Can You Merge Two Google Business Profile Listings?
Can you merge two Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) listings? Yes, you can combine Google Business Profile duplicate listings. Here’s how. In the local SEO world, we frequently run across different scenarios in Google Business Profile (GBP) that involve merging duplicate listings.
Merge 2 Google Business Profile Listings
In order to assess how to merge duplicate Google Business listings, you first have to figure out which types of duplicate listings they are before you can ask Google to combine listings. Google will perform different actions based on the type of duplicate in order to join listings.
- Duplicate listings for storefronts
- Duplicate listings for service area businesses
- Duplicate practitioner listings
Listings for Businesses at Physical Locations (Have Storefronts):
2 GBP Listings for the same business at the same address:
- If they are both verified, and you are the owner of both, you need to unverify the listing you want to merge or combine or join. Google Business Profile cannot merge 2 verified listings.
- If they are both verified and you only have ownership of one, you will first need to get ownership of both before they can be merged. To start this process, try and claim the listing you do not have control over and it will prompt you on how you can get control from the existing owner.
- If only one is verified, go into Google Maps and get the URL for both the verified and the unverified one and write them down (save this somewhere). Reach out to Google Business Profile and ask them to merge the 2.
- If you don’t know your login to access your main GBP or the GBP you identified as a duplicate, check out this video on “What to do When You Don’t Know Your Login for Google Business Profile.“
- If you’re wondering how you can tell if a listing is verified by someone else, you can see if the listing has been verified by looking on Google Maps and looking for the “claim this business” label. If the listing has one of these on Google Maps, it’s not verified by anyone.
- If Google incorrectly merges listings, there is no way to undo a merge. Be crystal clear with GBP Support about which GBP is the correct listing and which one you want to merge into it.
2 GBP Listings for the same business at different addresses:
- If the incorrect address is an old address of the business whether nearby or not (they were there at some point in time):
- Contact Google Business Profile and ask them to mark the old listing as moved.
- The move feature is a bit different on the back end and works kind of like a 301 redirect. From now on, when people search for the old business address on Google search, they will see the new listing/address.
- If the incorrect address is one that the business has never existed at:
- Go into Google Maps, select “Suggest an Edit,” switch the toggle beside “Place is permanently closed” to “yes,” select “Never Existed” as the reason, and press submit. *Note: if there are reviews on the listing, you should get them transferred before doing this.
Listings for Service Area Businesses (SAB)s Without Storefronts:
2 Listings for the same business at the same address or different addresses
- If they are both verified, you will first need to contact Google Business Profile (GBP) to get ownership of both before the Google Business Profile listing can be combined. The GBP team will have to merge the two for you.
- If only one is verified, go into Google Maps and pull up the unverified listing. Select “Suggest an Edit,” switch the toggle beside “Place is permanently closed” to “yes,” select “Private” as the reason, and press submit.
- Sometimes Google refuses to merge these because they were verified with different addresses. If you run into a scenario like this, the best option is to make sure you have access to both listings and to make the information on them as similar as possible.
*Note: if there are reviews on the listing, you should get them transferred before doing this
- *Important Note: Unverified listings for SABs should never be marked closed, they should always be removed since they are for private addresses (home addresses) which are not allowed on the map unless they are verified through Google Business Profile. Check out this Local Search Forum thread for more detail on that.
Listings for Professionals/Practitioners
- Public-Facing professionals (doctors, lawyers, dentists, realtors, etc.) are allowed their own listings separate from the office they work for unless they are the only public-facing professional at that office. In that case, there should only be one listing formatted as “Business Name: Professional Name.”
- Google will not merge a practitioner listing with the practice listing UNLESS you only have 1 practitioner there.
- If you find an unverified listing for a public-facing professional who no longer works at your location but did at some point, you need to contact GBP to get the listing updated if the person now works elsewhere. For professional/practitioner listings, the real owner of the listing is the individual, not the company they work for. Therefore, you cannot transfer reviews or other information from a practitioner listing to the practice listing.
- If a listing exists for an employee who is not public-facing or someone who never worked at that address, you should go into Google Maps, select “Suggest an Edit,” switch the toggle beside “Place is permanently closed” to “yes,” and select “Never Existed.”
What’s the Difference Between Merging A GBP Listing & Moving A GBP Listing?
When you join a GBP listing or, in other words, merge a listing, Google takes 2 listings and mashes them together. They usually default to this when the addresses and names on the listings are the same.
A move is when Google takes a listing and points it to another listing, like a 302 redirect. Doing this causes the first listing to vanish from the search results.
Why Should You Care About Duplicate GBP Listings?
Contrary to what you might have heard, duplicate listings are no longer “ranking killers” for SEO. They used to have a negative impact on ranking when I first started in this industry over a decade ago which is why it was important to know how to remove a business listing or how to delete a duplicate Google business page but currently, they are mostly an issue because duplicate listings filter each other due to the Possum update so having multiple listings means that they are competing for the same spot and Google might not choose the one you want to show to the user.
The most common use case I see for why duplicate listings are problematic is when Google is ranking one listing that is pretty blank and has no reviews and is filtering out the listing that has tons of reviews and other Knowledge Panel features. This will affect your local SEO strategies significantly. Although you’d still rank, the loss of reviews on the listing could have a negative impact on how many potential customers actually call you.
Before doing anything listed below, always make sure you check both listings to see if there are reviews that need to be moved.
Here’s a quick video overview where I go through some live scenarios that I highlighted above.
My Listing Was Flagged as a Duplicate. Now What?
The merge feature is for Google to merge listings that are genuine duplicates of listings at the same address that qualify to be merged. For example, practitioner listings & departments don’t qualify. Google can’t merge listings that are at different addresses. These should either be removed or marked as moved.
Google sometimes automatically merges listings, to help deal with spam and inaccurate data. When they do this, you will see the “duplicate” status inside the Google Business Profile dashboard. Important: when a listing is flagged as a duplicate that means the listing no longer exists, it was merged, and can’t be undone without creating a new listing. If this happens, and you now only have access to the “duplicate” in your GBP dashboard, you will need to request access to the listing that yours was merged into.
