesting the same update for 800 different locations.
Have you checked for the 3rd party apps option? That’s normally what I see responsible for what you’re describing.
GM can change due to other ‘trusted’ sources changing a company name. For local guides trust score, if it exists then many conversations will be answered. As far as I know I’ve never seen any official reply from Google. GPS apps and changes in directories like YellowPages can effect how a company is named.
One thing left off, brand copyright terms. A large enough ‘advertiser’ could influence a change with Google.
I Have been having this Issue with My GMB Listing I will not see any massage on updates or anything else anywhere but My listing will go down from Being ranked number 1 to number 10 sometime number 5 and then after a week or so will pull back up again and then after 1 or 2 week will pull back down dose anyone have any idea on what to do. this started back in March and before we had number 1 rank for 2 years ant thoughts….?
I’ve never seen these updates impact ranking unless they change a field that’s visible (like the category).
Hi Joy Thanks the problem is getting worse for me my listing will go up and down in rank every 3-4 days I really don’t know what to do at this point it’s like a nightmare.
One thing though is that when I login from my phone app google my business to my GMB I get a massage on the top check changes that have been made to your business when I click the massage my info all looks the same.
Now when I login from my Mac desktop there is no massage what so ever …..nada
sorry for the long response any insights….? Pls
It’s really hard to troubleshoot without knowing specifics. I’d suggest you post a thread on the Local Search Forum to get some input.
If it was my choice, I’d rather not allow people to update my listings lol
It’s a very frustrating scenario for your average small business owner who just wants to list their business online and get some leads. Primary Category is one I’m noticing ‘stuck’ a lot of the time. There’s no ability to edit or change the existing category option. There’s no drop down options available at all, the primary category choice is essentially locked. It’s odd that Google do this. What if I suggested my competitor was something they’re not and they couldn’t edit it back…
I’m having this issue almost every week!
We are closed due to covid and today someone walked right in the shop because google told them we were open for in store shopping.
We have been closed to the public for 18 months.
I don’t get notifications about the updates and they don’t show up in orange.
So how am i supposed to know that google is broadcasting our “open hours” and that we have in store shopping!
Small business are just trying to survive….between having to monitor my google page and deal with social media….I just don’t have time to keep checking!
That sounds frustrating. I’d suggest getting the GMB app on your phone. Hopefully, that makes it so the notifications actually reach you when something changes.
I don’t even get notifications on occasions when changes are made to my listing. 😒
Great article on GMB listing. I don’t get notifications about the updates and they don’t show up in orange.
So how am I supposed to know that Google is broadcasting our “open hours” and that we have in-store shopping! is there anyone to help me.
You might want to reach out to Google support to find out why you’re not getting notified if they are just changing it without telling you.
Hi Joy, super informative article as always:))
Sometimes when I want to “suggest an edit” l cannot find this option?
Are there reasons why this option doesn’t appear – SAB, mobile, desktop ……???
Is this feature variable?
It should always be there on every listing.
Great Article. Is there a way we can see which public users were making the edit?
I know on my Google profile I can choose if my edits are public or not. One of my long term local SEO clients had their GBP suspended for over a week by Google. He had a disgruntled client that he refused to service anymore (because he doesn’t pay his bills) say he was going to get him taken off Google and then BAM – His profile was suspended a couple of days later????
Coincidence or deliberate user sabotage to a listing that has had no issues in the past 4 years?
I sent in evidence of their address and Google re-instated it with no changes made. It took over a week to resolve and he lost a lot of business as calls stopped.
Anyone have any insights into how to see which user made the edit?
I just hope it doesn’t happen again. Thanks Joy 🙂
Correction to previous comment – It was DISABLED, not suspended, so disappeared from results altogether and the phone stopped ringing. The website was ranking organically however most new leads come from the business listing.
Great Article. Is there a way we can see which public users were making the edit? I know on my Google profile I can choose if my edits are public or not. One of my long-term local SEO clients had their GBP DISABLED for over a week by Google. He had a disgruntled client that he refused to service anymore (because he doesn’t pay his bills) say he was going to get him taken off Google and then BAM – His profile was DISABLED a couple of days later???? Coincidence or deliberate user sabotage to a listing that has had no issues in the past 4 years? I sent in evidence of their address and Google re-instated it with no changes made. It took over a week to resolve and he lost a lot of business as calls stopped. Does anyone have any insights into how to see which user made the edit? I just hope it doesn’t happen again. Thanks Joy 🙂
The only time Google gives out the details of who made the edits is if they are subpoenaed in a court case.
Thanks Joy. I appreciate your reply 🙂
Hi, it says here and elsewhere that Google will email the GBP owner if there is an edit. I have a client that has had their business name changed twice and they never received an email. I am also an admin on her account and I did not get an email either. Is it common that account owners do not get an email notification or is there a setting I need to change. I do get emails about insights/performance, update your holiday hours etc.
You won’t get an email if there are more than 100 listings in your account (https://www.sterlingsky.ca/how-to-get-review-notifications-when-you-manage-over-100-google-my-business-listings/). They also won’t alert you if the change was made by another manager on the listing which includes 3rd party apps like Yext or Moz Local (https://www.sterlingsky.ca/gmb-listing-updates/)