How to Delete a Google My Business Listing .

   “How do I delete a Google listing?” is an FAQ on local SEO forums — and it represents an oversimplification of a complicated and multifaceted issue. The truth is, simple deletion is seldom the answer. Rather, most events that arise in the course of doing business require knowing which steps to take to properly manage GMB listings so that they’re helping your business instead of harming it.
When it comes to managing unwanted or problematic Google My Business listings, it’s a case of horses for courses. There isn’t a single set of instructions you can reliably follow, because your particular scenario defines which steps you should take. The following table should help you identify common situations and choose the one that most closely matches yours. From there, you’ll learn which actions are available to you, and which ones, unfortunately, can’t be accomplished.
Because management of problem GMB listings usually requires either being in control of them or unverifying them, our chart begins with three verification scenarios, and then moves on to cover other typical business events.

Scenario

Context

Steps

Notes

Unverify a Verified Listing You Control
You have a listing in your GMB dashboard that you no longer wish to control.
  • Log into your GMB dashboard
  • Click “edit”
  • Click the “info” tab
  • Click “remove listing”
  • Check all the checkboxes
  • Click “delete account”
No worries: The last step does NOT delete your Google account or the listing, itself. It simply un-verifies it so that you are no longer controlling it. The listing will still exist and someone else can take control of it.
Verify an Unverified Listing to Gain Control
You need to take control of an unwanted listing. You can tell it’s not verified, because it’s marked “claim this business” in Google Maps or “own this business?” in the knowledge panel.
Once you’ve verified the listing, you can take next steps to manage it if it's problematic.
Take Control of a Listing Someone Else Verified
You need to take control of an unwanted listing, but someone else has verified it. You can tell it’s verified, because it lacks the attributes of “claim this business” in Google Maps or “own this business?” in the knowledge panel.
  • Contact Google via these steps
  • Google will contact the owner
  • If Google doesn’t hear back from the owner in one week, you can verify the listing
There are some anecdotal accounts of owners being able to prove to Google their rights to control a listing based on their control of an email address that matches the website domain, but no guarantees. You may need to seek legal counsel to mediate resolution with a third party who refuses to relinquish control of the listing.
Manage a Duplicate Listing for a Brick-and-Mortar Business
Your business serves customers at your location (think a retail shop, restaurant, law practice). You find more than one listing representing the business, either at its present location, at an incorrect location, or at a previous location.
  • If the address exactly matches the correct, current address of the business, contact Google to request that they merge the two listings into one.
  • If the address contains an error and the business never existed there, use the “suggest an edit” link on Google Maps, toggle the yes/no switch to “yes,” and choose the “never existed” radio button.
  • If the address is one the business previously occupied, see the section in this table on business moves.
If reviews have become associated with a business address that contains an error, you can try to request that the reviews be transferred PRIOR to designating that the business “never existed” in Google Maps.
Manage a Duplicate Listing for a Service Area Business (SAB)
Your business serves customers at their locations (think a plumber, landscaper, or cleaning service). You find more than one listing representing the business.
  • Once you’ve verified the duplicate listing, contact Google to request that they merge the two listings into one.
Remember that Google’s guidelines require that you keep addresses for SAB listings hidden.
Manage an Unwanted Listing for a Multi-Practitioner Business
The business has multiple partners (think a legal firm or medical office). You discover multiple listings for a specific partner, or for partners who no longer work there, or for partner who are deceased.
  • Unfortunately, Google will not remove multi-practitioner listings for partners who are presently employed by the business.
  • If the partner no longer works there, read this article about the dangers of ignoring these listings. Then, contact Google to request that they designate the listing as “moved” (like when a business moves) to the address of the practice — not to the partner’s new address. *See notes.
  • If, regrettably, a partner has passed away, contact Google to show them an obituary.
In the second scenario, Google can only mark a past partner’s listing as moved if the listing is unverified. If the listing is verified, it would be ideal if the old partner would unverify it for you, but, if they are unwilling to do so, at least try to persuade them to update the listing with the details of their new location as a last resort. Unfortunately, this second option is far from ideal.
On a separate note, if the unwanted listing pertains to a solo-practitioner business (there’s a listing for both the company and for a single practitioner who operates the company), you can contact Google to ask that they merge the two listings in an effort to combine the ranking power of the two listings, if desired.