Did I miss any scenarios you have come across in your local SEO industry travels? Tell me about it in the comments.
Important: Google Can’t Undo a Merge
One last thing, and it’s an important one. If Google incorrectly merges listings, there is no way to undo a merge. This is why it is very important to be crystal clear with GBP Support when asking them to merge two listings. You need to be very specific and provide the map URLs with the CID number for each listing and tell them which is the correct CID number that you wish to remain once the merge is complete.
If you’re a local business that needs help ranking on Google in either the 3-pack or organically, 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 Ryan had to say about our local SEO services on Google.
“I’ve been in and around marketing my entire business career. I value great marketers. Joy and her team at Sterling Sky are AMAZING at their job. I think what I love most about them is they’re genuine honest approach on marketing. So many marketing companies are great at the sales process but once they get you, the results aren’t nearly the level the expectations were set. I value Sterling Sky because they are honest, hard working, and they actually care. The passion they have for marketing is one I share with them and these are the type of people you want to help your business grow. Thank you Joy for your time and energy helping me and so many others!”
October 15, 2020
This Post Has 177 Comments
Great post Joy! This definitely helpful for dealing with duplicates in GMB. Many businesses either forget or are totally unaware you can actually call the My Business support folks.
The ironic thing is that calling GMB is actually my last resort. I only listed it as the preferred method for instances where both listings are verified OR if you’re dealing with 1 verified listing + an unverified closed listing (in which case GMB’s method is better for ranking than MapMaker’s method).
Personally, I’ve found dealing with duplicates within MapMaker as the best option for most cases.
Please could you help me? My name is David I own Home2sell Estate agents in belper derby DE56 1FZ in the Uk. On the 22nd of August 2017 we disappeared from google maps. When you type in “estate agents Belper” we no longer exist. When you go into google maps and scroll down we then appear. But this is now costing me alot business. We have been in business 15 years and always appeared before. Please could you help?
I’d suggest hiring a Local SEO company in the UK to do an audit/analysis to see what happened. I only do consultations for businesses in the US & Canada, unfortunately. I would recommend Tim Capper who is another Google My Business Top Contributor (and he’s in the UK). His website is here: onlineownership.com
I need SEO help in Seattle
Google removed my business listings, I need them back SammamishLocksmith.com
I’ll have someone from our team reach out to you.
great post Joy
Hope I can remember it if come across next tim users with duplicates listings
Joy…you say you mostly use MapMaker. How would you use MapMaker to merge two listings at the same address that are both verified by the owner? Or do these require a phone call to Google?
For verified listings I would call GMB. Unless it is a verified listing that is pure spam 😉
[…] getting rid of duplicate listings (Joy Hawkins has a great step-by-step guide on how to do this here), and making sure all the information is complete and correct. Cleaning up your listings for each […]
[…] @Matthew – depends on the case. I wrote an article that covers most of the scenarios I've run into. If I left one off, let me know. The Proper Way To Deal with Duplicates in Google My Business […]
[…] "However, I am bit confused: yesterday I had a talk with Google customer support and they told me that since this page has not been claimed yet, they cannot delete it, and even if they did delete it, the page would automatically create itself again because Google uses users-generated signals." GMB phone reps often forget about mapping rules. SABs are not permitted on the map (https://support.google.com/mapmaker/…/2642650?hl=en). They get added all the time by bots that scrape information so it is possible that this could get added back which is why it's imperative that you go and clean up all the citations around the web that list this address and update it to the one your using in GMB (Commonwealth). The phone rep also might not have noticed this is a service area business. They have different rules than businesses with storefronts. Let me know once you double-check with your client to make sure they don't service clients there. I also put together a guide for dealing with duplicates if you want to check it out: The Proper Way To Deal with Duplicates in Google My Business […]
[…] based on old data, and you’ll want to have this on your radar. If you find one, make sure you deal with it the right way. Keep in mind that when you move, Google usually updates the existing listing — it […]
[…] The duplicate: https://plus.google.com/114067764956420638436/about I'm following Joy's awesome advice, but can't find the duplicate in MapMaker. There's isn't a full address to search for, or it's […]
[…] Which is better? I’m still doing testing on this, but so far I’ve found the Map Maker method is better for ranking. When GMB merges two listings, all the information and history from the duplicate is merged, but the data is hidden so you can no longer see what it was. I’ve had situations where this data has overwritten stuff in my dashboard and changed the categories on the listing. Therefore, my current advice is to delete duplicates via Map Maker. […]
I had problems because Google did not recognise that a company with Pty Ltd or P/L ending were the same company not 2 companies. My new address was still being listed in my old address on Google Maps. That was fixed by calling Google. Also Google wanted to delete Google+ personal account of myself where I said I worked for my own business andkeep only the business listing not my personal listing on Google+ which I blocked. I am still waiting to see if I can add a category to my business without having to close my Google+ account for myself. This is extreme for 1 person companies like mine.
run a therapy business from two different locations, based from rooms I rent at private clinics. The clinics both have several therapists working from that address. I myself have several ‘brands, so to speak, offering different services to clients with different needs, for example a stop smoking service, a weight loss service, etc… all from the same address. I have created a Google+ Brand page for each of these, and Google+ Location page for each. The reason I want them separate is that the therapies and approaches are not related. They are different techniques that are not necessarily related, and are marketed differently to different audiences. I would like to make sure that I will not be penalised for having several ‘businesses’ running form the same address details. Can someone please advise or point me in the right direction for policy? Many thanks
That’s tricky because from the sounds of it you are not eligible for separate pages. If you really wanted to separate it you could set up professional listings for each of the therapists but this is not generally a good practice if you want to rank well in the 3-pack (more listings is rarely better). I would defer to the quality guidelines: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177?hl=en.
