As an SEO company in Los Angeles, we know how frustrating unexpected changes in your Google Business Profile can be. After all, they’re super important for your search engine rankings—anything false or misleading can really drive you down.
In this article, we’ll explain the various reasons changes were made on your profile and what you can do to stop them, fix them, and prevent them from happening again.
1. User Suggestions
These are the most common reasons your business profile has been modified. Google welcomes suggestions from searchers and customers and has ways for them to edit a Google Business Profile.
This feature is pretty handy for users who want to make helpful suggestions. They could have visited your store and saw that you had different store hours, moved to a different address, or offered products and services not listed on your profile. So, instead of keeping the info outdated, they decided to help out and update your info for you.
It’s also handy when you’re researching your competitors. If you notice, for example, that a competitor is stuffing their business name with keywords, thereby increasing their ranks on search engines, then you can suggest an edit and have Google correct it. The playing field is even once more.
On the other hand, though, some people could suggest edits to get your profile suspended or even deleted. I’ve seen this happen before when a local restaurant in my area endorsed a controversial political candidate and got huge flak for it from the opposition, prompting them to edit their profile with false information.
User-generated suggestions can’t be stopped, so it’s important to be proactive and keep watch on your profile.
2. Outside Sources
Sometimes Google updates your Business Profile based on what other websites say.
For example, your profile states that your business is a Filipino restaurant that serves traditional Filipino foods with pescatarian and vegetarian options. However, you’ve since stopped selling vegetarian dishes and are now looking to change the little tidbit of info found on your profile.
Source: Google Search
Now, this isn’t something you write yourself—Google writes this according to what’s on your website and what other websites say about you. So, while your website is updated, your other local profiles might not be, and Google could cite those sites instead of yours. This leads to incorrect information on your profile.
So, it’s important to keep your local listings like Yelp and Foursquare updated too.
3. Third-Party Tools
When you’re first setting up your Google Business Profile, you need to take great care in not installing any of their tools to your website or allowing them to make changes to your profile. A lot of times these tools can make unwanted changes without your knowledge!
For example, you could be a Service Area Business (SAB). If you didn’t know already, SABs aren’t allowed to list down a physical address for safety reasons. So, if your website mentions an address you serviced recently, the tool can look at it and think it’s your physical address, add it to your Google Business Profile, and unintentionally get it suspended.
To check what tools and apps have access to your Google Accounts, start by logging into your account and looking at your permissions. Then, click through all your apps and services to check how much access they have to your profile. Decide which tools to keep granting access to.
Try and do this once a month at the very least.
4. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) in Google Business Profiles is a fairly recent development, and Google expects to update information on millions of businesses within the next six months. So, keep a watchful eye on your profile and makes sure nothing changes, especially your store hours!
Google will be using various sources like other competitors’ hours, user-generated suggestions, and your storefront signs as seen on Google Maps to change your hours and other store information.
Source: Google Maps
Sudden changes to your business profile can be annoying, but luckily Google sends you updates whenever changes occur (most of the time). They also give you a short time frame to accept or reject. You need to catch up on your emails, log into your Google Account, and keep track of these changes as they happen to prevent misinformation, suspension, or deletion on your profile.
Your Google Business Profile is one of the most valuable assets to your local SEO, and it’s important to keep it protected and updated. In fact, we offer to update your profile as part of our SEO services in Los Angeles. If you’re interested in having us help you, then feel free to contact us at (310)341-3939 or firstname.lastname@example.org.