Manage a Listing When a Business Moves
Your company is moving to a new location. You want to avoid having the listing marked as “permanently closed,” sending a wrong signal to consumers that you’ve gone out of business.
  • Update your website with your new contact information and driving directions
  • Update your existing GMB listing in the Google My Business dashboard. Don’t create a new listing!
  • Update your other local business listings to reflect your new info. A product like Moz Local can greatly simplify this big task.
Be sure to use your social platforms to advertise your move.
Be sure to be on the lookout for any new duplicate listings that may arise as a result of a move. Again, Moz Local will be helpful for this.
Google will generally automatically move your reviews from your old location to your new one, but read thisto understand exceptions.
Manage a Listing Marked “Permanently Closed”
A listing of yours has ended up marked as “permanently closed,” signaling to consumers that you may have gone out of business. Permanently closed listings are also believed to negatively impact the rankings of your open business.
  • If the “permanently closed” label exists on a verified listing for a previous location the business occupied, unverify the listing. Then contact Google to ask them to mark it as moved to the new location. This should rectify the “permanently closed” problem.
  • If the permanently closed listing exists on a listing for your business that someone else as verified (i.e., you don’t control the listing), please see the above section labeled “Take Control of a Listing Someone Else Verified.” If you can get control of it in your dashboard and then unverify it, you’ll then be able to contact Google to ask them to mark it as moved.
The “permanently closed” label can also appear on listings for practitioners who have left the business. See the section of this chart labeled “Manage an Unwanted Listing for a Multi-Practitioner Business.”
Manage a Merger/Acquisition
Many nuances to this scenario may dictate specific steps. If the merger/acquisition includes all of the previous physical locations remaining open to the public under the new name, just edit the details of the existing GMB listings to display that new name. But, if the locations that have been acquired close down, move onto the next steps.
  • Don’t edit the details of the old locations to reflect the new name
  • Unverify the listings for the old locations
  • Finally, contact Google to ask them to mark all the old locations listings as moved to the new location.
Mergers and acquisitions are complex and you may want to hire a consultant to help you manage this major business event digitally. You may also find the workload significantly lightened by using a product like Moz Local to manage the overhaul of core citations for all the businesses involved in the event.
Manage a Spam Listing
You realize a competitor or other business is violating Google’s guidelines, as in the case of creating listings at fake locations. You want to clean up the results to improve their relevance to the local community.
  • Find the listing in Google Maps
  • Click the “suggest an edit” link
  • Toggle the yes/no toggle to “yes”
  • Choose the radio button for “spam”
  • Google will typically email you if/when your edit is accepted
Google doesn’t always act on spam. If you follow the outlined steps and don’t get anywhere with them, you may want to post the spam example in the GMB forum in hopes that a Top Contributor there might escalate the issue.
Unfortunately, spam is very common. Don’t be surprised if a spammer who gets caught comes right back on and continues to spam.
Manage a Listing with Bad Reviews
Your company is embarrassed by the negative reviews that are attached to its GMB listing. You wish you could just make the whole thing disappear.
  • If the reviews violate Google’s policy, consider these steps for taking action. Be advised that Google may not remove them, regardless of clear violations.
  • If the reviews are negative but genuine, Google will not remove them. Remedy the problems, in-house, that consumers are citing and master responding to reviews in a way that can save customers and your business.
  • If the business is unable to remedy structural problems being cited in reviews, the company may lack the necessary components for success.
Short of completely rebranding and moving your business to a new location, your business must be prepared to manage negative reviews. Unless consumers are citing illegal behaviors (in which case, you need legal counsel rather than marketing), negative reviews should be viewed as a FREE blueprint for fixing the issues that customers are citing.
Bear in mind that many unhappy customers won’t take the time to complain. They’ll just go away in silence and never return to your business again. When a customer takes the time to voice a complaint, seize this as a golden opportunity to win him back and to improve your business for all future customers.
Whew! Eleven common Google My Business listing management scenarios, each requiring its own set of steps. It’s my hope that this chart will not only help explain why few cases really come down to deleting GMB listings, and also, that it will serve as a handy reference for you when particular situations arise in your workday.