This has been helpful. Thanks Joy. How would you recommend proceeding if:
If there are to GMB accounts for a business with a physical location, but only 1 is verified, and only 1 listing shows up in Map Maker?
Is it safe to ignore this…?
I’m not really sure what you’re describing is possible unless one is a Brand page or you have your address hidden. Would you be able to list the 2 pages?
Thanks for the post Joy.
Here’s my issue – I’ve got a Google Business page (call it PageA) that is verified, has about 100 followers and connected to my youtube channel. However it doesn’t show in the map results.
Another Google Business page for my company (call it PageB) shows up very high in the map results – and I’ve just claimed ownership and awaiting the verification card. However this page has no followers and is not connected to my youtube channel.
Once verified do I:
a) keep both pages
b) Make PageA a duplicate, remove it, lose followers and connect my youtube channel to PageB
c) Make PageB (the one that is good in the map results) a duplicate, remove it – and hope PageA starts showing well in the map results.
If you have any advice on this would be appreciated.
This is one you should be able to handle right from within the GMB dashboard. Follow these instructions: https://support.google.com/business/answer/6010825?hl=en
[…] I did a consultation for a guy whose client – an HVAC contractor – had a problem with duplicate Google […]
google has made this easier now. create a store code for each within the google my business center. no need to call anymore
I’m not sure I understand. How do store codes relate to duplicate listings?
Hi Joy, can you share how to handle if you do in fact have multiple businesses at the same address?
It’s okay for there to be multiple businesses at the same address. You often find Starbucks inside Target, for example. When it becomes very problematic is when they are a similar type of business. You wouldn’t want the business categories they are using to be related at all.
Awesome article but question. My competitor who runs a face painting business as a service she doesn’t have a brick and motor. The catch is she currently created multiple business pages on Google. She used her 3 friends addresses 1) doctor office, 2. Amusement office, 3) friend location.
Her pages has the same number on all of them, but hides the address and changed her business name on each page. Nky and Cincinnati face painting , balloons and face painting Cincinnati, fabulous faces, henna art Cincinnati.
Is it against Google guidelines to do this? Even her links are different on the Google page but redirects to her main page.
Yes this is definitely against Google’s guidelines. She is only 1 business and is only allowed 1 page.
I’m a little bit confused with the practitioner profiles. I have an active listing for the business, then i found a practitioner profile for the business owner (not verified).
He’s not the only lawyer at the firm, so i’m assuming GMB team won’t merge or remove the practitioner profile for me.
Talking about ranking, will this be an issue?
Yeah they won’t remove it. They can merge it if there is only 1 practitioner in the office (thus making it a solo practitioner). I actually just recently wrote a guide on how to approach these scenarios that you can check out here: http://www.whitespark.ca/blog/post/85-best-practices-for-practitioner-listings-on-google-my-business-gmb
Joy, excellent post – It certainly helped me to nail down some of my issues. But turns out the best way to solve the issue is to contact Google Advertisers community. I documented my findings here: http://persistlocalmarketing.com/merge-duplicate-google-local-business-listings/ Please feel free to use the info in your post if you find it useful
Yes, the GMB forum is another awesome way to get help. Part of why I’m a Top Contributor over there 🙂
This is a very thorough and informative article. We have contacted google today and hope that our google maps nightmare will now come to an end. Thank you so much for this updated article. There are so many dated article that really offer no help at all. It’s amazing how google does not give more credibility to articles written more recently.
Thanks for the update Joy, but I recently tried to get a retired dentist listing moved to the new practice that took over but googlemybiz twitter support refused, saying that if he doesn’t work there, they won’t move it.
I’m guessing twitter support is now run by the former phone support “specialists” 🙂
Can you clarify what you mean by the “new practice”. In the examples I’ve done, it was a retired practitioner and we moved it to the practice that he worked for before he retired (and no longer did).
The “new practice” bought the old one and kept same phone#/address, but changed the name. Even had the old domain forward to the new one. When you search the old name, the new practice shows in the knowledge panel.
But when you search the old dr + city, the knowledge panel shows “old practice:old dr” listing. That’s the listing I was trying to get moved, which Google refused.
In this case, I don’t think it’s hurting his ranking (which is lousy, but for other reasons), so I don’t know that it’s a big deal. They’re just hoping to catch old patients that may want to reconnect. I believe he retired 3 years ago, but if it were more recent I might be worried.
So I guess this doesn’t exactly fit the scenarios you talked about. I was just surprised they wouldn’t mark it as moved. I suppose the “exception” they made in your example is easier to justify than the “exception” I was hoping for.
That one is tricky! Did the old practice have its own listing or did you claim it and update it to have the new practice info?
how long does it typically take to get the duplicate deleted after you’ve reported it to mapmaker?
Duplicates don’t get deleted, they get merged. You can get it accomplished faster by calling GMB. Reporting via MapMaker generally means you are waiting 4-10 weeks.
Hello I manage more than one rental apartment in the same building. My competitors also have rental apartments in the same building. Mine are owned by different people and are very different (a 12-person luxury penthouse, and a small 4-person box). Google won’t publish the penthouse as the box is already live, and it tells me that they are duplicates. I have a total of 60 properties to rent in the same village and they are all in different locations apart from these two. Is there any way I can get the second one to show up? If I can only have one, I would rather it was the penthouse so how do i switch them? Thanks!
Rental properties actually aren’t allowed on Google My Business unless they each have a staffed sales office. So listing one single room or apartment wouldn’t be allowed. See https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177?hl=en for more details.
Hi Joy, I had a duplicate listing. Deleted the oldest one and got the newest one published. Now the older listing is still popping up (1 week after deletion) and the new one with status Published is not showing. Any ideas how come?
It’s hard to say without looking at the specifics. Can you post your example on the Google My Business Forum? https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Google-My-Business/ct-p/GMB
What about a service provider who changed their name and now has 2 listings. One old name, and second is correct name with formally known as?
Are the addresses and phone #s on them the same? Also do you have ownership access to both?
