Your Google Business Profile is an important part of your local SEO strategy. It helps you reach new clients, boost engagement via videos and posts, and answer questions. But, obviously, if your Google Business Profile is suspended, you will not get any of those benefits.
The good news is that fixing a suspended profile is usually fairly straightforward. This guide will help you quickly get your Google Business Profile back up and running.
How to Fix a Suspended Google Business Profile
No business owner wants to see their Google Business Profile suspended, but it can happen.
It’s important to note that Google reduced its team during the pandemic and has not increased it back to the previous point yet. As such, Google warns that reaching support and getting a resolution can take longer than normal. So, if you see that your profile has been suspended, you’ll want to act quickly so that you can resolve the issue in a timely manner.
The following steps will allow you to submit your Google Business Profile reinstatement request. While it’s not a guarantee, submitting this request may help eliminate your account suspension so that you can continue with Google Business Profile posts and other content.
Step 1: Look at the guidelines for business profiles.
The first step you take when you have a suspended profile should be to review Google’s guidelines. This will help give you an idea of why your account was suspended.
The most important general guidelines are that your profile:
- Does not include any prohibited content
- Complies with Google’s policies
- Accurately reflects your business
For more detail, Google offers the following strong suggestions for all businesses:
- Accurately represent your business as it appears across branding, including stationery and signage.
- Accurately and precisely list your physical address or service area.
- When choosing categories to describe your business, select as few as possible to be accurate.
- Only create a single profile for your business—Google does not support duplicate profiles for the same business.
- You cannot create a Google Business Profile if you are an artist, organization, brand, or online-only business.
You also cannot display any confidential or private information, such as:
- Contact information
- Transcripts with personal information
- Personal financial information
- Government-issued IDs
Confirm your business is eligible
As you look at the guidelines, pay particular attention to the eligibility requirements. To be eligible, your company must make contact in-person with customers during your hours.
There are a few exceptions, though. Virtual kitchens with delivery-only meals are allowed. There are also allowances for express mail drop boxes, video-rental kiosks, and ATMs. Seasonal businesses are also eligible, as long as you have permanent year-round signage.
Rental properties or properties for sale are NOT eligible, but leasing or sales offices are. Lead generation companies are also NOT eligible, and neither are ongoing meetings, services, or classes at locations you don’t have the authority to represent.
Highlights of guidelines for specific fields
As you create your business profile, you will enter your company name, address, description, and other details. Each of these fields has its own guidelines. The following list highlights a few important things to note about these fields:
- Business description: It cannot be misleading, have links, or include inappropriate or offensive content.
- Name: Your business name should be the same as it is in the real world. Do not add unnecessary information to the name such as a tagline, store code, or trademark symbol.
- Address: The address must only be the physical business address, not a digital one. It must be accurate to your company’s real-world location, not a virtual office, virtual address, or co-working space address.
- Hours: Businesses with flexible or variable hours shouldn’t list their business hours. This includes schools, hotels, movie theaters, airports, natural features, and event venues.
- Categories: Choose as few categories as you can while being accurate. Categories are NOT keywords. Choose categories that fill in the following blank, “this business is a ___.” Do not simply list services via categories.
Step 2: Edit your profile to match the guidelines.
After the previous step, you hopefully have a good idea of why a suspension occurred. You may also see a message from Google that says something like “this location has been suspended due to quality issues.” A message like this lets you know the exact issue so you can correct it. Unfortunately, Google is not able to give businesses-specific reasons for suspensions.
It is also smart to look over everything on your business profile to look for potential problems when editing after a suspension. This might help you avoid future issues.
If you don’t remember how to edit your Google Business Profile, use the following steps as guidance.
Via your profile manager (Computer only)
- Log in to the Business Profile Manager.
- Select “Info” on the left menu.
- Make edits, selecting “Apply” after changing each attribute.
- Remove any sections by selecting “Remove x.”
- You will see the status of the edited information change to “Under review.”
Via Google Search (Computer or mobile)
- Log in to your company’s Google business account.
- Navigate to your company’s profile page. (You can search for your business name in the search bar or type in “my business.”)
- Open your company’s profile.
- Choose “Edit Profile.”
- Choose “Business information.”
- Select “Save” after every change you make.
Via Google Maps (Mobile only)
- Open Google Maps.
- Log in to the appropriate Google account.
- Select the profile picture in the top right corner.
- Select “Your Business Profile.”
- Choose “Edit profile.”
- Choose a suitable option for your changes.
Step 3: Wait for Google to review your changes.
You may have to wait for Google to review the changes you made to your profile. This is part of Google’s standard policy to ensure that everything meets its guidelines.
Step 4: Fill out the reinstatement request form.
Once your profile meets the guidelines, you can fill out the reinstatement form. Do not submit multiple forms.
Step 5: Wait three business days.
Google reviews, investigates, and resolves most requests within three business days. If you don’t get a response within that time, you can respond to the email from Google. They will investigate for you.
Step 6: Appeal if your reinstatement request is denied.
Sometimes, you may have your Google Business Profile suspended due to quality issues or another concern, then have your reinstatement request denied. When this happens, you can appeal.
In this case, you will receive an email from Google. Contact Google with a response to that email. Include photos of the front of your store and a summary of your company’s operations. This helps Google confirm that it is a legitimate business.
The Impact of a Suspended Google Business Profile
Receiving a Google Business Profile suspension notice is bad news for your company, which is why you want to resolve it as soon as possible. However, there is a small silver lining.
- Google has a simple process for reinstating your suspension.
- You can easily edit your profile to meet guidelines from your smartphone, tablet, or computer.
- All of the information, photos, and posts you already made on your suspended profile are paused. You do not have to reenter them on your Google Business Profile.
- When your profile is suspended, people can’t see your Google Business Profile products or posts.
- Not having an active profile reduces your local citations, hurting your local SEO efforts.
Having your Google Business Profile suspended can be stressful, as it is likely an important part of your local SEO efforts. Luckily, it is a pretty straightforward process to correct your profile and submit the reinstatement form. From there, Google typically resolves your issue within three business days.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice or a comprehensive summary of the law. You are encouraged to retain your own legal counsel to review this article and assess your unique business scenario.