Helpful links

  1. If you’re not sure if you have problem listings, do a free lookup with the Moz Check Listing tool.
  2. If you’re a Moz Pro member, you have access to our Q&A forum. Please feel free to ask our community questions if you’re unsure about whether a GMB listing is problematic.
  3. The Google My Business Forum can be a good bet for getting advice from volunteer Top Contributors (and sometimes Google staffers) about problem GMB listings. Be prepared to share all of the details of your scenario if you post there.
  4. If you find yourself dealing with difficult Google My Business listing issues on a regular basis, I recommend reading the work of Joy Hawkins, who is one of the best technical local SEOs in the industry.
  5. Sometimes, the only thing you can do is to contact Google directly to try to get help with a tricky problem. Here is their main Contact page. If you’re a Google Adwords customer, you can phone 1-866-2Google and select the option for Google My Business support. Another way to seek help (and this is sometimes the fastest route) is to tweet to Google’s GMB Twitter account. Be advised that not every Google rep has had the benefits of complete training. Some interactions may be more satisfactory than others. And, if you are a digital marketer, do be prepared to set correct client expectations that not all problems can be resolved. Sometimes, even your best efforts may not yield the desired results, due to the limitations of Google’s local product.

Why it’s worth the effort to work to resolve problematic Google listings

Cumulatively speaking, inaccurate and duplicative listings can misinform and misdirect consumers while also sapping your ranking strength. Local business listings are a form of customer service, and when this element of your overall marketing plan is neglected, it can lead to significant loss of traffic and revenue. It can also negatively impact reputation in the form of negative reviews citing wrong online driving directions or scenarios in which customers end up at the old location of a business that has moved.
Taken altogether, these unwanted outcomes speak to the need for an active location data management strategy that monitors all business listings for problems and takes appropriate actions to remedy them. Verifying listings and managing duplicates isn’t glamorous work, but when you consider what’s at stake for the business, it’s not only necessary work, but even heroic. So, skill up and be prepared to tackle the thorniest situations. The successes can be truly rewarding!

5 TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2017 ON INTERNET OF THINGS ( IOT)

Internet of Things – Trend Research 2017

     Internet of Things – Cognitive Clusters

Technology moves fast, and when predicting the future, it can be hard to keep up. Here at Noggle, we believe in analyzing what’s happening right now in order to gain a more accurate gauge of what’s realistically going to come into being over the next few months and years ahead.
To do this, where better to look for the ideas of the future than in the worldwide Patents database? Examining the concepts that have been submitted and protected now, gives a strong indication of where technology is heading and what innovations are taking place. Of course, not all inventions are created equal, and many patents won’t last the course and make it into our collective future conscious and culture – this is why we have produced a broad overview of recent patents, and picked up on recurring and common aspects and topics. By detecting clusters and averages of prevalent and frequently appearing themes, our findings represent a more likely look at the ideas that may be entering and shaping our lives in the not too distant future.

What’s next for IoT?