Hey Joy, I used this article as a standard for helping remove duplicate GMB’s for my clients. Since MapMaker has been removed in December, do you have any intentions of updating the post? Sharing what works now?
Yes, I definitely am! I’ve been holding off until I see what features Google ends up adding to Google Maps. I figure they must be pushing some updates at some point in the next few weeks since MapMaker is toast in March. Once I see how that impacts things (if it does), I’ll update this post.
I’ve got a new SAB client with three claimed locations. An actual office, a mailing address nearby (with two 5 star reviews, his only ones) and a UPS box on the other side of the city (more spam!). Should I just ask GMB support to merge all three?
Google cannot merge claimed listings so you’ll have to unverify 2 of them. I would unverify the mailing address and ask them to merge that one since it has reviews. For the one across town at a UPS box you can just remove it via Maps as “Doesn’t Exist”. If you want to email me the edit once you make it, I can review it.
Thank you, Joy! It turns out that the GMB Insights stats are highest for the UPS box listing across town, so now I’m reluctant to mess with that one. Sheesh!
I’ve twice called Google to merge duplicate listings that were claimed and they were able to do it. However, after they were merged, in both instances, they have all but vanished from map results. Both instances were dentists where the first listing was for their actual practice and the second was for the individual doctor’s listing. Now Google states it’s okay to have separate listings for individual practitioners if more than one practitioner practices at the location, but they also state that you can merge the practitioner listing if they are the only practitioner. In both circumstances where we merged them, both were the sole practitioner and only doctor listed on the website… Curious if anyone has ever seen GMB listings basically drop out of top 5 and vanish from results completely with the above scenario?!?!
That’s really odd! I’ve normally seen the exact opposite and have a case study here: http://searchengineland.com/cannot-ignore-practitioner-listings-gmb-case-study-253314
Is it possible they didn’t move the reviews when they merged them? Also, did the categories get changed perhaps?
Thanks so much for the reply! The reviews moved over just fine, which was the main concern in merging the accounts. For both clients, they had reviews for the individual practitioner as well as the practice. So we wanted to just close out the practitioner and merge all of the reviews over to the office itself. That portion worked fine.
However, once this part was complete, their listings (that used to show in top 5-10 results) disappeared for the main target keyword terms.
Categories haven’t changed. And for one of the clients, I’ve actually narrowed his categories down to 2 from the 5 categories that were listed after the merge. I did this because he’s actually a specialty dental office that focuses only on dental implants and dentures (“dental implants – periodontist” and “denture care center” in GMB categories).
You can take a look for yourself actually. The main target kw is “Beverly Hills Dental Implants” and the client is Secure Smiles. He was always top5 in local until the merge. Now you have to zoom in on the map in order to find his listing.
So currently the listing is filtered thanks to Possum. There are a lot of dentists in that building and SO many competitors are keyword stuffing (I would suggest cleaning that up). Before you did this, which listing was ranking – the practice or the practitioner?
The practice. But I believe both results were still first page. So we were going on the assumption that combining them and the reviews onto the practice would only help not hurt… Possum also would have hit before we merged these, as we started working with the client in December 2016/January 2017
Did you happen to record the CID numbers for both the listings before you requested the merge?
I didn’t record the CID numbers. Curious what the benefit would have been to do so, or what would have been the options if I had?
I was just going to try see if the 2 were merged properly. If you want to shoot me an email (my email is at the top of the page) with the details of the business & what keywords you noticed the drop in etc. I can take a look. I’ve never seen this before so I’m really intrigued.
My old business location was listed but not verified for a while (due to it being placed on google without me doing so) we recently moved locations (near by) and listed our new location on GMB. Logging onto my GMB account, I see 3 listings.
1) old unverified location.
2) new unverified location.
3) duplicate new unverified location.
I have reviews on the old and the new locations. I have to option to verify by phone for the old location and verify by mail on the two duplicate listing. On Google maps, It only shows two listings. Old & New location. What should I do to merge all three listing, keep my reviews and verify?
I would reach out to Google My Business and ask them to mark the old unverified location as moved to the new verified one. Don’t worry about the 3rd – just delete it from your dashboard if it’s not tied to a listing on Google Maps. Also ask GMB support to move the reviews over for you.
Thank you Joy!
Thanks for this Joy. Dealing with a duplicate gmb situation right now!
We need a street created in Google maps. Very important bc its dealing with doctors. I requested the street be created in Maps as its the only way to do so correct? And if so, how long is this going to take. I tried talking to Google support and they basically told me its not their issue.
Hey BT, Sorry for the delayed response. I would suggest posting on the Google Maps forum to see if it can be escalated.
Really informative…. Hopefully I’ll get the duplicate listing removed soon.
We have 2 (related) businesses at the same physical address.
I can’t seem to verify either of the businesses (postcards never arrive, even after 3 attempts). Is it because they’re listed as duplicates?
Normally duplicates don’t have anything to do with you not getting postcards. Normally that happens because it gets lost in the mail or the address on Google doesn’t match your mailing address. You can ask Google to verify your listing here if that’s the case: https://support.google.com/business/contact/verification_code_issues?from=cuf
Thanks for your advice, Joy. Will do!
Thanks for your advice, Joy. Will do!
Hi Joy – My client has two verified listings, same name, same address, same phone number, etc. The older one has 60+ reviews, the newer one has 2 reviews. The older one has a Google+ and YouTube page attached, and the newer one doesn’t. First choice is to somehow merge them, and keep the older one’s assets. Is this possible? If not, we just want to keep the older one. Thanks
They definitely should be able to merge them. What you would want to do is contact Google My Business but be clear that you want to keep the page that is attached to YouTube. That way they can merge the newer one into the older one and not vice versa.
Great, thank you for the quick reply!
I have a problem. I have 5 sales addresses wanting to confirm business display information. I have verified these addresses with google map. So how do they get together when someone searches for my brand?
I sincerely thank you
Usually when someone does a brand search, Google shows the location closest to the user that is searching. There are other things that can come into play though. If one listing has a much stronger presence online it can overpower a closer location.
