Your Competitors Can Edit Your Google My Business Listing


It’s hard to pay attention to the fine print all the time when you’re managing a business, so this is some important information to be aware of. We all know that putting ourselves online can result in backlash, spam, and false negative reviews, but also know that it’s necessary to endure as in the long-run, not being online is much worse.

While Google is always working to limit spam and false information, it’s not always a flawless system.

Peer Editing is a Thing

To start off—yes, once you’ve claimed and verified your Google My Business listing, edits can be made to it. By people who are not you. You may be a company that is on top of filling in all the blanks, but many companies are simply listed with no hours or further information provided. This edit tool can be useful in these cases for consumers to help other consumers.

So how does this system work? Simply head to any Google listing and you’ll see the option to suggest edits.

Approving Edits

As of September 2017, Google started to notify businesses when these changes were made. However, only primary owners will receive these emails so your managers won’t be able to spot potential issues so quickly. And worst of all, notifications arrive after the change has gone through!

When looking at your GMB dashboard, it may seem like you have the option to accept or decline changes. But this is not the case. Changes that appear on your dashboard have already been made. So how do you see actual pending edits? You will need to use “Check the Facts” on Google Maps. That means paying attention to your actual Google listing and looking for the orange text suggesting an edit.

The Issues

Many online marketers have no idea what “Check the Facts” even is on Google Maps. Because of this, the peer editing feature has been problematic to business owners with active competition.
Underhanded businesses have in some cases taken to editing their competitor’s phone number to show as their own so that any calls intended for you would go to them instead! Not good.

So, how long does it take for edits to be approved, and if you’ve missed one and wound up in a situation like this, how long until you can get out of it?

Edits generally take three days to go live. This gives the majority of business owners time to decline any shady edits. But, if one has slipped through, this means you’ll have to wait three days to get back to normal as well.

During this time, make sure to announce the error on your social media to stop as many mis-calls as possible.

Mange Your Business Successfully

This news may be an extra shot of paranoia for some, but take it as important information to keep in mind. The fact that edits take three days to come into effect means there is no reason to sit up at night glue to your laptop. Monitoring your business was always an important thing to do, and if this is just another encouragement to do so, that’s OK.

For all we know, in a year this issue will be dust in the wind!


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