Business Beware – what every business should know BEFORE creating a places page on Google

In my business, I more than occasionally deal with public relations and reputation management issues online.  In most cases, it’s a reasonably easy fix: identify the problem, engage in an SEO, social media and Adwords strategy, and Go!

 

However, when it comes to Google Places, its a whole different ball of wax.  Many business’ sign up because they want prominent presence for free on Google, and for most, that is a very good idea.  However, there are some business, due to the very nature of what they do, that will garner a disproportionate number of negative reviews, and for those business, I am sharing the following advice: think twice before opening a business page on Google.
I inquired on how to remove a Google places business page that had received bad reviews.
 Below is the conversation I had with Google this morning:
me
11:31 AM
so given the nature of the business – which is low income housing, probably better to never set up a google places account in the first place.
if the page is deleted, how will the comments be found?

Conner
11:31 AM
If the page is deleted, it’s still going to leave behind a system generated (organic) page that won’t be managed by anyone


me
11:34 AM
maybe just clarify, once a page is created, it can never go away. so a business should be very careful prior to creating a google places business page, as some business, by its very nature, will generate negative reviews that can not be removed once posted online

Conner
11:35 AM
Correct. Even if the page is deleted it will still show up on Maps with those reviews. The only way that a page is removed is if the location is marked as permanently closed, which will still take time to fall off of Maps completely

me
11:37 AM
when a business goes online, it has the option to simply focus on the website through organic and ppc, and never list it as a places page.
once it falls off… can it be reinstated? although one would probably not bother, given the bad reviews will no doubt start anew
again thanks, looking for clarity. it is very important to think about the business before opening up a places page. Awesome for a pet groomer but bad idea low income housing manager

Conner
11:38 AM
If the client does choose to have a Maps listing, then there is a chance that there will be negative reviews left, which aren’t usually removed.If the business does not want this, they can choose to create a brand page, which is essentially the same thing, but does not have reviews and isn’t connected to Maps: https://support.google.com/business/answer/4570248?hl=en

me
11:39 AM
great! so… delete or close the business on “maps” and request a brand page.

Conner
11:39 AM
You can go ahead and delete it, but those reviews are still going to stay. A brand page is just another option that I thought would be useful for you!

me
11:41 AM
but if we close the business so to speak, it falls off maps and disappears?
or… is it just a matter of deleting, adding a business page, and working forward with good content that will drive the bad reviews off the front page
chatsupport_bot.talk.google.com joined group chat.
Conner joined group chat.

Conner
11:42 AM
I wouldn’t recommend marking it as closed because it will show up as permanently closed on Maps. I would try and get some positive reviews to try and cancel out those negative ones


Conner
11:44 AM
I understand. The more positive reviews on the page, they higher the chance that those negative reviews are pushed further down

me
11:45 AM
…and if we delete the page, how will the reviews be found? through keyword google search? will it appear on the front page?
not mark closed, but delete
delete map and go with brand

Conner
11:45 AM
It’s still going to have all of the information there. Everything will still be associated with that page, including reviews

me
11:46 AM
thats tough. wonder how many business’ know what they are getting into when they sign up

Google Support
11:47 AM
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The takeaway from this conversation is that every business should consider the ramifications of putting themselves online BEFORE creating contact channels.  Some channels of engagement are more manageable than others, and if you are not prepared for long-lasting reviews online, I recommend you think twice about Google Places as an option.
Jodi
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