Working for a doctor who started his own practice and wants to get himself listed. Been struggling because he operates out of the same building as another practice called “South Shore Surgical Specialist”, whereas his practice is “South Shore Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery”. They also use the same phone number, which goes to a receptionists desk which directs the calls. His part of the office is a different “Suite”, so tried listing it under the Suite, and adding his name to the name of the business, but no dice. Talked to GMB customer service, they had us send photos of the building indicating that we’re located in a separate suite, but still we don’t seem to meet the eligibility guidelines. Any tips? Would deleting the duplicate listing and then re-listing as a public-facing practitioner with the separate suite number help?
Thanks so much
Using the same phone number as another business is a sure way to make Google think you are the same business. I’d strongly recommend he get his own phone number if it is a separate business. Adding a suite number won’t do any good. If it’s a solo-practioner, I would suggest setting the listing up under his name. This way at least if Google thinks it is the same business, they’ll still allow it because practitioners are always allowed their own listing. Keep in mind that if they share the same categories as the other practice there is a strong chance they will get filtered in the local results, even if you get the listing up and running. More on that here: http://searchengineland.com/everything-need-know-googles-possum-algorithm-update-258900
Joy this was really helpful. I could not actually find this information so clearly described anywhere else 🙂
You brought me great joy with your post! Had an erroneous listing which I didn’t know how to get rid of and now – success! Big thanks 🙂
I hope you can help me. I am working for an agency. This is with regards to my client’s GMB. To cut the story short, the ownership has been transferred to me because I unintentionally requested it. Then, gave the primary owner access back to client.
Problem is, we cannot see her replies to the 84 reviews. Is there a way we can retrieve it? 🙁
There is also a duplicate location seen in her account. One published and the other is not. Same address and company name. The photos, posts which she uploaded as an owner is in the unpublished duplicated location. Now the verified listing does not even have her profile pic.
Can we combine both duplicated locations with all reviews, replies, photos, posts intact.
I would definitely reach out to Google on Twitter (@googlemybiz) and they should hopefully be able to square this away for you.
Any advice if I did not read this until AFTER I deleted the duplicate listings and did not unverified them or merge them? The one listing that had all the correct information the showed as a dup listing, still shows as the duplicate even though it is now the only listing I see. It’s only been 2 days. Do I need to wait longer before it is recognized or will I need to do something that will change it from a duplicate listing to the primary one? Thanks.
I’d suggest posting a thread over at the Google My Business forum: https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Google-My-Business/ct-p/GMB
It’s hard to give advice without knowing the specifics.
Hi Joy, I created a GMB account and got the company I work at verified to the respective address with, lets say tag (A) – we call this listing 1.
However, The search results show show my company already existing on google with a different tag (B) and I decided to claim this as my business and had it verified too. We call this listing 2. So basically under my locations, I had the same company verfied twice at the same address, website etc. So I went on and removed listing 1 with tag (A) (which I created) from my locations in GMB and decided to work with listing 2 with tag (B) the one that I claimed.
The problem is – listing (1) shows up on search results and maps even after deleting it from my GMB list and, listing (2) shows up only when I zoom in or out of google maps (its really weird). It would be great if I could get some advise on how I can rectify this. The bottom line is I do not want Listing (1) with tag (A) showing up ever. Since I am working already with listing 2. I could also send you a screen shot of my problem and any help at this point would be great.
You need to reach out to GMB support and ask them to merge the 2 listings.
Excellent post! After reading these steps I was able to fix a duplicate GMB listing issue for my client.
You missed one! Two listings of two different businesses (with a similar but not identical name) on a different adress (in the same street but not identical numbers) with different phone numbers/websites/etc.. I have two of these and Google just refuses to accept they are different businesses..
It makes sense that Google wouldn’t consider them to be duplicates if that much information is different.
That much info is different, but they’re still marked as dupicates. Google does not respond to anything i try to send them to set this right.. How about they just add a button “this is not a duplicate”, it would make life a lot easier.
If they’ve marked it as a duplicate in that scenario it’s usually because they have decided your business isn’t eligible for 2 listings.
Yeah and i don’t really care what they think cause they’re wrong. But if i’ve come to lean anything about Google the last few years it’s that they don’t like to be reminded of the fact that they can be wrong. It’s clearly two different businesses, and i want them to accept this. if you’ve got any lead to get them to listen to me, i’m all ears.
Hi, so if we have multiple doctors at different locations and they move around to all of the offices, can we merge them all together, or does each location have to have their own google listing? I would like them all under one listing.
If a listing already exists, there isn’t a way to merge them. Google won’t merge listings that have different addresses.
Not sure what to do but we have a competitor a few doors away from us who has a duplicate listing and also duplicate reviews. A review will appear on one listing and then will appear on the second listing.
The second listing is also spamming as follows
‘best iPad iPhone mobile phone trusted Samsung repair shop in (town) (county) etc. As a local guide, I keep suggesting an edit and also providing feedback but it never gets resolved
Also, I suspect that the reviews are fake as reviews have only left two reviews and both of them are on both of there listings
What can I do please?
I’d suggest you post this over at the GMB forum in the spam section. https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Google-My-Business/ct-p/GMB
Thank you for sharing. very helpful.
I work for a dental office that has two physical locations with three practicing dentists. Somehow over the years they have collected 8 different Google listings. Should I try to merge all into one listing or one listing per location? Keep separate listings for the separate doctors?
You won’t be able to merge the practitioner listings with the practice listing since it’s a multi-practitioner office. Google only does this for solo practitioners.
I don’t think is the same as duplicate My Business pages but I’m opening another display site in another location. I’m not sure what to do. Do I create a brand new My Business page with the new location or do I somehow add it to my existing page ? I don’t want to get it wrong as it took quite a long time to get My Business page right in the first place. Thanks.
What exactly do you mean by “display site”?
A display site is our business address in a garden centre. We rent the land where we run our business and we erect various garden buildings for customers to come along an view. Our permanent office is also there. We intend to open within another garden centre where we our another permanent office and a display of garden buildings.
