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Google Places, closed or relocated, but still have online store

     
2:10 am on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Hello,

We closed our bricks and mortar store a few months ago and had a listing in google places. The physical address is also listed all over the net on directories.

Recently Googled marked the listing as (when it comes up in maps search)
This place has closed or relocated.

This would confuse our customers as we still have our online store.
What can we do about this? I have read that you can delete the listing in your google places admin area. but it is showing up as not validated (it was before)

I don't want any of my actions to harm our organic seo, what can I do?
Thanks
11:54 am on Feb 10, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Have you got another physical address, such as your Head Office? Could you re-verify the business with this address?
10:14 am on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the reply.

Its a home address (private) I didn't want customers to see our home address or think they can turn up here?
12:29 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I can understand your point. If you have an accountant, you could perhaps use their address. You could also set up the business description to says "Administrative Office Only - no customers" or something like this.
7:05 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately, you can't keep a Google Places listing if your business is no longer considered "customer facing"

To get it removed, navigate to your business address via Google Maps, click on Report a Problem, select the option "Permanently Closed" and add a brief comment to explain the situation.
8:43 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Just to confirm with adder, I had a client who had an office but she was only available at limited times, because she was often out seeing clients in the field.

They made her close up her google places listing because she didn't have regular hours when people could come in without an appointment.
10:08 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I did not know that - Adder & Planet13, thanks for clarifying.
10:20 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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If I get them to remove it adder.... wouldn't It will still show up in local searches as 'permanently closed'?

I wold assume this would happen as our old business address is still plastered over the internet on directories and the likes.

Or will they remove it completely?
10:58 pm on Feb 11, 2014 (gmt 0)

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i tried clicking on 'report a problem' and 'the link 'not true' shown after the text 'this place has closed or relocated'

on both links i get 'this page won't load we have tried everything' ?
12:18 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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adammc, once it's removed, it shouldn't show up in local searches. The system isn't updated as regularly as you may think. It often takes weeks or months (depending on the location) to see the updates.

Sounds like a glitch. Have you tried reporting it via this form?
[support.google.com...]
4:10 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Its a home address (private) I didn't want customers to see our home address or think they can turn up here?

If that's the case, then I would not mark the listing as closed. You should have access to the listing, so I would go ahead and updated your listing to your home address. Then click on the "we don't serve customers here" in the Google settings. That way your home address will not show up in your public-facing listing.

If you mark it as closed, then you could do more harm than good. I would just update the address.

Another way to deal with it would be to leave the address there (assuming that your mail would still be forwarded to your home address) and then click on the "we don't serve customers here" setting so that the address doesn't show up on the listing.
5:11 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Assuming you are in the U.S.:

Find a private mailbox service near you that's a mom and pop shop. Typically, a small, non-chain, shipping service in a strip mall. They will charge something fairly nominal ($10-$50/month) for the service.

Find one that will give you a street address with a suite number that validates with the USPS. They are somewhat hard to find, but you should be able to find several in a large city.

Stay away from larger services (UPS Store, for example), where Google has figured out that they aren't "real addresses".

Then update your listing with the new address. Spring for a separate telephone number to go with it...VOIP is cheap.
7:13 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Mmm, I'm seeing a lot of information here that can lead you down the wrong path.

First, absolutely DO NOT go get a UPS mailbox, P.O. box or anything of the sorts, this is a direct violation of Google's Places Guidelines and will just cause you more grief.

Secondly, only businesses that make in-person contact, whether at a their location or as a service area business, such as plumbers, are eligible for a Google Places listing. So basically, your online store is not eligible for this at all at this point.

Thirdly, because of this, you now have to be very mindful of Google RERs (regional expert reviewers) who are basically self appointed vigilantes that cannot wait for a chance to delete spam or fraudulent listings.

Focus on your organic ranking and you'll be okay.
7:57 pm on Feb 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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First, absolutely DO NOT go get a UPS mailbox, P.O. box or anything of the sorts, this is a direct violation of Google's Places Guidelines and will just cause you more grief.


In this situation, the listing is already borked because, ironically, Google doesn't offer real support for this product that requires a real physical location :)

Temporarily breaking their TOS in order to make the listing editable, removable, etc, is a situation they created.

cannot wait for a chance to delete spam or fraudulent listings


The OP is trying to get it removed...so that wouldn't be so terrible.
9:22 pm on Feb 15, 2014 (gmt 0)

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isn't there a way to change the listing from a google places to a google PROFILE (or some other form for virtual storefronts)?
10:15 am on Feb 16, 2014 (gmt 0)

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thanks so much for the advice everyone.

I bit the bullet and called google places support on the phone and got VERY lucky !

As we offer the very 'occasional' local pickup option for customers, the google staff member recommended that we re-activate your listing and just hide the address. BONUS!

Couldn't be happier :)