We used this approach to analyse upcoming trends in the field of the Internet of Things (IoT) for this year, and beyond. Below, you’ll see a cognitive map which depicts popular phrases, ideas and subjects for IoT in the current patents database.
IoT Trends Map Internet of Things – Bibliometrics
As you can see, proposals centre around “machine to machine” usage – which is the largest cluster in the centre of the map. So IoT is not for humans – IoT will be used by machines and will bring a new generation of robots to life. These robots may be communicating with lots of machines to make decisions that humans are not able to. That’s the core of IoT – IoT is the ‘brain’ for the age of machines. Compare that to our nervous system where synapses pass chemical signals between neurons. IoT are the synapses of machines. This isn’t science fiction anymore; the patent clusters prove it today.
Move forward in the cognitive map and not far away is the cluster “controlling a vehicle”. So the most expected use of IoT which, as anticipated is vehicles (e.g. cars, ships, airplanes) that will be controlled by machines communicating with each other. Think about a “traffic robot” so instead of a police officer managing the flow for cars on the road because the cars are communicating with each other, you could feed a central machine which decides about speed and stops. Expect this kind of smart traffic management to show up in all areas during the next 1-3 years.
We can then group these items together further. In the following visual, you’ll see how these clusters relate to each other with color highlighting.
IoT Trend Clusters Grouped
IoT Trend Clusters Grouped
By connecting these subjects, we can clearly see that immediate technological growth is also focused on powering and monitoring our living spaces utilizing intelligent switches, sensors for lights and water flows.

Discover trends at a glance

This graphic visualisation of submission patterns allows us to identify the following key trends for IoT:
1. Machine-To-Machine – Next generation robots:Named clusters for ‘M2M’ with communicating ‘nodes’ including intelligent and connecting ‘chips’. Watch out for new robot-alike assistants. E.g. Alexa and Siri communicating with lots of devices in the years to come.
2. Vehicles – Say “Hello” to Smart Traffic:
Named clusters include ‘monitored vehicle’, ‘vehicle terminal’, ‘controlling a vehicle’ and ‘detects a vehicle’. So you wont drive alone anymore.
3. Lighting & Switch management – The Smart Home becoming the new normal:
Intelligent devices used to control lighting, with clusters such as ‘light sensor’, ‘lighting modules’, ‘lighting circuit’, ‘intelligent lighting’, ‘lamp light’ and phrases such as ‘smart home’, ‘smart home services’ and ‘intelligent switches.’
4. Water management:
Clusters show interest in areas of ‘intelligent water’, ‘water pipe’, ‘controls water’ and ‘equipped with the water.’
5. Data explosion in production processes:
Automation looks set to gain momentum in 2017, with clusters outlining ‘production data’, ‘production process’ and ‘production costs.’
Finally, we can expect to see massive growth in machine-to-machine data communication with new cloud based management and integration platforms for IoT coming into real world application in 2017, with an associated influx of new management software coming to market for the management of IoT devices in production processes.

Creating cognitive clusters

Already, our smart search and cognitive clustering has provided us with a valuable insight into the ideas that are being developed and registered in the world of IoT, some of which will eventually come to fruition and affect our daily lives. But how did we do it?
Any Noggle user can create similar intelligently curated trend diagrams – on this occasion, we simply issued a search request to the worldwide patent database on our chosen subject of Internet of Things. (A search could also be run on one of Noggle’s other third party databases, such as our comprehensive listing of Ted Talks, and open access science articles and research journals.)
We used a very generic and broad request in this example. You could even start with more specific terms to get more specific clusters. This produced over 6,000 patent results, allowing us to then run the ‘clustering’ algorithm – our artificial intelligence text processing automatically scans all of these search responses for similarities, in a manner which is not biased towards any specific clustering output. Within 20 seconds, we could see common ideas organised together in a way that is both manageable and interesting to evaluate. From a  conceptual view, it is a way of bringing the approach of Scientometrics to real life on every desktop. Scientometrics is no longer a theoretic topic for experts with huge machine power – everyone can start doing trend research today.
But the map is more than just an image – we can delve deeper into each cluster to examine the individual patents that have been grouped together. To explore the collection for yourself, Noggle clients can browse the IoT cognitive cluster map discussed within this article at: https://www.noggle.online/knowledgemap/internet-of-things-trends-to-watch-2017/

How to Make Your Marketing Personal (But Not Creepy and Weird) .