You would only be allowed 2 listings if there were 2 offices. Buildings without people in them can be added to Google Maps but cannot use Google My Business.
I have a problem that has not been addressed here and not sure how to handle it properly to be successful and not being punished by Google. The company i work for owns 5 businesses. Someone created a Google listing and in name put names of 3 of them. It is not verified. It has some reviews but they are all mixed for different businesses so I would just want to completely delete this listing and set up three new ones. I was thinking of marking it as “private” and then create 3 new business listings. Will it work, or you have a different suggestions to handle it? Thanks! 🙂
I would try to contact Google My Business to see if they can move the reviews over to the appropriate businesses so you don’t lose them. They should also be able to remove the listing for you.
Hi Joy, thanks for a reply. To be honest there are only few and I don’t worry about them and I can’t tell which review is for which business, so I’d rather delete it, start with a blank page and organise everything in a proper way. So what do you think should I do to make them delete the listing. Report it as private or just contact them? Thanks!
It’s hard to say without knowing the specifics. Google might choose just to “fix it” instead of removing it. They often don’t like deleting data. You can report it as private if it’s an unverified listing that is using a residential address.
“You would only be allowed 2 listings if there were 2 offices. Buildings without people in them can be added to Google Maps but cannot use Google My Business.”
Hi Joy, we will have an office at both locations (our existing one and the one we are opening in early September) with full time employees so should be fine.
We have two listings for a veterinary office. One for the practice owner/primary vet and another for the hospital. We just claimed the one for the primary vet and want to merge them. We do have a relief doctor that works 1-2 days per week listed on our website, but she also has a business as a vet at another hospital that is her primary hospital. I called GMB and they said they wouldn’t merge because “each practitioner has the right to have their own listing” and it is created “organically” which they have no control over. I explained it was the practice owner that wanted her business listing with own name removed and just to merge with business, but it was to no avail. They said since we have other vets listed on our website they wouldnt do it per their policies. How can we merge these listings?
In my experience, you can’t. Google will only merge practitioner listings if it’s a solo-practitioner.
This is late, but may be helpful for others – why not temporarily remove the other vet from the website, then ask GMB to merge the two listings? Afterwards, add the other vet back.
I offer Permanent-Make-up in 2 different cities in order to get more schedule complete.
So I have 2 stores / location in which I practice, both running under the same name. I don’t have any collaborateurs.
Both locations are verified.
For one location I already have many reviews in Google Maps. The other one is still empty.
Would you suggest reaching out to GMB team in order to have them join them? I’m hoping that both address will then be listed in my single / merged business in Google Maps and that it will have all reviews from location A. Would that be possible?
Google won’t merge listings with 2 different addresses. If your customers come to those locations, you should keep both. If customers don’t show up there (you come to them), you should be able to get Google to delete one.
Don’t you agree that this isn’t done very intelligently by Google?
It’s me who treats clients on both locations, so I think it would only be natural to have the reviews merged.
Google Maps is designed to map out every physical place that exists that customers would come to so Google isn’t going to want to remove a listing for a location that fits that description.
I just created a GMB and I have a painting company that I am trying to list on there. I went ahead and listed my address (which is a UPS store with my box number) and other info. I then clicked on the verify button and it then showed that there were two businesses listed at that address ( one was another painting company but with a different box number). It asked me if one of them are mine, I said no and proceeded to the next page and clicked on mail verification. After that, it said my listing was suspended, “Your listing has been suspended due to quality issues.”
Not sure what to do here, am i not allowed to list my business address as the ups store with the box number? A lot of other companies do this I’ve seen, especially painting, carpentry, plumbing companies. Not sure why it won’t work for me. Any help would be much appreciated, thank you in advance!
Using a UPS store is against the guidelines. You should use your home address instead. If you don’t want it to be visible to the public, you can clear the address once you verify the listing.
Thank you Joy for responding, much appreciated. I live 45 minutes from the county that I am targeting for my business so I don’t want to lose potential clients because of this, and don’t want to attract potential clients in the county I live in. After I hide my home address and list the service areas that I service to, will Imy company name pop up for that particular service area. For instance, if someone searches for “painting in Scarsdale NY” (which i label as a service area, but my address is 1 hour away) will I be listed right there?
Unfortunate not. You’ll rank based on where your address is. We’re hoping with some of the updates Google has been launching lately for service area businesses this might change but as of right now, the service area you select has no impact on ranking.
I have verified ownership of 2 listings. One which I had created, and another created by someone else. Both my listings are ranking well for different sets of keywords. Both listings have good reviews on them. Personally, I would prefer to have a single strong listing. But then, will I still rank for all the keywords of both listings?
The fact that they both rank for different terms makes it sound like possibly the categories are different on them or they have a different primary category. It’s hard to say without knowing the specifics. If you want to post your example with the links to both listings on http://www.localsearchforum.com, I’d be happy to take a look.
So are you still of the opinion that only 1, not 2 listings are advised if you want to rank in the map 3 pack? I have an older listing that was overlooked when we set up the new, at the correct location. The other is an old address … and may actually be unverified. The newer more built out with a review too is verified – is the way you tell with the little shield that has a check mark in it? When I was trying to delete the older, Google asks if the newer is a duplicate. I don’t want them to eliminate that one in favor of the other that only has an outside picture. I considered changing the phone number, (delete the address? or select the business not done here) and then maybe even build that one out. Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks.
If you want to post the example over at the Local Search Forum someone can look into this for you. In 99% of scenarios it is ideal to merge duplicate listings. The little shield with the check mark used to be a good way to confirm if a listing is verified but that has gone away with the separation of GMB and G+.
Hello Joy, this is jasmin from India(jamngar) i have 2 different business in 1 business building. and both have reviews. both having different names. suddenly 1 was suspended while trying to merge with a duplicate of same name. and now after numerous complains and request google verifies duplicate and suspends original (with reviews and ratings) and while trying to claim from another account it gets suspended once it is verified. tried mail verification, email verification, phone verification and even offered to upload property documents. but they say that can not be done.
please guide. what we have done wrong.
the place is same as the name of email.
