Just in time for Halloween, something spooky took place in the world of Google. As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but this didn’t seem to apply to Google Business Profiles (GBP) for several weeks over the past two months.
Very simply, a bug caused GBP suspensions to soar. Small edits made to a GBP profile triggered suspensions. According to a Google Diamond Product Expert, causes for suspension included editing business names, hours, descriptions, categories, and addresses. Marking a business temporarily closed, adding website parameters, and clicking on the ‘verify’ button also earned a suspension.
In a typical situation, any edits made to a GBP go into review with the outcome being acceptance, re-verification, or suspension. The bug caused an increased amount of false suspensions.
How did it affect the marketing community?
A suspended account means a business listing is no longer active and no longer appears in search results. Loss of business all round is a direct consequence and for many business owners, marketing agencies, and SEO communities, the suspension meant confusion, frustration, and downtime.
To get reinstated, a reinstatement request needs to be submitted using a form provided by Google. Usually, the average wait time to be reinstated is between one to seven working days. Owing to the build-up and backlog of false suspensions, the wait time for a response is currently averaging around 22 working days.
What are the next steps?
The bug was reportedly fixed on Friday, 21 October 2022. If you’ve been affected, Fisher recommends following the ROAR principle to recover as soon as possible. Recognize what is wrong, Organize your facts, Accept it, and lastly, Reinstate. For detailed help and advice from the experts, reach out on the Google Business Profile Help Community. Above all else, try to remain calm, provide as much information as possible and exercise patience.
*As told to Jenny Bernarde at BrightLocal