Help, My Google Places listing has someone else’s name and phone number, what can I do?
How an erroneous Google Maps listing can be created
An outside contractor had run a course, during which a large number of social media profiles had been set up with the name and phone number of the training firm but the address of the Centre at which it was being held.
The result of all this information on authority sites was the generation of a Google Maps listing, which in turn led to the automatic creation of a Google Places page that listed the training company in a location where they do not actually have a physical base and potentially causing confusion with the listing of the actual owner.
Rectifying Google Places Problems
Dealing with Google Places is always tricky. We could just use the community edit facility to tell GP that the name and the phone number are incorrect and suggest alternatives but, as it is also showing on various other authority sites – Facebook and Foursquare for starters – the chances are that Google will keep rescraping the information and changing it back.
In other circumstances I would just say that we should both mark the business as permanently closed in the community edit but, because they have included the name of the training centre in the actual address, I am concerned that this might have a knock on effect on any listing for the Centre itself – Google is not always the most logical of machines.
As Linda Buquet suggests when you actually undertake an office or business move to another address, it is far better to mark the old address as permanently closed and then start again. The upshot of just trying to change the address is that Google will just keep scraping the old address from any of the thousands of listings that will still exist in a myriad of directories. Unless you want to spend the next few years dealing with duplicate entries, it is far better to mark it closed so that Google can update its records and, hopefully, ignore what it is seeing elsewhere on the web.
You then create a brand new listing and claim it in the usual way at your new address and undertake a citations campaign which will see the new Name, Address and Phone Number syndicated across the directory network.
Using the Community Edit to make changes to a Places listing on Google
Near the top of the main GP entry for a business, you will see the option to Edit this place. This takes you through to the community edit feature where you can report a problem with that listing.
You can click on the listed, Name, Address, Phone Number, website, categories and business hours and a box will appear allowing you to correct the information.
Further down is a list of check boxes which allows you to report other issues:
That the business is permanently closed
That this listing is a duplicate
That the Place does not exist or is private
Some photos, reviews or other details belong to a different place
or, for anything else, Other
So here is the best solution for this case: I suspect that you don’t have access to the dashboard for it, so what I suggest is that you claim it to your Google Places account. By doing this, Google needs to confirm that you are indeed based at that location so it will send out a verification postcard to the address which is listed. This postcard will contain a PIN number.
Once you have received this PIN, it can then be entered in the account dashboard and the listing can be suspended from Maps so it stops showing. Never delete it from your actual account as rogue listings have a habit of reappearing and you would then have to reclaim all over again.
If you’re really stuck, support from the Google Places team is much improved and there is much more information filtering down about how to deal with a variety of issues.
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