I’d suggest you post a thread over at the GMB forum so someone can help you out: https://www.en.advertisercommunity.com/t5/Google-My-Business/ct-p/GMB
Thanks for the advice. i am creating a thread where you suggested. But it seems you could not understand my problem. i hoped you may ask some clarificationa and advice some steps to be taken to sort out the matter.
What if there is a forward facing individual that has their own page in the name of the company but they give permission and WANT it to be merged into one page with the company?
Hey Laura. Google will only merge it if there is only one practitioner that works for the company.
Thank you, Joy. So, the problem we are having is that people are posting reviews on the wrong person’s page, but since it is the right COMPANY, it looks like I won’t be able to move them?
If the review specifically mentions the person and you want it moved to the practitioner page, that should be achievable. If it mentions the practice name and no mention of the practitioner, you might also be able to get it moved to the practice page.
This is really helpful, Joy. I am trying to fix an issue with my competitors using the same listing name as ours and running google ads on our queries.
Hey, One of business listing is verified but other one is still pending for verification. I am trying to merge the both but i am not getting how to do. any suggestion
Is the one pending verification live on Google? If it’s live and unverified, you can ask Google to merge it without verifying it. If it’s verified by someone else, you have to wait to get the postcard. If there is no live listing on Google (you created the listing), you can simply delete it from your Google My Business dashboard.
We are leading bank in India and has arounf 4100 locations across nation.We added all our locations and got them verified in GMB.But we are facing issues from duplicate listings added by unknown third parties in Google they are verified as well.They are sometimes having correct addresses, sometimes not,but problem is they trick people into giving off sensitive data over phone and cheat them.How to get this removed.?as it is huge data we dont have a list of duplicates also!we contacted google who told we cannot help!!now please tell if any SEO can help us??They use our Banks name and its actually illegal!
If it’s illegal I would strongly suggest you talk to an attorney about your options here. For the listings you want removed, you can send them to Google here: https://support.google.com/business/contact/business_redressal_form
I would suggest you be super clear about why the listings are not real and how they can verify that themselves.
Joy, I have had an office in the same location for over 12 years and have a very complete Google My Business page for that location. I just recently opened another office location (same business, same name, etc.) that has been verified but the status is “pending” (whatever that means). I would like both locations to use all of the information in my initial Google My Business page and simply show that the original business has two locations. Please advise on how to make sure this is accomplished. Thank-you!
Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to do this. The listings will be separate so all the reviews, photos etc would be different. Google does show an “additional locations” feature on the Google Maps app but it isn’t very visible.
I work for a dental office that has two physical locations with three practicing dentists. Somehow over the years they have collected 8 different Google listings. Should I try to merge all into one listing or one listing per location? Keep separate listings for the separate doctors?
If they’re already created I’m afraid you’re stuck with them. Google won’t merge the listings unless the doctors don’t work at that location anymore.
Your responsiveness to all of these comments is really impressive – thank you for continuing to help people!
Hopefully, you can help with this last one! I work in healthcare, and very often these “nesting doll” locations are created from the main Hospital. Not just for the physicians, but sometimes even for ATM’s, or minor departments that don’t need a listing. I want to make it look clean when people see the main Hospital listing, and not burdened with 20+ departments – any suggestions?
Google won’t remove listings for ATMs or departments so my suggestion would be to make sure GMB support connects them all so that the department listings are listed under “departments” for the Knowledge Panel of the hospital.
Hi Joy, I really appreciate your post This is undoubtedly helping peoples to find duplicates in Google My Business Thank you very much for this information.
If a healthcare center only has one doctor working out of their office, but currently has 1 Google listing for the business and 1 for that doctor, can Google merge these two listing together so it follows their “Business Name: Professional Name” format?
Yep, they will merge them if you ask.
This is really helpful, Joy. I am trying to fix an issue with my competitors using the same listing name as ours and running google ads on our queries.
Joy, we have a client that has a claimed storefront location with no reviews and an unclaimed SAB duplicate listing with 5 reviews. Is there an easy way to merge those two into the one storefront location? Would the reviews come over if they’re merged?
Google should be able to move the reviews over and delete the SAB listing if you get in contact with GMB support.
Hey Joy, how are you doing?
We are a Removal company based in Sydney, and we don’t have a proper Location (Address) but we have on listing as …. Removal Sydney, …. Removal West Sydney, … removal east Sydney. But its all the same website, the same number and the same business bus we have 3 different locations in our GMB Profil. Do you think this is duplicate locations or do you think its okay like that?
I really need your help because this field is really competitive and I want to make everything right in the beginning. One location (… Removal Sydney) has 24 reviews and the other have 8 and 11 reviews.
This niche is really local focused so we think we might need those locations but we don’t know if it’s against the guidelines or not.
Please get back to me.
All the best
Unless the locations are storefronts, they are technically against Google’s guidelines. Service area businesses are only supposed to have 1 listing. See https://www.sterlingsky.ca/multiple-google-my-business-listings/ for more context.
great Post. The one scenario that I am missing is that I open a second business (separate legal entity) at the same adress. Let‘s say I have a clothing store and a clothing Outlet at the same adress. In the past I noticed similar scenarios that caused duplicates. Does this make sense? Any idea how to prevent these duplicates? Thanks
The best way to prevent duplicates is to make sure that GMB’s at the same location have different categories, phone number, and website. If any of those matches, there is a chance that a duplicate flag can get raised.
thanks for your reply. And what can I do if Google already classified one of the locations as duplicate? I assume I have to alter categories, website, etc. first. And after that? Should I contact GMB support and ask to remove the duplicate flag? Thanks
Yes, I would start by contacting GMB support.
