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How to Claim an Orphaned Google+ Page

If you are like me and need to take control of a previously verified Google+ page (an orphaned page), you’ve probably visited the Google My Business help area. The help article guides users on how to submit a request to release the listing, there’s just one problem: it takes too long!

It’s not surprising that Google has recently updated their help section with handy guides on how to accomplish any task in Google My Business. After all, they were probably inundated with support calls after adding a live support feature in 2013. Google’s official support article spells out step by step instructions on how to re-claim a verified listing which involves reclaiming admin rights and waiting 1-2 weeks to gain full control of your listing. I don’t know about you, but 1-2 weeks is a helluva long time for me to wait when the issue could be resolved in under 10 minutes! Oh, and if you spot a duplicate, you can also take care of that on the call and avoid having to deal with reporting listings, waiting for merges etc…

Take control of your previously verified Google listing

If this is your business or you have access to the phone number on the listing, follow the steps below. For marketing consultants, the process is exactly the same, except they must notify the client to expect a call from Google. This works best if they can answer the phone the same day, or even the same hour.

1. Sign in to a Gmail account you wish to use to control your listing. If you don’t have one, create it.

2. Navigate to the main help area.

2. Click on Contact Us

3. Choose Ownership or access to my business

Ownership or access to my business

 

4. Select Other problem

Select Other problem

 

5. Request a call

Select Request a call

 

6. Select I’m an owner or employee of this business. Marketing consultants should say they represent the business.

Select I'm an owner or employee of this business.

 

7. When the rep answers, tell them you’d like to take control over your listing and you’re not sure who claimed it previously. They’ll be happy to assist!

 

While on Call: 

8. During the call the rep will release your previously claimed listing and will ask you to request a post card verification the same way you would when create a new Google+ page. Don’t worry, this is only required to associate your Google+ account with the listing. Navigate to https://plus.google.com/pages/create

9. Select your business type, storefront or service area.

Select your business type.

 

10. Search for your currently claimed listing and select the correct listing.

Search for your business.

11. Click on send post card verification.

That’s it!

At this point the rep will bypass the post card verification step and assign the listing to the your signed-in Gmail account.

Removing Duplicate Listings in Seconds

If you spotted a duplicate or near duplicate listing of your business in step 10, don’t forget to let the rep know there’s a duplicate floating around and they’ll squash it for you. During my call I was put on hold while the rep checked to make sure the listing was an actual duplicate of the same business. Sure enough – it was. They merged it right there and then, all under a minute!

Note: the actual merging process may take longer than seconds. Expect at least a week for the merge to finalize in Maps.

Additional Steps for Marketing Consultants

If you’re a marketing consultant and you’re going through this process for your client, there are just a few additional steps: the representative will need to contact your client to verify your affiliation with the business.

  • To prep ahead of time, call your client and let them know you’ll be trying to re-claim their Google+ listing and that they should expect a call from Google to verify your affiliation.

Your support rep will need to get your consent to share your information and will do so by sending you a simple email while you’re on the call.

  • Enter your name, Gmail address and company email address and reply with something along the lines “I give my consent to share this information” and hit reply.

At this point the rep will put you on hold and will call your client to verify your affiliation. Once verified, they will make all of the changes you request.

Have you recently claimed an orphaned page with the same or a different method? How did that go for you? 

AUTHOR

Gene Maryushenko

Gene has been developing websites for 10 years and has been working in local search for the past 4 years. He's an active contributor to the Local Search Google+ community.

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  • tim

    Great documentation. Step by step is great. I had to do this process about 3 weeks ago for a friend business. I t works

  • Meghan

    We use this method all the time. The one snag we’ve hit in the past by using phone assistance vs the form/email is that nothing is documented. A few times I’ve had the support representative tell me the changes had been made, but after a week nothing was updated. When calling back, the new representative could not access information stating what was done last time. It’s gotten exceptionally better in the last few months, but I still worry about documentation of issues and communication between support stationed in India and US. It’s also a bit annoying if there is follow up needed that you can’t reach the same representative directly by phone unless they contact you.

  • Gene Maryushenko

    @Tim Thanks! I’m glad this process is working for other people. I know sometimes it can be difficult depending on who you get on the other end. Some reps seem to be more confident in their abilities to make change and some outright hesitate.

    @Meghan – very interesting point, I haven’t thought of it. I totally understand your frustration as I’ve had to deal with representatives who didn’t seem to know much. Typically if I sense the person on the line is fresh out of training and will not be of assistance to me, I just thank them for their time and call back to get another person on the line. There’s definitely room for improvement in the way Google conducts support calls such as chat transcripts and case #’s.

  • Sarah Perry

    You mention in your article that if someone comes across a duplicate or a near duplicate listing for a client, in my case retired doctors, old employees and practice locations, to let the rep know there’s a duplicate floating around and they’ll remove it. I always seem to get push back on this. If the NAP on the near duplicate listing doesn’t match my claimed/enhanced/beautiful listing perfectly support will not merge the two listings. They always say “mark the listing as closed.” Any advice, tips, or tricks greatly appreciated!!!

  • Gene Maryushenko

    @Sarah – I’m afraid the rep is correct. I have never had success merging or removing a “duplicate” practitioner listing, even if the practitioner is no longer at the business. Their standard response is to mark it as closed – something they can also do for you. The best thing to do in these situations is to try to claim the listing and update it with correct information (or strip that information if the person is no longer at the business) then mark it as closed. If the practitioner is still in practice at said business, update their page URL to their profile instead of the home page. Fill in as much unique information as possible that describes them as the professional and not the business in general. If possible, use a different category if makes sense.

    A closed listing will not be seen as duplicate, nor will an open one that is created specifically for the practitioner. Be sure to check out Google guidelines on how to set up practitioner pages if that’s something you’re interested in: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177?hl=en

  • Great Insights man! Question, how long does the duplicated listing will be remove?

  • I use this method a lot – would definitely recommend. Good post.