If your Google business profile has recently been suspended, you will naturally be wondering why. What kind of thing happens to lead to this outcome? Well, the truth is, there are a handful of clear reasons why Google may pull the plug and suspend you. That is why it’s vital to follow the rules and read the small print. Having to start from the beginning is less than ideal, so here are some common reasons that lead to suspension and how to avoid them.
The Industry is Considered High Risk
Google ranks businesses in many ways, and one of which is how much of a risk the industry is considered to be. These categories, and there are a few, are the most likely to create spam profiles, fake posts, manipulated reviews, and other things that break the guidelines. If you have a role in any of the following areas, keep an eye on your activity because Google definitely will be.
- Real Estate
- Law Offices
- Pest Control
- Insurance Companies
- Rehabilitation Facilities
These are the main ones to watch out for. While there are thousands of legitimate businesses within these categories, these are also deemed to be popular, common services, and that makes them the perfect trap for fraudsters looking to swindle people out of money and time. This means, you have to play by the rules and remain on the ball in order to retain access and live status of your profile.
Your Location Doesn’t Add Up
Google has strict rules when it comes to business location. If you are operating from a virtual address, you cannot have a business profile on Google. The guidelines on this point are non-negotiable. That means anyone who has a business run through a postal office or similar trying to represent themselves on this platform will be suspended. Instead, these profiles are built for people with office spaces that clients can visit, or those who go out to their customer’s homes instead.
What About Virtual Business Addresses?
This is a tricky one. Virtual business addresses are a completely legitimate thing; however, you may still run into some problems with Google if you use one. The main reason behind this is that this style of address is typically used for mail purposes and not much else, which calls into question the validity of it being listed on a Google business profile, because people can’t visit you there.
What About Co-Working Spaces?
There is a similar issue with co-working spaces. While a popular method for office staff and businesses everywhere, they are still not technically a dedicated place of business. Therefore, they don’t technically count as a listable address. This is because multiple companies may use this address, so it gets a little confusing for customers. There are some exceptions to this:
- If you have a lease and an office that you call your own.
- If your business has some affiliation; for instance, a sign outside that points to the fact you operate within.
- A strong percentage of employees actually work here during the workday.
Other Address Concerns
There is also the list of businesses that are run from a home address. The same rule applies here; if you don’t want or are not able to facilitate client attendance (which, let’s face it most home offices can’t/won’t do) then you can’t have it as a listing on your business profile. Not just this, but it also puts your home at risk too. Service Area Businesses, for example, are a big perpetrator in this area but Google does have the option of hiding your address, and if you want your profile to stay active you have to take it.
Two Businesses: One Address
While many of these issues concern address issues, it is because these are where Google’s strictest rules come into action. So, if you are running two businesses from the same address, be prepared to have one or both of your accounts suspended. Google does not allow you to list multiple businesses at a singular address, because it violates their guidelines. One of the easiest ways to get around this technicality is by selecting multiple categories and listing them under one business so your address can stay visible if that’s what you need.
Falling into the Keyword Spam Trap
Keywords are a great, vital component of a solid SEO strategy. However, there is an upper limit of what Google will accept. If you are seen to be keyword spamming, i.e., shoving them in anywhere and everywhere, you will be called out on this. Google will suspend your profile, especially if your business name is filled with keyword spam as well. Keywords have a time and a place, and they are invaluable when it comes to creating impactful leads and meaningful content, but they can’t just be used free rein. To stay up and running, your business name has to be represented authentically. What this means is listing your company with its actual name, not buzzwords that you hope will bring in more people (because it doesn’t). Anything deemed as unnecessary will be an immediate red flag for Google.
You Operate Solely Online
Online businesses that send products out to people, or provide video-style input, are not eligible to list their address on their business profile because they don’t have one, technically. Even though you obviously operate from somewhere, it doesn’t count in the eyes of Google because you provide everything you have to offer virtually. So, clients reach you through email or inquiry forms, or maybe even phone call formats, but they don’t visit you at an office. The whole point of a business profile on Google is that they are a way for primarily small businesses to reach local customers; if you’re not doing that, you can’t justify keeping your profile up and running.
There are lots of reasons why Google would shut down a business profile. There are a lot of guidelines and rules about who can and cannot set one up, so before you do and invest too heavily in the process, make sure your business is eligible for this service.