Google Business Profile Suspended? Here's What You Need to Know

Mia Jensen | December 5, 2023 | 10 min read
Google Business Profile Suspended? X Reasons and Here's What to do | DemandHub

Imagine waking up to discover that your Google Business Profile, the lifeline to your customers, has vanished from search results. This is the unsettling reality for many businesses when they face a profile suspension—a setback that can obscure your presence and erode trust in an instant.

In this article, we’ll discover why Google Business Profile suspensions happen. You’ll learn about the different types of suspensions, common triggers for these punitive actions, and practical steps to restore your profile.

By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to not only address a suspension but also to understand the proactive measures to prevent one in the future.

Table of Contents

What is Google Business Profile Suspension?

A Google Business Profile suspension is akin to having the digital “Open” sign in your storefront window abruptly turned off. It means that your business listing is no longer visible on Google Maps and Search, a dire situation for any business that relies on online discovery and local SEO for traffic and sales.

Google Business Profile suspension can be partial or complete. In partial suspension, your business still appears on Google, but you lose the ability to manage the listing. Whereas, in complete suspension, your listing is entirely removed from the platform.

Google Business Profile Suspension

Suspensions are Google’s way of maintaining the integrity of its platform. They ennsures the information provided is accurate and that the businesses listed are legitimate and adhere to their guidelines.

It’s a protective measure that can sometimes catch well-meaning businesses in its net. Understanding the nuances of suspension is important for any business owner who wants to leverage Google’s powerful tools without interruption.

Types of Google Business Suspension

Google Business Profile suspensions are of two types:

  • soft suspensions
  • hard suspensions.

Each type affects your business differently and demands a unique approach to resolution.

Soft Suspension

A soft suspension occurs when your business listing is still visible on Google Map and Search, but you no longer have control over it. This typically happens when Google detects discrepancies or minor violations of its guidelines.

While customers can still find and interact with your business online, you cannot manage or update your business information, respond to reviews, or post updates. It’s like owning a car but not having the keys; your business is out there, but you’re no longer in the driver’s seat.

Hard Suspension

Hard suspension is more severe. It’s the equivalent of your business listing being wiped off the map—literally. In this case, your Google Business Profile is completely removed from Google’s platforms, making it invisible to customers searching for your services.

This type of suspension is usually the result of more serious infractions, such as fraudulent activity or gross violations of Google’s policies. Reinstating a hard-suspended profile is a more complex process and serves as a stark reminder of the importance of adhering to Google’s guidelines.

Understanding the type of suspension your business is facing is the first step in crafting an effective recovery strategy. Each requires a different set of actions to reinstate your profile and reclaim your online presence.

Why do Google Business Profiles get Suspended?

A Google Business Profile suspension can be a frustrating experience. Understanding the common reasons behind suspensions can help you avoid potential pitfalls.

Here are 7 key reasons that could lead to your business profile being sidelined:

1. Violation of Google’s Guidelines and Policies

Google has a comprehensive set of guidelines that cover everything from business descriptions to customer interactions. Violations such as keyword stuffing, inappropriate content, or misrepresentation can trigger a suspension. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these guidelines to ensure your profile remains in good standing.

Violation of Google's Guidelines and Policies

2. Unusual Activity or Suspicious Behavior on the Profile

Google’s algorithm is always on the lookout for anomalies. Sudden changes in your business information, an unusual spike in reviews, or erratic behavior in your posting patterns can raise red flags, leading to a suspension for further investigation.

3. Inaccurate or Misleading Information on the Business Listing

Accuracy is key in your Google Business Profile. If your business name, address, phone number, or category is incorrect or misleading, it can result in a suspension. Google aims to provide users with reliable information, and inaccuracies are a breach of trust.

4. Multiple Businesses Sharing the Same Address or Phone Number

Google insists on unique identifiers for each business. If your listing shares an address or phone number with another profile, it may be considered a duplicate or fraudulent entry, which can lead to a suspension.

Multiple Businesses Sharing the Same Address or Phone Number

5. Multiple Profiles for the Same Business

Creating multiple profiles for a single business location can be seen as an attempt to game the system for better visibility and can quickly lead to a suspension.

6. Use of a Residential Address for a Business Location

Google Business Profiles are intended for businesses that make in-person contact with customers. Using a residential address for a business location, unless you operate a business from home that serves customers at your location, can lead to suspension.

Use of a Residential Address for a Business Location

7. Inappropriate User-Generated Content

Sometimes, the cause of suspension is not the business owner but the users. Inappropriate photos or reviews posted by customers can lead to a suspension if not addressed promptly.

8. Non-Compliance with Local Regulations

Businesses must comply with local laws and regulations. If your business is in an industry that’s regulated or requires specific licenses and your profile does not reflect this compliance, Google may suspend your listing.