        Sometimes it’s a struggle for brands to walk that fine line between personal/friendly and creepy/weird.
It’s really hard to strike the right balance when it comes to achieving a memorable tone of voice.
This is, in part, because you have access to thousands of pieces of information about your customers. You probably know who they are down to the tiniest details of their lives. With a little data research, you could potentially even find out what size shoes they wear and which type of dog food their schnauzer, Mr Scruffypants, prefers.
The customer data at your daily disposal in all likelihood ranges from general demographic trends to purchase information for their 2014 Prius.
So how do you put all of that data to good use to make sure your marketing is personal, without overstepping the mark and sounding creepy or weird?
This article will run through the key tactics and apps for you to consider, test and try.
Just remember that whatever stage you are at in your brand journey, the vast sea of data is equal parts helpful and dangerous. You’ve got to be able to swim before you experiment with depth.

Remember, customers want personalization.

It’s common knowledge that customers increasingly want personalized marketing to come their way and to build reciprocal relationships with the companies they do business with.
Look at these key findings from the 2017 Consumer Trends Report from Kibo Commerce:
  • 85% of consumers said personalized promotions on a homepage influenced their purchase decision
  • 44% said they were influenced by targeted recommendations on the product page
  • 92% said preference-based recommendations in their shopping cart influenced them before they completed their purchase
  • 55% said they were influenced by customer loyalty discounts and additional offers to complete their purchase.
Ecommerce sites constantly look for new and innovative ways to give customers a personalized experience across all digital channels. Email marketing platforms like Campaign Monitor allow businesses to collect demographic data about their subscribers, such as age, gender and geo-location. Using this data to send the right email, at the right time, to the right person, has been shown to increase email revenue by 760%.
But… do you remember the first time you ever sent an email using a keyword that later showed up in an ad on a sidebar?
It was weird, and spookily prescient, right?
While today’s consumer may have gotten used to ads based on their browser history, you can still deeply offend a customer by taking an all-knowing approach that implies you know a creepy amount of stuff about them.
So again, the big question remains, how do you provide that personal touch without making customers feel like they’re being stalked?
Here’s how to do it right.

1. Use predictive analytics

Predictive analytics can be used in lots of different ways to enhance the customer experience.
It takes data from other customers who have browsed and purchased the same item, to make suggestions about additional or alternate purchases. For example, when you order a video camera for your son for Christmas, a shopping cart suggestion might remind you to buy a memory card – something you could easily have forgotten.
In the Customer Decision Hub ebook, Pegasytems describes the process as ‘customer interaction memory’. Predictive analytics collects every bit of information available about customers, from a basic profile to preferences and moods, and uses it to deliver real-time advice to customer service staff and sales reps. Right down to when to hand off to a supervisor or another department, when to push for a sale or up-sell, and what to offer.
In other words, it gives the staff or sales rep the info they need to address each customer on a personal level, even if they have no previous rapport.
Knowing everything about your customer – and about the behavior of similar customers – is a core component to successful marketing. In the digital-first era, we’re lucky enough to have technology sophisticated enough to make that happen.
Use it to your advantage. But – and this is the all-important ‘but’ – leave the hard sell out of the question.
Suggest, don’t stress, the right option for your customers. You’re trying to personalize, not push, your offer.

2. Know your niche

It’s not enough anymore simply to sell goods and services. You need to provide solid reasons for customers to feel good about choosing your business or brand. One way to do this is to provide a niche service that’s tailored to a specific profession or customer base.
Even if your product or service is broad, you may be able to tailor your offering to speak directly to a niche segment. This is another form of personalization.
Vista College knocks niche segmentation out of the park by marketing to a slice of the population often completely overlooked: military spouses. These are people who face enormous challenges to further their education and find meaningful work while following their partners from base to base.
At its core, personalization is making the right offer to the right audience at the right time. Just remember never to patronize people as you personalize your offer. Speak directly to your niche, not down to it.
Even with all the data at your fingertips, you should never assume that you know all the answers.

3. Speak social

Companies that have learned to effectively use social data analytics have a distinct advantage on the social front.
The Brandwatch Social Outlook report examined key findings from 450 brands in 15 key industry sectors.
Measurable factors included social visibility, general visibility, net sentiment, reach growth, engagement, and content.
Take a look at the breakdown below for the automotive industry.
Does it come as a surprise to you that the top features mentioned in auto conversations are frequently about power and speed? No, because their social media marketing is tailored to their niche. They’ve learned to speak social, while remaining technical.
A key point to remember with social media personalization is that posts with photos generally get plenty of overall engagement, while videos are shared at more than twice the rate.

