Google has been working to perform its mission to serve everyone with relevant search results. It is their priority to provide accurate information to all the customers who are looking for the best service or product online. This explains why they have been exerting serious efforts through the Google My Business Verification Process Crackdown to remove fake listings that have been affecting consumers and legitimate businesses in different parts of the world for several years now.
Google has continued to work for the elimination of fraudulent listings for several years now and as a result, fake listings went down by 70% by 2015.
How the Google My Business Verification Process Works
There are specific rules that Google implements for businesses who would like to represent their businesses in Google. To be sure that all the listings are made by the legitimate owners of the company, a verification process is required. If you are thinking about establishing a legitimate virtual presence, here are the different Google My Business advance verification procedures you may choose from:
Verification by Postcard
Before your listing can appear to be eligible, you will be asked to validate with the use of the verification code to be sent to you through postcard. Usually, postcards arrive within 2 weeks.
Before requesting for verification by postcard, you need to make sure that your address is following accurate. If it is not, you need to edit it first. You are being discouraged to edit this information while you are waiting for the code to be delivered. This may cause a problem if you insist.
For those who lost their postcards, you can request for a new code. You will find a new banner that reads request another code. Click that you will be guided in getting newer code.
Upon entering the verification code, your business is already eligible and that is the only time that it will appear on Google Search and Maps.
Verification by Phone
Not all businesses are eligible to verify by phone. This option is only available for those who were already able to prove their eligibility. This is an easier option because all you need to do is to sign in to Google My Business and click verify now. You will then be contacted through your business phone number.
Google will be sending an automated message with the verification code in it. You just have to enter the code from the message and the business you verified will appear live on Google Search and Maps.
If you cannot find the phone verification option in your account, you should verify by postcard.
June 2018 Google My Business Verification Crackdown
Recently I’ve heard from colleagues in the industry that Google was taking a harder line with the whole verification process. Instead of receiving a post card in the mail or being able to verify with a PIN sent to a phone number, Google has started to phone businesses, asking a long list of questions and demanding that a photo of the premises be made available.
This happened to one of my new clients just last week. Luckily the client had the sense to tell Google to ring me and I was able to sort it out during a lengthy phone call.
We’re not sure if that crackdown is going to continue…
There is another way for you to verify where you can use your email. Just visit Google My Business app and choose the option for email verification. Just click on the send email option and the code will be sent to you. Enter the code from your email and submit.
This is the easiest way to verify. Upon submitting the code, you are now eligible and you will be able to check your business listing on Google.
For businesses that can be found in different locations, they may be asked to undergo bulk verification. This option is only available for businesses with 10 or more offices located in different locations. If you have less than 10 locations, you need to request for individual verification for each.
Frequently Asked Questions About The Google My Business Verification Process
Q 1. What if you already verified the business website with Google Search Console?
For businesses who have already verified their business website with Google Search Console, they may go for instant verification. However, this option is not available for some types of businesses. All you need to do to verify is to sign in to Google My Business using the same account that has been used in verifying your business website with Google Search Console.
Q 2. What if someone claimed ownership of your business?
If you found your business already verified on Google My Business and it was not you or anyone who is managing your business, you can request ownership from the owner of the current listing.
Just enter the name and address of your business. Fill out the form you will find after clicking request ownership. After submitting, the owner of the listing will be receiving an email requesting him or her to contact you. A confirmation email will be sent to you as well.
Editing Your Business Address
It is quite important for you to provide an address that can be located easily. This is one of the verification requirements that Google My Business is looking for. Here are the specific address guidelines that you need to follow before you verify.
- Make sure to enter the exact address including the building or suite numbers.
- Do not include information that is not significant to the address.
- You can use landmarks if the official street address is not accurately pointing to the location of the business.
If you are still thinking about the importance of My Google Business verification process to your online presence, you need to know that there are different actions that you will not be able to do if your account is not verified.
Changing the name of the Business and editing pertinent information is not allowed unless the business is eligible. You may be asked to put more time for the process but it is also for a credible online presence.
How can Fake Listings Affect Consumers and Businesses?
According to Google’s report, 2 out of 5 fake listings are pretending to be contractors, electricians, locksmiths and plumbers. The scammers created listings for non-existent businesses under these categories. They look legitimate because of the fake zip codes and the VoIP phone numbers that are presented. This is also why customers are easily convinced that these are real businesses in real locations.
There are also scammers who would create listings that involve authentic companies. Whenever the company involved will get customers, the scammers will ask the owners for referral fees. With the increasing number of cases on fake listings, you can expect a stiffer Google My Business verification process crackdown.