9. High-Risk Business Categories and Increased Scrutiny

Certain business categories are flagged by Google as high-risk or spammy due to a history of fraudulent activities and spammy practices. Businesses that fall under these categories are subject to extra scrutiny and are more susceptible to suspensions.

If you operate in industries such as:

  • garage door repair,
  • plumbing,
  • locksmith services,
  • real estate,
  • insurance,
  • legal services,
  • pest control,
  • HVAC,
  • tree services,
  • landscaping, or
  • rehabilitation centers.

Be aware your Google Business Profile is under a microscope. Google’s stringent oversight in these sectors means that even minor infractions can lead to suspensions.

So, strictly follow Google’s guidelines. Ensure that every piece of information on your profile is accurate, avoid aggressive marketing language, and provide clear, honest descriptions of your services.

By steering clear of these common missteps, you can reduce the risk of your Google Business Profile being suspended. It’s about playing by the rules, maintaining accuracy, and engaging in best practices for local SEO.

10. Someone Reported Your Violations to Google

Your Google Business Profile (GBP) could be suspended if someone reports a violation through the “Suggest an Edit” feature. This tool allows users to flag inaccuracies or non-compliance with Google’s guidelines.

Someone Reported Your Violations to Google

A user’s report can lead to a review and potential suspension of your listing if Google verifies the violation. It’s a reminder of the need for constant vigilance and adherence to Google’s standards.

How to Fix a Suspended Google Business Profile?

Discovering your Google Business Profile has been suspended can be unsettling. But with the right approach, reinstatement is possible.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to navigate through the reinstatement process:

Step 1: Diagnose the Reason for Suspension

Before taking any action, understand why your profile was suspended. Review Google’s guidelines thoroughly to identify any potential violations or issues that could have led to the suspension.

Step 2: Make Necessary Corrections

Once you’ve identified the issue, promptly correct any inaccuracies or guideline violations in your profile. This may involve editing your business name and address, removing prohibited content, or ensuring your business complies with all local laws and regulations.

Step 3: Submit a Reinstatement Request

After making the necessary corrections, you can submit a reinstatement request through Google’s support page. Be prepared to provide a detailed explanation of the changes you’ve made, along with any supporting documentation.

Step 4: Respond to Additional Inquiries

Google may respond to your reinstatement request with additional questions. Provide clear and concise answers to any inquiries to demonstrate your commitment to compliance and transparency.

Step 5: Monitor Your Email and Google Business Profile Dashboard

Keep an eye on your email and Google Business Profile dashboard for updates from Google regarding your suspension. If your request is denied, Google will typically provide a reason, which can guide further corrective action.

Step 6: Avoid Repeated Violations

Once your profile is reinstated, it’s imperative to avoid future violations. Keep your business information up to date, adhere to Google’s guidelines, and monitor your profile regularly to prevent another suspension.

Step 7: Consider Professional Help

If you’re struggling with the reinstatement process or if your case is complex, consider seeking help from a professional who specializes in Google Business Profile issues. They can provide expert advice and support to navigate the process more effectively.

Reinstating a suspended Google Business Profile requires patience and attention to detail. By following these steps and maintaining a proactive approach to compliance, you can restore your business’s visibility and continue to harness the power of Google’s platform.

Conclusion

Having your Google Business Profile suspended can be a significant hurdle, but it’s not insurmountable. By understanding the common reasons for suspension and taking methodical steps towards resolution, you can often reinstate your profile and minimize disruption to your business.

Remember, the key to a swift recovery lies in a thorough review of Google’s guidelines, prompt correction of any issues, and clear communication during the reinstatement process.

Stay vigilant and stay compliant, and your Google Business Profile will continue to serve as a valuable asset in connecting with customers and growing your business.

Want to grow your business online and rank higher on Google with genuine reviews? DemandHub is here to help. Start your free trial today.

Frequently Asked Questions about Google Business Profile Suspensions

Why is my Google business account suspended?

Your Google Business account may be suspended for violations of Google’s guidelines, such as providing inaccurate information, engaging in fraudulent activity, or creating a harmful user experience.

How do I fix a suspended Google business account?

To fix a suspended account, review Google’s guidelines, correct any discrepancies in your business listing, and submit a reinstatement request through Google My Business support.

Can I appeal my suspension?

Yes, you can appeal a suspension by submitting a reinstatement request and providing a detailed explanation and evidence that supports your case.

What happens when Google suspends your account?

When your account is suspended, your business listing is either hidden or completely removed from Google Search and Maps, and you lose the ability to manage it.

Do suspended accounts get deleted?

Suspended accounts are not automatically deleted. They are either hidden from public view or removed from Google Maps and Search until the issues are resolved.

How long does a Google business suspension last?

The duration of a suspension can vary. It lasts until the issues leading to the suspension are resolved and Google reinstates the profile after a review of your reinstatement request.

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