4. Ask customers questions

Take personalization to a whole new level by regularly conducting customer surveys.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology offers a way to get measurable feedback and let the customer tell you what they want to tell you; not ask them a bunch of questions they may not be interested in answering, and that may bias their answers.
Another nice thing about the NPS application is that it allows you to keep track of different customer segments over time, plus you can gather feedback from your customer base in the medium they are most comfortable with – email, the web or SMS.
Once you receive customer feedback, the trick is to close the loop with your customers and let them know how you are incorporating their feedback. Otherwise the personalization drops out before the circle is complete – and while you may not have been creepy, the approach does seem weird.
Customizable and segmented surveys like the one on the Delighted dashboard below help give your customers a voice and make them feel valued. The answers add a new data set as well as new dimensions to your customer persona.
You’ll always be able to get a great feel for customer sentiment based on personalized responses to outbound surveys.
For painfully honest insight, try polling consumers who didn’t buy from you. Make a segmented list of people who fell out of the pipeline or abandoned their shopping cart.
See if you can identify patterns amongst this customer segment and use it to gain insight into issues within your business to improve your overall communication.

5. Use #hashtags responsibly

Using hashtags offers a great way to streamline content, but there is a definite hashtag etiquette involved.
Hashtags can be broad category keywords like #marketing or #travel, or references to a specific event or brand discussion. In essence, they put all social media posts with the same hashtags in the same conversational pigeonhole.
Joining other industry-related conversations is a great way to find new customers, join in a conversation or just snoop around a subject (or product). However, stealing a hashtag or event tagline to tout your company or product usually ends badly.
It’s poor form to boot.
An example of irresponsible hashtagging would be if you wanted to get your shoe repair business noticed and tried to gain followers by hashtagging popular shoe brands to hijack their audience.
Not only would you annoy your competitors, you’d mess up the virtual index of social media posts and irritate the customers who take the time to read your social media feeds.
Don’t use never-ending or random hashtags in a lazy attempt to personalize your business, either, like this one: #myshoebusinessisnotonlyannoyingbutsuperconfusedabouthowtousehashtagsresponsibly.
Do create your own hashtags that customers will love, but be sure to put some thought into them and use them sparingly.
Also, limit your hashtags to no more than five per post. This will make your brand look less ‘spammy’.

6. Monitor your reputation

This is particularly relevant when it comes to protecting your social media reputation.
The fact that 80% of consumers use social media to make their buying decisions should provide you with a pretty powerful incentive to give your social media reputation some thought.
What it comes down to is knowledge – not just the accumulation of data, but the ability to develop actionable insights about how and where to engage your customers, what to offer them (and when), and how to manage your online presence.
Sales-oriented personalization is more than welcome under the right circumstances – sending highly  targeted emails with a conversational tone, on-page recommendations during ecommerce transactions, and up-selling during customer service calls are all good examples.
However, social media is, by nature, social. So never lose sight of that fact, and when you set out to entice customers with photos or videos, remember to keep the tone light.
A hard sell doesn’t belong on social media.

Conclusion

The writing has been on the wall for a while now: traditional ‘spray and pray’ marketing is on the way out and personalization is the way forward.
SEM has surpassed traditional marketing. Old methods are far less effective than they once were… not to mention more expensive than targeted content.
In the selling market today, customers not only want personalized marketing, they expect it.
Take a look at the image below. The facts are staggering, right?
The trick to personalizing content is to make sure it is persuasive, not pushy, and provides answers that your customers are seeking. It should be an integral part of your marketing strategy, but it should constantly change and evolve along with your business.
Personalization cannot be tone-deaf or rely on data alone. That’s counter-intuitive to its very definition!
Remember to always opt for warm, not weird, next time you’re about to go personal.