This is wonderful! Thank you for taking the time to make the video. My issues is that I manage the GMB pages for the Westside Lexus car dealership. We have the main listing for Sales and the Service and Parts departments were verified and showing as being inside the main store. (They have separate entrances, but have the same physical address.) All of a sudden our Parts Department has been labeled as a duplicate and is no longer verified. I have had no luck getting things back in order. Any help you have would be amazing. I am designated as the Owner for all of our GMB pages.
I am wanting to merge my two accounts. How do I transfer reviews before closing one account?
You have to contact GMB Support in order to merge 2 listings and get reviews transferred. To do that you can contact them here: https://support.google.com/business/gethelp
After you submit that form, you will get an auto-repsonder. Please make sure you reply to the auto-responder and you should hear back in a few days.
I have two different listings. All the things were different e.g. name, address, phone number. The name of one listing was “Fobtoronto” and other “FobToronto north york”.
After reading google guidelines I changed the name of the listing FobToronto north york to “FobToronto”.
Now the name of these two listings is the same. How will I make citations for both of them because of the same name?
Will Google consider my citations duplicated?
Not if they’re using different addresses.
Hey Joy and team! I was Googling for a “How To” and of course this popped up as the very first result.
What can I do if a business has multiple locations and one of those locations has closed – but I don’t want to lose the reviews associated with the closed location. Can I change the address so that it’s a duplicate of another location and then request that the two pages be merged? Or am I just out of luck and need to delete the listing for the location that is permantly closed?
You know this is out of my wheelhouse!
Google might move the reviews. It depends on what type of business it is. For example, if it was a restaurant, they wouldn’t. If it was for an insurance agent, they might. If you want to post the specific details on the GMB forum (https://support.google.com/business/thread/new?hl=en) and send me the link to the thread, I can respond there.
Hi Joy, I recently opened a 2nd location and now I run my relationship coaching practice in two locations to serve two geographic markets. (Other than that the business is the same.) I have verified the new location so both are verified. They are both showing in the Manage Locations of my GMB account. Also noteworthy, most of my clients are handled remotely and online so the reviews are not location bound. I would like the reviews I’ve accumulated over the years on location 1 to also show up on location 2’s listing. Is this possible?
No, it’s not possible. Reviews are unique to the listing they are left for so you can’t share them amongst multiple listings.
Hi Joy, I have two questions:
Last year I applied for a GMB service area listing, but the postcard for verification never came. Thinking I must have done something wrong or the card got lost, I created another one under the same business name. Finally the postcard for the first one has arrived (after three months) and I’ve verified my address. How do I get rid of the second, unverified account that I no longer need? Do I say it’s permanently closed and remove it?
Secondly – working online from home in the mental health field it is important that my address does not appear on Google. When I check on Google Maps on a laptop only the service area I selected is shown, but I was very concerned when I searched for my business name on the Google Maps app on my phone, as the location pin shows my exact address. I urgently need to remove this but can’t see the issue addressed anywhere. I am new to this and would so appreciate your help! Should I declare the business permanently closed and start again?
For the first issue, just delete the 2nd listing from you Google My Business dashboard. Don’t mark it as permanently closed.
For the second, here is how you clear/remove your address: https://support.google.com/business/answer/2853879?hl=en
Thank you Joy!
I will just select “remove” business for the second listing then. It does say that some business information will still appear on Google though – is this not a problem?
For the second issue, I had already done what you advised and my address does not appear in the GMB settings. However, when I search on my phone app for my business name using lower case letters (my business is listed with capitalised initials), my business name comes up as a suggestion and in the map above it a red location pin appears exactly above my address. This does not appear when searching on a laptop (which shows service areas only). Any idea what might be going on?
I really appreciate your expertise!
Since you never verified the listing, it won’t be a problem. For the second one, are you sure you’re looking at Google? You mentioned an app – what app is it? Often people use Apple Maps since it’s the default on iPhones and it has a completely different listings set than Google so you might need to look into getting that listing updated or removed.
When a merge occurs do all reviews and images get combined as well?
They should, yes. You might lose some responses to the reviews.
I have a business listing for my business only, however, it seems as though Google autogenerated a practitioner listing with my actual name. I am worried if people search by my name they will only see this listing instead of my actual business listing. What would be the best way to handle this? Thank you!
I would claim it and if you’re a solo practitioner you can also ask Google to merge it.
Loved the clear outline of this – this’ll make a big difference in clarity when explaining to clients
Hi Joy, thank you so much for this (and all) of your helpful posts. I’m hoping you can give some insight on a particular situation before we start trying to merge. I have a client who is a plastic surgeon. He has 2 GMBs, one for this practice and one for him. I realize as a solo practitioner, he should have one (Practice name: Dr name). The listing address is the same on both, only then name is different. He has valuable reviews on both so we want to MERGE the two. The office manager has ownership of the practice listing, and not sure who has access to the doctor listing. When I click “own this business” it looks like we can claim that one too, however, I used my PelPer plug-in to see if the listing was verified and it said it was (but I’m not sure how accurate that is). Does she need to try to claim the doctor listing before filling out the form to have them merged? You mentioned that 2 listings cannot be verified in order to merge, so how do you unverify a listing? We just want to get this right so they won’t lose their reviews. Also, if they merge the listings, are the photos and content also merged? Thank you so much for your help!!
If it’s unverified you should be good to ask Google to merge them without claiming it.
Hi Joy, can you share how to handle if you do in fact have multiple businesses at the same address?
Hey Enzo. As long as there is signage for both businesses at the location and they are staffed during business hours, Google would be fine with it.
I have a situation in which a business created multiple GMB profiles for the same business but at different addresses (the current one is the correct, new address whereas the old one is an old address). The two listings are also under two different email addresses. If we wanted to move the old listing to the new listing, would we first need to make sure both listings are under the same email address? And how do I tell Google to move the old listing/redirect it to the new one? They seem to have updated the functionality and I don’t see the options as shown in your example above. Please advise. Thank you!
Yes, you should get them in the same account before asking them to move one. You’d tell Google by contacting Google support: https://support.google.com/business/gethelp