This story is for you if your service-area business noticed something strange with your Google Business Profile Page, if your page suddenly doesn’t show up when you search for it, if your address isn’t showing up in Google searches, if your business is considering hiding or showing your address or if your just curious about GBP/GMB bugs .
Greg McBrien, from Wolf Web Co., in NSW, Australia, shared with me about a bizarre situation that one of his clients had just encountered. It’s a strange problem: A Google Business Profile with a hidden location stops showing up on the map. However, it isn’t suspended. This is because the admins are still verified and are not forced to re-verify. The temporary (and possibly longer-term) solution to this problem is to make the address public, even though technicallyit’s against Google guidelines and even though reverification by the owner is usually triggered. How does that work
Greg can better describe the bizarre situation than I can so he is:
Background and problem
This issue affects a service area company that delivers skip bins (sometimes called containers) to customers throughout Sydney’s Northern Beaches. The business has been in existence for more than 20 years. Google My Business has not made any changes to the name, address or phone number.
We noticed a significant drop in both Organic Rankings and Map Pack around the 6 th September. While the customer is compliant with all Google guidelines, we felt that the sudden drop in rankings would result in the suspension of the Google My Business profile. Upon inspection, however, we discovered that the profile was still “verified.”
We have not received any email notifications from Google regarding suspension notices or other email notifications.
We noticed that the Google My Business listing was no longer listed in the map pack search results.
The company name was then searched on Google. We noticed something unusual. We did not receive the “Your business on Google” admin panel that looks like the screenshot below. Instead, we received no knowledge panels or details about the business.
Instead, we received the following notification box. It could be seen by scrolling down the page past the map pack search results. This is the “Only visible for managers” box.
These are the steps that you can take to determine if a listing has been affected by this issue. These instructions assume that you are the manager of the GMB page.
1. Open google.com
2. Do a search for the company’s name (matching the name in the Google My Business listing).
3. Scroll down to the Search Results, past the Map Pack
4. If you are affected by the issue, you will see a box that says “You manage this Business Profile”, then in the subtext, “Only visible for managers”. You won’t be able to see the brand name knowledge panel or any of the management options for “Your business on Google”.
The Google My Business listing did not appear in any map pack results for brand searches or search terms related to the business’ offerings.
After contacting Google My Business Support, we received an email response within approximately. 24 hours. It offered some general advice about improving the Google My Business listing’s rankings, but did not acknowledge any problem or bug. Their advice was limited to this support document, and this one.
Temporary solution: Show the address
After looking through the GMB Community Forum, we saw some posts that suggested that adding an address to the Google My Business listing would actually make it “live” again. So we decided to give it a try.
We added the client’s address to the Google My Business listing. This is the same address as their home address. The address was not published before because the client is a delivery-only business. According to Google guidelines, the address should not be published.
It was still live within a few hours of adding the address back to the listing. These are the map pack rankings, which were available within 3 hours of adding an address back to the listing. No postcard verification was necessary (possibly because the listing was already postcard verified).
We thought that adding the address back in might have fixed the problem, so we removed it to re-establish the business as a service business.
However, the issue was almost immediately resolved.
We have already contacted Google Support with additional details and are waiting for their response. The address can be added to the listing to make it live again. This could be used temporarily.
Greg provided detailed documentation and screenshots. Greg is a great SEO and a great guy. I have worked with him a lot, so if you are in Australia, especially the Sydney area, you might consider contacting him.
What do you think is happening here?
Have you run into a similar problem?
Perhaps you had a similar problem and needed a temporary solution that involved showing (or hiding) your address on your GMB Page.