The Google Knowledge Panel is your storefront, your international business card. We have been discussing this topic in a previous article. Here we will try to troubleshoot the most common issues connected to the Google My Business account.

Help! Someone else is using my account!

What to do if someone else already is using your Google My Business?

It is not new: If you did not claim your Google My Business, someone else might have got in there before you! It might be the simple case of a duplicate account – someone with the same name – but, it could also mask some bad intentions from an ill-wisher. In both cases, Google will not list your business, but it will list a “duplicate location” message instead. In this case, you can:

  1. Contact the current owner of the account and request the transfer of ownership. Chances are slim, as most probably this account is set up on an forgotten email address and the response will never come. See Google’s help page 
  2. Address the case with Google directly. This will take a few weeks until the new address is verified.

Wrong information listed?

Most usually, a wrong name, address or phone number are listed. Or maybe you have changed the URL and this must be updated, too.

Some of the information listed in Google My Business can be edited and updated very easily. This info includes the hotel’s name, address, phone number and the URL of the hotel’s website. The description is one area where Google can decide to overwrite yours with it’s own version.

Sign in to your account and then, either from a Google Map listing or a Google Search listing click “Suggest an edit”. Make the needed changes and expect to be asked for verification.

Google step-by-step help here.

The marker is placed incorrectly on the map

From your account, on Google Maps, you can suggest a new address (if this is the case of a bad placement based on an inaccurate address) or just report a wrong placement for the marker.

For problems including incorrect road names or missing roads you can start from here

Inappropriate photos

A picture is worth a thousand words

Visitors’ submitted pictures is definitely an important factor in how your My Business ranks in listings, as well as on how your potential guests are making judgement on your hotel.

If you are not sure yet of the importance of the images, just remember the pictures are listed on the very top of your knowledge panel, even above your business name!

What is to be done when wrong or misleading images are posted by visitors?

Photos violating Google Maps Photos Policy can be flagged for removal. A step-by-step guide is offered by Google here.

Inappropriate reviews

If you just got a bad review based on poor service or facts that cannot be easily demonstrated, Google will do little to nothing to rectify in this direction. It’s up to you to right the wrongs and to mediate by replying to the review. As mentioned in our article, “Good reviews, bad reviews – control them with Google My Business” always reply to a review. 

Reviews that are violating Google’s Review Policy, such as obvious spam, fake reviews, restricted, illegal or offensive content should be immediately flagged. Google will review the case and remove the offending review within days.

Extra Points

@GoogleMyBiz ‏ is the twitter account where you can quickly get Google My Business support.

Manager Research and Development

With a Master of Science in Online Marketing and an Honours Bachelor in IT applied in Economics, Ecaterina has a long experience in user experience design, SEO and SEM, as well as a strong technical background. Starting her career as a web developer helped her understanding SEO and UX from the bottom up. As a consultant at Venere (an Expedia company) she gained experience in the hotel industry which she has been able to actively utilize and expand on at protel. She truly believes that protel can make a difference in the Travel Industry.

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