As many of you know, Google Local Listings became Google Places last month. In the last month, we have heard from innkeepers that their Google Local Listings/Places accounts have been suspended by Google. This is a very frustrating problem because Google doesn’t tell you why you have been suspended, you just get a message when you try to log in to your account that says:
Your Google Places account has been suspended. Please see the Business Listing Quality Guidelines for more information.”
So that leads to this page: Google Places Policies: Quality guidelines
You look down the list, and you may or may not see an issue that has caused you to be suspended. If you do see an issue, here is where you hit an problem, because you have been suspended and can’t go in and change anything. At this point, according to Google, you have two options:
If you believe you have made changes to your account such that you are no longer in violation of these policies, you may request a review of our decision.
If your account has violated our guidelines, it will not be re-included. If you’d like to maintain your business listing(s), consider creating a new account.
Try to request re-inclusion first. Remember that this places you in the line with all the other people who are also requesting re-inclusion and could take a long time. Google gives no time-frames and no guarantees. You may sign in one day a few weeks down the road and find that you have been un-suspended. If you are not un-suspended, though, you will want to start over with a new account, making sure to follow the guidelines.
We think a major cause of suspension is going to be adding keywords into your name. If you are “Around the Corner Bed & Breakfast”, do not add keywords like this: “Around the Corner, a Dallas Texas Bed and Breakfast Inn Hotel”. That is going to get you banned. Use your correct business name as it appears all over the internet and make sure you don’t try to cheat with extraneous keywords. We have always said that Google has their own guidelines, and we all know people who try to skew the system. It may work in the short-term, but it may come back to bite you in the end.
The main thing to do is to keep an eye on you Google Places account, and make sure you follow the quality guidelines. It’s a lot easier to follow the Google Rules than to try to recover from a suspension.
Acorn Internet Services