IN THIS ARTICLE:

    Whether you discovered a duplicate Google profile or your business is closing, there’s a proper procedure to follow to remove a Google Business or Maps listing. Following the appropriate process will prevent confusion for your customers and help you avoid penalties from Google.

    But deleting a listing isn’t always the quick fix you might think it is. In this article, I’ll cover when you should and shouldn’t remove a listing, how to remove users from your account, take your business off Google Maps, and merge two duplicate profiles.

    When To Remove a Google Business Listing

    Deleting a Google Business list isn’t like deactivating a social media account or deleting your information from a regular industry directory. Google wants Business Profiles to be trusted, reliable, and accurate sources of information about local companies, which is why it takes so much work to claim and verify a listing.

    Deleting and remaking a listing when it isn’t warranted is a flag of suspicious activity to Google, so there are only a few instances where it’s appropriate to completely delete a listing.

    • Your business is closing permanently. If your business is shutting its doors, you may either remove the listing from Google or mark it as ‘permanently closed’ instead of deleting its knowledge panel. A permanently closed listing will still appear in search results and display basic contact details, but you’ll no longer be able to edit information or reclaim the listing if you reopen.
    • The listing is either a duplicate or someone made it in error. For more, see the section below: How to Merge Duplicate Listings.
    • Your business is removing all in-person services. Google only allows Business Profiles for companies that serve customers at physical storefronts or operate within a designated service area. If your company is switching to an online-only service model, you must delete your listing.
    • Your business is undergoing a significant operations change, like merging with another company or changing industries. If your entire business model is shifting, another company is acquiring you, or there are fundamental changes to your industry, services, or products, Google experts say it’s ok to delete a listing and create a new one. That said, a simple rebrand doesn’t require a new listing.

    Why You Shouldn’t Remove a Google Business Listing

    Inappropriately removing a Google Business Listing is a guaranteed way to cause headaches in the future.

    Don’t delete your listing just to purge negative reviews or quickly remove incorrect contact details. Don’t delete your listing to remove a former employee’s account access, either. Unless your company is closing permanently or undergoing a major change to its fundamental services or operations, there’s no need to delete your listing.

    Instead of deleting, here’s what to do:

    If you want to…Do this:
    Mark your business as temporarily closed (even if you don’t know when it will reopen)Log into your account, click ‘Edit profile’ > ‘Business information,’ select the ‘Hours’ tab, check ‘Temporarily closed’, and ‘Save.’

    Note that Google defines temporary closure as being at least seven days. Set special hours if you’re closing for six days or fewer.
    Transfer ownership of the account or remove a user’s accessSee below: How To Remove a User or Transfer Ownership of a Google Business Profile
    Fix inaccurate or outdated information (such as your address or contact details)Log into your account, click ‘Edit profile’ > ‘Business information,’ and update any incorrect info under each tab. Finally, hit ‘Save.’

    Updates may take a few hours or days to appear in your knowledge panel.
    Remove negative customer reviewsIf the reviews are spammy, inappropriate, or offensive, follow Google’s official guide to deleting reviews. If the reviews aren’t eligible for removal, make sure to respond to them in a thoughtful way.
    Lift a suspensionRemaking a suspended account instead of addressing the penalties that led to a suspension will lead to more penalties. Instead, here’s how to lift a Google suspension and keep your profile intact.

    How To Delete a Google Business Listing

    If you’ve determined that your situation warrants deleting your listing, you’ll want to mark your business as permanently closed. 

    Make sure you’re logged into the primary account associated with your Google Business Profile and google your business name.

    GBP dashboard in Search to show How To Delete a Google Business Listing
    1. Click ‘Edit profile.’

    2. Navigate to the ‘Hours’ tab and click the pencil icon next to ‘Hours.’

    screenshot of hours tab for how to delete a google business profile

    Select the button next to ‘Permanently closed’ and click ‘Save.’

    select permanently closed to delete a google profile

    Your listing may continue to appear in search results — there is no way to completely remove it. However, searchers will now see that your business is closed.

    How To Remove a User or Transfer Ownership of a Google Business Profile

    Google Business Profiles come in three different user account access levels: primary owners, owners, and managers. A profile can have multiple owners and managers but only one primary owner.

    Only owner and primary owner accounts can add or remove other users. Only primary owners can transfer primary ownership to another. If you need to request ownership access, follow this guide from Google or ask another owner to upgrade your account.

    To remove a user from a Google Business Profile:

    1. Google for your business name to edit your GBP from Search.
    2. Click the three dots on the top right, and select ‘Business Profile settings.’
    google business profile dashboard in serps; select business profile settings
    1. Click ‘Managers
    Select managers from list
    1. Select the name of the person you’re removing, then click the ‘Remove manager’ option.
    2. Double-check you’ve removed the correct account, then hit ‘Save.’

    To transfer primary ownership of a Google Business Profile:

    1. Google for your business name to edit your GBP from Search.
    2. Click the three dots on the top right, and select ‘Business Profile settings.’
    3. Click ‘Managers.’
    4. Click on the name of the person to whom you’re granting ownership. Change the user’s role to ‘Primary owner.’
    5. Finally, click ‘Save.’ You will lose primary ownership access after this point.

    How To Remove Your Google Business Listing From Google Maps

    You can remove a Google Business Profile from appearing in Google Maps results if it isn’t eligible to show on Maps, is a duplicate listing, or was otherwise made in error.

    To delete your business from Google Maps, follow the steps I outlined above to permanently mark your business closed or skip to the section on merging duplicates. You can also request removals if you’re logged out by following these steps:

    1. Navigate to the Google Maps listing you want to remove.
    2. Click ‘Suggest an edit’ underneath the contact information in the business’s knowledge panel.
    3. Select ‘Close or remove.’ Follow the on-screen instructions that pop up. It may take a few hours or days for the removal to process.

    How To Merge Duplicate Listings

    If you notice a duplicate listing exists for your company, you can merge it with your primary listing or remove it entirely. I recommend combining listings if you have reviews on each that you’d like to keep. But if the duplicate listing is empty, feel free to delete it.

    The process for cleaning up duplicates depends on the precise action you wish to take and if you have account access to the extra listing.

    If you want to merge two listings, regardless of who owns each account:

    1. On Google Maps, select the duplicate listing.
    2. Click ‘Suggest an edit’ in the knowledge panel under the contact details.
    click "suggest an edit" on a google business profile to merge a duplicate google business profile
    1. Click ‘Close or remove.’
    select close or remove
    1. Select ‘Duplicate of another place’ from the list of options.
    select duplicate of another place
    1. When asked if you know the right location, choose the correct address. 
    select address and hit submite
    1. Hit ‘Submit.’ Changes will take a few days to appear. If your reviews don’t carry over with the merge, contact Google Support for help.

    If you want to delete a duplicate listing that you do have account access to (meaning that both listings appear in your Google Business account), follow the instructions to mark the location permanently closed.

    Note: If your company is merging with another and is now co-branding or operating under a new name, you should create a new listing. Don’t try to merge two separate Business Profiles unless they were the same business originally.

    Propel Your Local Search Rankings

    If you’re unsure whether you should delete, merge, or fix a listing, I encourage you to reach out to our team here at Victorious for help. We can help you determine the best course of action to take.

    A tidy, accurate Google Business Profile is the first step to reaching your customers online. As part of our local SEO services, we’ll help you clean up listings, plan a full local search campaign, and handle the small details that have a big impact on your digital presence. Ready to conquer local search? Schedule a free consultation today.

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