Google has rolled out the new Google Business Profile reinstatement process for suspended profiles, so in this week’s video, I explain the new process and requirements. With the new 60 Minute Timer of Doom, it’s incredibly important to understand the time limit and proof required – make sure you watch this video!
Welcome back to another episode of Local Search Tuesdays. Google recently updated the reinstatement process for suspended Google Business Profiles, and now that the updated process has been rolled out to the US, I’m here to explain how it works.
In recent months, Google has really turned up the dial on Google Business Profile suspensions. It’s part of a worldwide spam fighting effort, but unfortunately, some legitimate businesses have been caught in the crossfire. As part of the updates Google has made, a new reinstatement process has been rolled out. The process was first available in the European market last fall, but now it’s been rolled out worldwide.
My buddy and podcast co-host Ben Fisher and I have been joking about the crazy amount of suspensions lately. Basically, it’s almost like if you do something like this:
Your GBP is immediately suspended.
Obviously, that’s not true… Wait, I’ve got some breaking news… OK, I just got an alert that the SearchLab GBP is now suspended, so maybe there’s something to the keyboard thing…
But seriously, there are a TON of suspensions lately – it’s the majority of what we see on the GBP community forum. So today, I wanted to walk you through the new process so you know what to do if you happen to get suspended.
So first, you’ll get an email that looks something like this, and it will tell you that you’ve been either suspended or disabled.
The most important tip I can share is to check the link for the policy that you violated. It links directly to the section of the GBP guidelines that you violated, so you at least have a general idea of why you got suspended in the first place, so it’s a heck of a lot easier to fix your errors and get successfully reinstated.
Click on the blue “appeal” button, and it will take you to the appeals tools interface. For those of you who are coming back with evidence or checking on the status of your appeal, I made a bitly link to make it easier to get there. If you go to bit.ly/GBP-appeal (the GBP needs to be capitalized), you’ll go directly to the appeals tool.
You’ll need to select the suspended profile, and then you’ll see the profile name, the reason for your suspension, and a link to the policy that you violated in the GBP guidelines.
This is super important because it gives you insight into why you were suspended. That makes it easier to update your profile and get reinstated.
Then you simply click “submit” to send in your appeal – but be absolutely sure that you’re ready before you click the button. Once you submit the appeal, the 60 Minute Timer of Doom starts. You’ll only have one hour to submit your appeal evidence. After that hour expires, you won’t be able to send your evidence with your appeal.
Once the 60 Minute Timer of Doom starts, you’ll need to submit your evidence, so it’s important to have everything gathered before you start that timer. You’ll need to include as many of the following as possible:
- Your official business registration. This proves you’re a legitimate business.
- Your business license. For businesses that require licenses, this proves you’re authorized to operate as that entity.
- Tax documents. These prove that you’ve been paying taxes as that business entity.
- Utility bills. These prove that your business exists.
Make sure that each piece of supporting evidence has the business name and phone number of your business. If you’re a service area business operating out of your house, a utility bill in your personal name won’t cut it. It needs to have the business name on the bill. And just to clarify something that we get asked on the forum all the time… No, a picture of your business card doesn’t count for any of these.
There are only two document upload slots, but you should include as many of the docs on the list as you can. If you have more than two, just put them into a zip file and upload the zip file instead.
There’s also a text field where you can include a bit of a narrative. You can explain why you should be reinstated and what you changed or updated in your profile to address the violation. You only get 1,000 characters, so be brief and to the point. Absolutely don’t use this spot as a place to bitch about being suspended or whine about the business you’re losing. Complaining won’t help you get your profile back.
After you’ve submitted your documentation, you can come back to the appeals interface to see the status of your reinstatement appeal. Just pop over to bit.ly/GBP-appeal, it’s much easier than digging back through email to get the link.
Your GBP will be listed with a status of either submitted, approved, not approved, or eligible for appeal.
It’s actually a pretty straightforward process, and you get a bit more insight on the reason for your suspension than you used to. If you get suspended and you’re not quite sure why, or you’d like some guidance from someone, you can always go to the GBP community forum and ask for help from one of the Product Experts, or you could even hire an agency or freelancer to help you through the process.
So that’s how the new GBP reinstatement process works, and that’s all the time we’ve got left for today’s episode, so you know what that means.
Put your hand on the screen right here:
We totally just high-fived ‘cause you learned something awesome. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you again next week for another episode of Local Search Tuesdays.