Problems With Google My Business? Use Phone Support!
Many who use Google My Business -- marketers included! -- aren't aware that phone support is available. Columnist Greg Gifford provides a step-by-step guide.
Editor’s Note: As of Nov. 12, 2019, you can no longer dial a phone number and get someone from Google to assist you with Google My Business listings. However, there are still many ways to get the help you need. Learn more here >>
In recent months, I’ve heard from an increasing number of businesses that have lost control of their Google My Business (GMB) listing. Far too often, someone at the business will claim the page using their personal account, and when they leave, the owner has no way to access the listing.
Every time I hear about this situation, I ask if anyone has tried using Google’s phone support — and every time I suggest this, it’s met with anything from confusion to a blank stare. As local SEOs, we assume that everyone knows about GMB phone support; in reality, most business owners have no idea it exists.
In fact, outside of the Local SEO niche, most other SEOs and online marketers don’t seem to know phone support is an option either. If someone is trying to reclaim a listing, they follow the steps listed in Google’s support system and wait around a few weeks to gain control of the listing again.
Now, I don’t know how about any of you, but that’s not an acceptable timeframe for me. If you’re a business owner, you don’t want to wait that long; and if you’re an SEO, you don’t want your clients to wait (and blame the slow progress on you).
Skip The Wait And Jump On The Phone To Verify
Google has recently updated their online support page, but you can reach it here. Obviously, that’s not so easy to remember, so I set up an easier link that anyone can remember: bit.ly/phonesupport.
IMPORTANT NOTE: GMB Phone Support is only available from 1 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time. If you go through the following steps outside of those hours, the Phone Support option will not be available.
Once you click the link supplied above, you’ll see the Google My Business Help screen. It’s not easy to get to the Phone Support if you don’t know how, so just follow these steps:
- Click “Contact Us” in the top right corner.
- Click “Ownership or access to my business.”
- Click “Other problem.”
- Click “Request a call.”
- Select your relationship to the business. (Yes, you can be a marketer who’s working for the owner and still use it!)
- Select your GMB management system.
- Click “Next.”
- Fill out your name, email, and phone number, and click “Call Me.”
Within a few seconds, you’ll get a call from Google Phone Support, and you’ll be able to solve your problems immediately.
Top Secret GMB Phone Support Pro Tip #1
GMB Phone Support has been available since 2013, but it seems that Google has recently outsourced some of its support staff. The outsourced staff is still incredibly helpful, but they’re more likely to follow a help script. If you’re lucky enough to catch someone in the California or Michigan call center, and it’s clear that you know what you’re doing, they’ll skip any script and you’ll solve your problem even faster.
In our experience, you’re more likely to get the U.S. call centers if you call between noon and 5pm Pacific Time. If you’re in the UK or Europe, you’re better off waiting until the evening to call, so that you’re calling during that magic window.
Top Secret GMB Phone Support Pro Tip #2
GMB Phone Support can help with almost anything related to your Google My Business listing. While you’re on the phone with a support agent, ask them if there are any duplicate listings. If any exist, they’ll be able to shut them down immediately. If you’re working with a business that set up a personal Google Plus page for their business, Phone Support can help you get it converted to a GMB listing.
You’ve got Google on the phone, and they’re willing to help — take advantage of the opportunity!
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.