July 4, 2017

Merge Google+ Brand and Local Pages – and Transfer Business Reviews Between Listings!

The transition from Google Places or Maps listings to Google Local has not been smooth. At times, it has been downright messy and destructive. Businesses that started using Google+ when it was launched usually set up non-local business or Brand pages, because there were no Google+ Local pages back then. When Google converted all of the old Places/Maps listings to G+ Local, those people ended up with both a non-local and a local page that could not be merged. If you already had a good following and lots of content posted on the Brand page, this meant that important things like reviews of your business may not have been appearing on the Google+ Page you actually use. Some users might find your reviews but not have the opportunity to follow you where you are active. Or they may just see the brand page and miss all of your awesome reviews.
When you have more that one of these listings, it can also cause problems that can hinder your local SEO efforts.

Merge Google Places and Local Google Maps ListingsNow, you can finally attach your reviews, business hours and other good stuff from that Google+ Local page to your “real” business Brand page. If you are suffering from a G+ identity crisis where you have both a Local page and a non-local Brand page, follow these instructions that will hopefully end the confusion and merge wayward Places and Google+ business listings.

This will transfer your business info (hours, contact info, etc) and reviews to your business’ Brand page. The instructions may lead you to believe that the posts and followers from the soon to be obsolete local page will be transferred, but they are not.

Need to merge two Google+ Local pages?

There is good news for you, too. This one has not really been publicized as widely as the ability to turn your Brand page into a Local page, but should come as a welcome relief to anyone who somehow ended up with more than one Google+ Local listing. For example, you set up a Google+ Local page for your business. You also signed up for a local search marketing plan which included a Google Places (or Local) page. Or Google just failed to recognize that the Places page they automatically generated for your business should have been matched up with the Local page you created. Whatever the cause, you now have two or more Google+ Local pages for your business, the one you want to keep is not the one with the reviews, and  you want to keep those reviews. The Review Transfer Request form found here is what you need.

transfer Google reviews
Responses to this have been surprisingly fast, but your mileage may vary.

Google Places Listings You Do Not Control

Some people have even worse complications. For example, that local SEO plan you signed up for created an extra listing and they won’t release ownership of it to you. Or maybe someone else inside or outside of your organization claimed the listing but you can’t get them to turn it over to you for some reason. If this sounds like you, try this:

  1. Go to the “About” tab of Google+ Local listing you want to claim.
  2. In the Contact Information section, click on “Edit details”
  3. You will be taken to a Map Maker page that should look like this:
    claim google places listing
  4. Click on “Manage Your Page” under “Is This Your Business”

You will then be taken to a page that will ask for details like contact info. Sending that will start the process of taking control of that rogue listing. This procedure has not been as reliable or productive as the Review Transfer or the Brand to Local conversion, but it does eventually get some attention from the Places team.

Bonus: One more easy option for Adwords users

Last but not least, if you are a Google Adwords advertiser, a phone call to Adwords support can straighten out the most complex problems. Traditionally, people working in one part of Google could not or would not assist users with problems with a different Google product. But that has been changing for the better, probably because many of Google’s products now share features. Since Local listings are often linked to Adwords or Adwords Express ads, your Adwords rep will often be able to get your Local pages fixed up right away – even when you or your SEO company can not. For some, the ability to work around the usual obstacles and confusion of the Local/Places infrastructure and support system makes it well worth paying for Adwords to get VIP treatment.
(Thanks to John who pointed out this easy way he got Adwords support to fix the Google+ Local page for Happel Laser & Vein Centre)

Do you have a different Google+ Local or Google Places problem that doesn’t quite fit the above scenarios?
Leave a comment here or on Ker Communications’ Google+. Maybe we can help.