I was reviewing today a local business listing on Google Maps, and noticed that it was flagged as closed. That struck me, as obviously the business is up and running as usual. I panicked for a second (to be honest I was looking for a place to take my date), but then my inner curiosity kicked in and I wanted to dig further.
After a bit of research around and many other casualties randomly complaining the same happening to them, I found out that this can happen on 3 occasions:
When the business itself suggests that has closed (not the case) activity: This is self-explanatory and we shouldn’t be worried. Plenty of more bars in the city.
When you edit your listing: Sometimes if you edit your business address/name, the algorithm will mark the old location as closed and it will show up on the new location too.
You (or someone else) can manually pick your listing and flag it as closed. Now, this last one is scary.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to know if it was a malicious competitor who flagged your listing closed or someone else did it by editing it (agency, consultant, employee…). One of the last examples as to how loose the whole policy of Google Maps is when it comes to user contribution, is the android peeing on apple image added by a user on Google Maps.
However, there are 3 ways of fixing our problem (at least):
Go to MapMaker and approve the edit to re-open listing. This can take several approvals before that tag gets removed. The beauty of this tool it allows you also to be notified when there are changes to listings in your area (defined by filters)
2. Go to https://productforums.google.com and post your re-opening request to one of the moderators
3. Click on the listing that is flagged as closed, and at the bottom click on “Suggest an edit”
After that, you’ll have to change it from Yes to No:
It surely is not only unpleasant, but it can cause your business quite a big headache. We should check our/client’s listings regularly as part of our due diligence. This will ensure that we are alerted timely whenever this happens in the future.