Google My Business Troubleshooting: Someone Else Claimed My Listing
Continually optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) listing is the best way to ensure you’re presenting your business in the best possible light and reaching your local market. From uploading high-quality photos and videos to monitoring your listing’s Q&A section, there are many important tasks to complete to keep your GMB profile up to date – we outline them all and continuously update with new features in this GMB checklist!.
Of course, before you can actually start making improvements to your listing, you have to make sure that you’ve claimed ownership of your business and have full control of your listing. Discovering that someone else has already claimed your listing can be stressful, but this guide will help you do some troubleshooting to reclaim ownership of your business.
How Do I Know If Someone Has Claimed My Listing?
Open up Google and search the name of your business. Take a look at the listing in the Knowledge Panel – the block of business information you find on the right side of the screen in the search results. Click the “Own This Business?” option to begin the process of claiming your listing.
If the listing has been claimed, you’ll see a message telling you that the listing has been verified, as well as a link to request access.
How to Restore Access
Before beginning the request process, verify that the business address and phone number are correct, and if they’re not, use the “Suggest An Edit” feature to update the profile.
Note: The following directions for restoring access apply to storefront (brick-and-mortar) businesses, which applies to the majority of GMB listings that have a physical address associated with the business. For information on how to reclaim access to a listing for a service area business (a business that visits or delivers to customers directly, but doesn’t serve customers at a business address), visit Google My Business Help.
To claim access, click “Request Access” and fill out the form with your contact information as well as what level of access you would like and your relationship to the business.
There are three user access levels for your GMB listing:
- Owner (Primary Owner): Although a listing can have multiple owners, there can only be one primary owner. This person has complete control of the listing and cannot be removed from the listing unless they transfer ownership to another owner. The primary owner should be the person who owns the business.
- Managers: Managers have the same capabilities as the owner, but they cannot remove the business profile and they cannot add or remove users.
- Site Managers: Site managers have even less access to a listing than managers. They cannot edit the business description, add or edit logos and services, or use messaging. However, they can be upgraded to a manager with permission from an owner.
Pro tip: If you are the primary owner of your business, be sure to request ownership at the appropriate level of access when filling out the form.
After you request ownership, whoever currently owns the listing will be notified by Google and they have three to seven days to respond. In the meantime, you can check the status of your request by signing into GMB or clicking the link provided in your change request confirmation email from Google.
What Do I Do If My Request Was Denied?
You’ll know your request was denied if you receive an email that states “Your request to access [Business Name] on Google My Business was rejected.” Don’t panic! At the bottom of the email, you’ll see an option to appeal the decision, which prompts you to follow steps to verify the listing and claim control of it. The verification process will occur via phone or postcard. You may have to provide additional information to prove you are the owner of the business.
If the original owner of your listing does not grant you access, but you gain access during the appeal process, anything added by the previous owner will not transfer with the listing – this includes items like review responses, so make sure to respond to those reviews once you gain access and take other necessary steps to optimize the listing.
Finally, if you can’t appeal the decision (for example, if you don’t see an appeal link in the email), try to get in touch with Google Support in other ways. You can explain your situation and ask for advice on the Community Forum or reach out via Twitter or Facebook. Other methods are to have Google call you or have Google Support contact you.
Seeing that someone else has already claimed your GMB listing is certainly a stressful situation, but fortunately, the access request process is straightforward and fairly quick. Once you get access to your listing, you’ll want to make it the best it can be. Learn about optimizing your profile and ways to maximize your listing for sales.