This guide was created as a value add for those who signed up for the WhiteSpark Summit and will be updated as time goes on.
Whats in this guide:
- Common Suspension Reasons
- Some FAQs
- Terminology For Suspensions and Reinstatements
- Checklist For Before You Submit A Reinstatement
- Stats From 100 Reinstatements
- What NOT to Do
- Useful Links
Getting suspended is a mind jarring, emotional rollercoaster. Phone calls stop, you cannot find yourself on search and the fear of losing all your hard-earned reviews and ranking is the only thing you can think about. You cannot sleep or think about anything else. Your Livelihood is in jeopardy. And you are right.
However, in my experience, 99% of the time listings are recoverable. Each suspension is indeed a unique snowflake and as of this writing, I am nearing 800 reinstatements in 2020.
Below I am going to cover some things that are known and some that are not, also I am going to cover what to NOT do. I cannot stress how important each of these points are.
One final thing before the goodies… I hear everyone say that they have been in business X years, always at this location, have Y stellar reviews and an amazing business and that they pay $Z in Ads… NONE of this matters.
Why? Common Google My Business Suspension Reasons:
- Reported by a competitor redressal
- Google sweep of listings
- False-positive (these are really common)
- Unknowingly violating guidelines
- Knowingly violating guidelines
- Hiring the wrong PPC or SEO company (manager issues)
- Being near a UPS store or virtual office
- Keyword stuffing your business name
- Editing your listing name/category/website URL/address
- Looking at Google My Business the wrong way (this actually happened, or felt like it)
How long Do Reinstatements take? After Submission.
Normal response times are within 72 hours, sometimes 24. If you do not hear back in a week or more you may have a much deeper issue. Like an account level suspension or a listing level ban. In the past major events have occurred where support was backed up months on reinstatements but ever since COVID-19 struck, they have been prioritized.
Will I Lose my Reviews/Photos?
Read below for things to not do. If done properly then you will get everything back.
Terminology For Suspensions and Reinstatements:
This is when you get a successful reinstatement and the listing is suspended either immediately or upon entering in a verification code right after a reinstate move. This is fairly uncommon, less than 1% of the time, and usually occurs when near a virtual office or a UPS store. Video proof is the only way to get around this.
A means of helping with account-level suspensions. Removing all users and adding a fresh account. Note: This is a conditional use case and will not always work.
This is very common when moving from a virtual office to a new location. The goal of a RM is to keep the user-generated content (reviews, photos, and Q&A), and in most cases if you do not move too far keep your ranking ability. You will have to reverify after a move.
Checklist For Before You Submit A Reinstatement:
- Dashboard URL
- Phone Number
- Address (or service areas)
- Link to Secretary of State or DBA
- Photos or signage (If Storefront)
- Photo of vehicle signage (If SAB)
- Utility Bill (If SAB)
- Business License (If you have one)
Out of 100 reinstatements, we learned the following:
(Note I will soon be releasing a study of data from 1000 listings)
10% Get suspended 3+ times a Year!
4% Are prepared for Reinstatement
30% Get Denied Right Away
79% Are Storefronts (And are still in violation)
18% Have signage on Streetview (And are still in violation)
Do NOT do the following: (Read Carefully)
- Remove the dashboard listing.
If it has photos, reviews, Posts or ranking history you will lose everything.
- Create a NEW listing, even if told so by GMB support. 95% of the time the problem is fixable. And, support is usually wrong. If they say this consult someone with expertise.
- Contact support multiple times if they are not replying
There is an unspoken 2 times and you are out rule.
- Submit multiple reinstatements yourself.
You will get an email that says to maintain one line of communication, resubmitting creates duplicate reinstatement requested and will delay your reinstatement for a long time.
- Have someone who is not an expert submit one for you as well.
They will get an email that says to maintain one line of communication, resubmitting creates s duplicate reinstatement request and will delay your reinstatement for a long time.
- Beg the help community to reinstate you.
We cannot speed up the process or reinstate you unless support has denied you and we can determine you are eligible.
- Submit a reinstatement without looking at the guidelines.
Always read the guidelines and make sure you are in compliance.
- Create a new listing without consulting someone with expertise. (Saying this again for emphasis)
This can complicate the process and extend the time in getting reinstated.
- Apply for reinstatement from your mobile device.
You will not be able to get your dashboard URL, or attach a zip file (if needed)
Tip On Keeping Track Of Reinstatement Emails
This is especially useful for those not tech-savvy. Make note of which account you are logged into when submitting for a reinstatement, communication will normally go to that email address. You can skip this step if you follow the tip below.
Pro Tip – On the suspension message in your dashboard in business.google.com, click on Learn More, this will take you to the reinstatement info page. Then click on Request a reinstatement, This automagically logs you in as the account that contains the listing. Make sure that the account you are logged into is the email you want to get communication from.
Will You Get Your Reviews and Ranking Back?
In almost all cases the review feature will come back with the reinstatement. I have only seen this 2 times where we had to have google “find” the reviews. Ranking always returns in 72 hours if the reinstatement is done properly, unless you moved to a different city.
Google my Business: Reinstatement Form
Google My Business: Support
Google My Business: Help community forum
Google My Business: Agency support
Google My Business: Guidelines for representing your business on Google
Local Marketing Institute: