Without warning Google My Business has decided that my home based business is not worthy of being published on Google Places/Maps. As they have come out with new guidelines their team has decided that if you don’t meet all of there necessary requirements then your business will be deleted. This happened to us. By The Byte has been removed. And why you ask? Well, that is what I’m having trouble figuring out. Although the business has been in operation for more than 15 years, its been operating within Bradford West Gwillimbury for more than 10 of them. So let’s have a look at what they want and see if we meet their wants list:
In order to qualify for a Google My Business listing, a business must make in-person contact with customers during its stated hours.
(we show our operating hours as 24/7. Although we really don’t want someone showing up at our door in the wee hours of the morning etc, we show this as we are open for people and business during this time. We understand that emergencies happen and can happen at any time. We understand the SOHO business structure and the owner/operators of these companies burn the candle at both ends. Google My Business on the other hand thinks because we are home based, the 24/7 rule doesn’t apply. Not sure who makes this decision or if this is the reason for the removal. Maybe they would prefer we list 9-5 and an emergency call out option. Sadly if we operate 24/7 then why lie?)
There are some exceptions:
- ATMs, video-rental kiosks and express mail drop-boxes are permitted. If you add these locations, then you must include contact information for customers to get help.
- Seasonal businesses (like an ice-skating rink only open in winter months) are eligible as long as they display permanent signage year-round at the location.
Now for the unwanted business Guidelines:
The following businesses aren’t eligible for a business listing:
- Businesses that are under construction or that have not yet opened to the public. (Doesn’t apply to us)
- Rental or for-sale properties, such as holiday homes, show homes or vacant apartments. Sales or leasing offices, however, are eligible for verification.(Doesn’t apply to us)
- An ongoing service, class or meeting at a location that you don’t own or have the authority to represent. (I’m not sure about this one, what do they mean an ongoing service? I own the location, its my house, I meet people/clients there and do not hide my address *Confused*)
So I reached out to Google my business and here is their response:
Thanks for letting us know about getting your By The Byte business information up on Google Maps.
We’ve looked at your account and it looks like your business is not eligible for display on Google Maps as per our quality guidelines.
Check out our quality guidelines at this link to see what types of businesses we’re looking for on Google Maps.
While we understand that this can be frustrating, we want to make sure that your business identity is accurately represented on Google, which ultimately helps improve how real users and potential customers interact with your business in the online world.
That being said, we’re happy to pass along feedback for you so that our product team is aware that your particular business type may be considered to be eligible to appear on Maps in the future.
If you have any questions about this information, feel free to respond to this email – we’re happy to help clarify!
Have a great day ahead.
Okay Daman of Google My Business, instead of the canned response, how about you tell me where we fail in passing as a business worthy of you including us on your Maps. The only thing I can think of is that we are Home based. If Google My Business is going to pull all SOHO (Small Office Home Office) companies from their MAPS, then this will have a very big impact on our economy. Now when someone searches for a plumber or a cleaning service, unless you have a store front where you meet clients and you own the building/office you will be excluded. So pony up that 2-3 thousand dollars a month for an office so Google can include you on Google Maps. Not every business needs a bricks and mortar location, we are one of them, so why are we excluded. Don’t we count? We have all our services with Google including G-Suite, Drive back-ups etc. We pay for this service. I use to like Google and for the most part still do. But they are forgetting their roots. Do they remember starting off in a Garage? Have they forgotten the struggle some SOHO businesses go through to meet month end? Not all of us can afford offices outside of our homes. If we decided to move to a store front, then up go our rates. We don’t want to sell inventory, we only sell what we need to purchase for a client. We sell on a needs basis.
So we responded to Google My Business:
That’s just it, I’ve looked at the guidelines and can’t figure out why I was targeted for removal. I run a home based business and have clients come to my house. I list my address and do not hide behind an online only business.
Thank you for your response.
We understand that the business has been in operation for a long time, however, we need a store front picture for the business, where the name of the business is mentioned,if you allow customer walk ins at your location during the mentioned business hours.
If you do not allow customers at your location , then kindly follow the below mentioned steps in order to hide your address off Google Maps and convert your business into a service area business :
- Log in to Google My Business and choose the page you’d like to manage.
- Click Edit info.
- Click Address.
- Beneath your address information, select the checkbox for I deliver goods and services to my customers at their locations.
- Set service areas based on the zip codes or cities that you serve, or on a given area around your location.
- Un-check box for I serve customers at my business address
Only after you have made the changes, we would be able to proceed further with getting the concern resolved for you.
If you have any further concerns, feel free to revert to the same email so that we could look into the matter and try to get it resolved for you as early as possible.
Have a great day ahead.
This issue has finally been resolved. Turns out I had to remove my address from being seen on Google My Business Maps. So although my business is now visible again, it doesn’t pin point the business as I work out of my home. Glad to be back online! So if you have this issue and can’t figure out how to get back, hide your address.