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Protect Your Category With Google's Suggest an Edit


 In this week's episode we break down:
Google's Suggest an Edit feature and protect your category!

Check out our article on this subject here:
How to Use Google's ‘Suggest an Edit’ Feature!
We spoke about Local Viking as a tool for GMB listing management

Adam:  Welcome to another podcast. What do you got for this week? Thanks a lot, Jamie. All my stuff going on. Let's go. What's going on this week? I wanted to talk to everyone or introduce kind of a cool feature that probably a lot of people don't know about in Google maps and it's called the suggest an edit feature. What does it do? Okay, so on your if you look up your service, so whatever your business does. So say for example, your a plumber and you type in the word plumber on Google, you'll see some of your competitors will come up. You'll see that the Google maps listing that we've talked about before and on there, if you're in an industry like plumbing or an electrician or a very highly competitive industry, you'll notice a lot of fake listings. And so when you see those fake listings, what do you do?


Adam:  So this suggest an edit feature is kind of Google's answer, answer to that. So have you, have you seen this before? I have, and I'm just trying to think. So you're saying there's, why would anyone set up a fake site? Oh these are ways, they're basically a lead generating sites. And so I would name, if I had a lead generating site for plumbing, I would name it discount plumbing and I would create a Google listing for it, pay a sum, you know, pay somebody to verify it for me. Maybe pay to get some fake reviews on there. Maybe create a Google website. And then I would call the local plumbers in the area and say, Hey, do you want to rent this digital billboard for me from me? And I'll rent it to you for whatever, X amount of dollars.

Adam:  So these are rampant in love that the money from these fake sites. Well, actually what, what happens is the reason Google doesn't, isn't really motivated to do this is because to do anything about it is because when you go and see w basically all and end points for Google and in Google ad dollars. And that means the more time they know, the more times a user spends on Google, eventually they're going to click on that ad and they can just charge you for showing up on, on the top of Google or whatever. So they know the more time that you spend on Google, the more they can charge for Google, the more money they make. So not really motivated, different motivations. So if you're in an industry like this and you're, you're, you see there's all this weird competition then this what you can do.

Adam:  So I'll briefly just go through what you can do. So first you, obviously you have to sign into a Google account, a Gmail address. So once you do that, you can type in your service, you'll see a bunch of listings of other of other businesses and you can just go through, browse through them click on discount plumber. If you, if you're in the plumbing industry in your city, and you'll notice a lot of times like Google will post the the outside photo right of the business. And a lot of times these fake listings are, you know it's just a picture of a, a, you know, a sidewalk or, or I've seen some crazy ones where, I mean, it's a picture of a light pole or utility pole or it's a house, stuff like that. So for research but once you do that, so if you're on your desktop, you can see, you'll go to the listing you'll see a Google has website directions save this listing. But if you look further down, you'll see a button or a little link, it'll say suggest an edit. And so one, you just click on that and then Google will allow you to suggest changes to the business. So this anyone can do. So even if you have a real business, you have to understand that your competitors might be trying to change your information on Google, so you have to stay on top of your Google listing. Okay, so question

Jaime:  Wouldn't Google send a confirmation saying, Hey, someone is suggesting this edit. Do you agree?

Adam:  Yes. Sometimes they are. Most of the time they do. And recently if you said, if you interacted with that and you could have had your, your listing suspended, that's that has actually we've noticed some changes over the past probably month now. So it's November. But if you had said any of anything, if you had responded to any of those things in July and August, you would have been suspended most likely. So anyway you can when you're looking through, so when you click on suggest edit, you can change the name of the business. So a lot of times, yeah, we'll say I'm, I'm a discount plumber, but I also do HVAC. I do electrical, I do a general contracting. So some people some businesses put all of those categories in their name, so their real name might be discount plumbing. But on Google they would say, discount plumbing, HVAC, whatever, whatever, whatever, whatever.

Adam:  So that's against the Google's terms of service. You can't you can't basically keyword stuff your name. So you can, you can go in, trim the name down so it's correct. And then press send to Google. You can also of course, change their category. So if it's a travel agent is the category and their name is discount plumbing, you would say, huh, why would someone do that? You can help them too. It doesn't always have to be a you know, trying to get them taken off of Google or something. Next thing you, you can also do, which is what in a lot of industries, if you see a house listed there, that's breaking. So there, the outside of the business is a house. It's a private residence that's breaking Google's terms of service as well. So when you press suggest an edit, you can go remove this place and Google will give you a ton of, are a few options. Like it's permanently closed. It doesn't exist. Move to a new location, private place or home. Or if you think this is a, a, a rank and rent lead-generating site, you can call, you can click on spam, fake or offensive. So it's a spam listing. If it's a duplicate or a copyright violation, you can also do that too.

Adam:  But what happens when you send your edit into Google? Thanks Jamie. Good question. So when you send your this your edit into Google, what happens is Google will reach out to the owner of that listing and they have a chance to respond. These edits are also, there are, they are reviewed by two different, they're reviewed by humans and by computers so many times they'll be approved instantly. So if it's a keyword stuffing, a title for example, usually those are approved instantly. Other things can take time. And then many times, not many times, sometimes Google will just ignore those edits. So if you have a persistent listing, then you know, try and get some help for editing that listing because these are, you know, they're costing real businesses real money. And you know, if we're, when we have a client, we always want them to follow the rules because those rules, the rule followers, Google rewards usually. So and you just want to have you plus you don't want any reason for Google to take your listing down. So don't keyword stuff your title, for example. You know, make sure that you have a real place a picture of a real place, you know, that have, you know, have a real location.

Jaime:  That sounds good. I think we're going to wrap it up right there. Okay. Thanks for watching. All right, well please make sure to rate review and check us out on, definitely leave your review on Apple iTunes and we will talk to you next week. Thanks a lot, everybody. Have a great week. Thank you.