Local Mailbag: How can I get access to my GMB listing and remove the users that have claimed it?
Getting your Google My Business listing set up for success starts with getting access to your listing by claiming ownership of your business. To take full control of your listing, you then need to ensure the right permissions and level of user access are assigned to trusted partners.
User Access Levels
There are three user types available for all GMB listings:
- Owners (Primary Owner) – A listing can have multiple owners but only one primary owner. A primary owner has complete control of the listing versus an owner, and cannot be removed from a listing unless they transfer ownership to another owner for that listing.
- Managers – Managers have all of the same capabilities as the owner, except they cannot add or remove users, and they cannot remove the business profile(s).
- Site Manager – Site Managers have less access to a listing than a Manager, they cannot edit the business information, use messaging, add/delete/edit logos, or edit services. With permission from an owner, a Site Manager can be upgraded to a Manager.
How to Request Access to a Claimed Listing
If you have tried to create a new listing only to discover one already exists, don’t panic. You can request ownership of the listing by following a few steps. But keep in mind, the process differs based on your business type.
Storefront (aka Brick-and-Mortar)
#1. Find the Business Profile in Google Search by:
- Searching your business name and address in Google My Business and selecting your business from the pre-populated search results.
- Searching for your business name and address in Google Search or Maps and clicking Own This Business? in the Business Profile.
#2. Select Request Access
#3. Fill out out the form
#4. Click Submit
Service Area Business
#1. Go to Google My Business and search your business information (same as above step 1)
#2. Click Next
#3. Choose a category that best fits your business, when prompted
#4. You’ll be asked “Do you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office?” as a service area business, select No
#5. Add your service areas, when prompted (optional)
#6. Add your region, when prompted
#7. Add your phone number and website URL (optional), when prompted
#8. You will be prompted to Finish and manage this listing via the verification process (likely via postcard). Click Finish
#9. Once you receive the postcard (usually takes 5-10 business days), visit the GMB dashboard again to enter the pin and verify your business. You’ll receive an “Owner conflict” message indicating that the location is a duplicate.
#10. Click Request access
#11. Fill out the form requesting access to the listing.
The existing listing owner will receive an email notification that you have requested ownership of the listing and you will get a confirmation email. The current owner has 3 – 7 days to respond. You can see the status of your request by signing in to GMB or clicking the link in your confirmation email.
- If approved – You will be notified by email and will gain full access to the listing in the GMB dashboard.
- If denied – You will be notified by email and you may be able to appeal the denied request.
- If you get no response – Wait 7 days after your initial request was sent, sign in to GMB to see if there’s a Claim or Verify button.
- If there is no option to claim the listing, it means you are not able to gain access to the profile. Follow up by clicking the Support link in the left hand side of the menu in the GMB dashboard.
- Under the Need More Help? section, select Contact Us
- Follow the necessary steps to get in touch with a support person at Google
My Request Was Denied, Now What?
In the event that you are denied access to your business listing, you should receive an email that states
“Your request to access [Business Name] on Google My Business was rejected.”
At the bottom of the email there should be an option to appeal this decision. When you click this link, you will be prompted to follow steps to verify the listing and take it over. Verification will either be via phone or postcard and in some instances you may be asked for additional information.
Important: If the original owner of the listing does not grant you the access, then anything added by that owner will not transfer with the listing, including photos and review responses, if access is gained in the appeal process. But customer reviews and photos will still be attached to the listing.
Tip: Before starting the request ownership process for a business listing, make sure that the address and phone number published are correct. If this business information is wrong, use the Suggest An Edit feature first to update the Business Profile.
If you are unable to Appeal the decision (some people have encountered instances of not having the appeal link in the email). We recommend that you:
- Get in touch through one of Google’s support channels
- Reach out to product experts for help via the Community Forum
Managing User Roles
How to Transfer Primary Ownership
Only the primary owner can transfer ownership of a Business Profile, and only to an existing owner or manager. If the person that should be the primary owner is not currently added as a user on the listing, add them as an additional owner or manager, and then transfer the role of Primary Owner to that user.
- Log in to the GMB dashboard
- In the Menu on the left, select Users
- From the list of users, select the user whom you’d like to transfer primary ownership to. Their user role will be noted to the right of their name with a dropdown menu. Open the dropdown menu and select Primary Owner.
- Click Transfer and Done.
How to Remove or Limit a User’s Access
Only an Owner can add or edit another user’s access.
- Log in to the GMB dashboard
- In the Menu on the left, select Users
- From the list of users, select the user whose role you’d like to change. Their user role will be noted to the right of their name with a dropdown menu. Open the dropdown menu and select Manager, Site Manager, or Remove from the dropdown menu.
- Click Done.
Listing Management Best Practices for Business Owners
Who should be the primary owner?
The business owner should always be the primary owner of their business listing.
Who should have access and at what level?
Sometimes marketing agencies may need Owner access to sync tools or reporting, but should be trusted by the business owner before this high level of access is given. GMB listing Owners can remove any other Owner.
Did You Know: You can add an agency as a user by entering their Agency ID. This confuses a lot of businesses owners, however you can add an agency by entering their 10-digit agency ID in the field where you can add a new user by email address.
Our Google My Business Management Service optimizes every feature of Google My Business listings, syncs with external reporting software and tools and does not require Owner access. In fact, if a business gives us Owner access, we demote our access to Manager. Why? It’s better for marketing agencies to have the manager role to “silo” the business from any flagged activity from other users or business listings they own.
Can I use my personal email to manage my GMB? Or must I use an email with my business email domain? Why?
You can use any email address to create and manage your GMB listing. We recommend using your email address at your business domain for a stronger trust signal to Google Support that you are the legitimate owner of the business. This can be very helpful in gaining access to your listing if it’s currently owned by a Google User whose email address is not associated with your business domain.
Successfully taking ownership of your GMB listing from another user can be a long and trying process, but it’s worth the effort to unlock your Business Profile.
Have a Local Question? Send it Our Way
That’s it for this edition of Whitespark’s Local Mailbag, but if you have a local search question that you need help answering, leave it in the comments or email our team.