Google Changes Guidelines for Google Places
In the endless and already confusing world of Search Engine Optimization, marketing agencies and individual business owners alike are trying to gain better rankings for their websites, clients and keyword terms. And now, Google throws another wrench in the works making things even more “complex”, yet again.
Those who have done their research and due diligence for basic SEO tactics have probably registered themselves with Google Places. Their listings have been approved, verified and posted on the happy world of Google search—possibly for years. All is well. Well, not really! Based on Google’s newly released guidelines for “quality” listings, your business listing might no longer meet their new criteria, and, in turn, be rejected from Google Places. And what’s worse, your account could be permanently suspended without any option for reactivation. And you won’t even know unless you actively check your Google Places Dashboard.
Things you can do to get back to normal:
One, if your listing is still active and functioning on Google Places in “Approved” standing, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to read over the new guidelines and make sure it meets the newly established requirements.
2. If your listing has been rejected, but without account suspensions, you can correct your listings to adhere to the new guidelines to prevent any rejections in the future.
3. In the worst case scenario, if your listings have been rejected and your account has been suspended, you will need to create a completely new Google account/profile, resubmit your business listing (make sure to adhere to the new guidelines!) and go through the regular verification, registration and approval process.
Of course, that’s the easy party. The most complex questions lay in the Guidelines themselves. If you consider the fact that when you submitted the business listing initially you have provided the most accurate and quality information possible (after all, why would you not?), now Google is saying that this information or the presentation of that information is inadequate. But, instead of identifying what part of your listing information they found inadequate, they simply disable the whole listing, or entire account, with one blanket statement of “rejected” because it didn’t adhere to Google quality guidelines.
Having researched this issue, I’ve found that it is not uncommon at all, and never is any difinitive reason provided for the rejection or suspension. Now, I understand that Google doesn’t have time, resources or interest in helping thousands of businesses adhere to Google guidelines. However, as I function in the world of software it would be pretty accurate to assume that the system that scanned the business listing has precisely identified what "quality guidelines" any particular listing has failed to meet. It would have been trivial to extend that helpful information to the kind folks who freely give Google their information and marketing dollars.