Google says shortnames bug resolved, local listings restored

It's unclear yet whether the missing reviews issue has also been fixed.

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The problem that was causing Google My Business (GMB) listings to disappear when shortnames were added has apparently been resolved, according to Google. A spokesperson informed us last night that all missing listings have been restored.

Over the past week or so, local SEOs who had been trying to add Google shortnames to their clients’ GMB profiles found listings and, in some cases reviews, were disappearing.

Status of missing reviews unclear. We don’t have independent verification that the issues are all resolved from anyone whose accounts were affected. (Indeed, many local SEOs are still reporting problems.) Also, Google did not specifically comment on the issue of disappearing reviews, which several SEOs said was also happening after adding shortnames. Previously, Google said disappearing reviews was a distinct technical issue unrelated to shortnames. 

Shortnames were introduced last month together with a number of new GMB features. They were designed to provide a short URL that business owners could use as a simple way to promote themselves anywhere. Entering a shortname into Google search or maps will directly call up the associated GMB profile. 

Why we should care. Shortnames should become a very helpful and potentially effective marketing and branding vehicle for local businesses, as well as a convenient search shortcut for consumers. They could evolve also into an informal analytics tool.

Now SEOs can resume adding them, according to Google. Once you do, let us know if you’re still seeing problems.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Greg Sterling
Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land, a member of the programming team for SMX events and the VP, Market Insights at Uberall.

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