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Google sent me a letter!


#1

I received this actual letter(!) from Google about business listings. The google listing is already there. I guess it is like the sort of business listings I see when I use Google to find a local business eg photos, map and ratings. I actually do rate good businesses in my area and, FYI, recently got a free haircut worth $26 from Sweeney Todds in Pakenham for rating them, which was a surprise as I didn’t tell them this or expect anything in return. I also read something recently about businesses having trouble with people giving them bad ratings and Google refusing to take them down and in some cases, where this appeared to be a large scale premeditated attack, significantly impacting their business.

If you Google: “jam jerrup sunset” you can see it. I notice they have put in the worst photos that look like they have been culled from my ABB and Bookings listings. “Worst” in that I wouldn’t normally make a photo of my bathroom the main photo and they also have a very old badly shot google earth photo of the front of the house before it was all done up and on an overcast day.

So my questions. Does anyone have any experience of this process of listing with Google? How much does it cost to register (the letter had a link to do this) and can you control what photos they use or what it says. I notice there is one 4/5 star review with no words, from someone I don’t know, so guessing that is a generic starter they put up.


#2

I didn’t get a letter, however if I put the name of my cottage into Google the exact same thing comes up. Its just how SEO (Search engine optimisation) works. It also strangely, gives a list of booking links, the first being to Booking.com on which I am not a paid lister, my cottage is not with Air, so that does not come up, but I assume the company I use has decent SEO, but people will have to put in the exact name of the cottage in order to find it, which is highly unlikely. You have no control over what shows up unless you have your own website and can set up your SEO from that. I could be wrong on this I am sure more knowledgeable hosts will chime in :slight_smile:


#3

Hi @JamJerrupSunset
I list with Google and Bing both are free, you can add your own main photos and description, you can even review yourself (5 stars of course)
In my experience you cannot get negative reviews removed but you can respond to them, just had a quick look if I can remove guest photos and it doesn’t look like it.
I presume B.com put it on and now you need to claim it, at the bottom of the add it says “own this business” which will take you through the process.
Is it any good?. I think its brilliant, definitely drives bookings for camping/caravan pitches.


#4

I’m not going to use it – they want to put my exact address and phone number “out there” and I sure don’t want random people doing drive-by checking out of the location.


#5

I don’t use it for my Airbnb but I was listed for my dog business briefly. The first time my doorbell rang at dinnertime with a stranger asking if I boarded dogs, that was the end of that. I did learn the valuable lesson to also remove my address from future iterations of my business cards.


#6

Timely. I just removed my Google listing yesterday.

I repeatedly flagged spam photos and a spam 3-star review from someone I had never heard of (I host on-site FYI). Nothing happened for months on end until I called in to ask for the removal of the pix and the spam review.

In the course of discussing this spam removal with a Google CSX person in Hyderabad, I learned that you cannot remove a spam review. I kept pushing hard for it to be removed anyway (this loophole is just is so wrong), noting to CSX “this is my private home and whoever wrote this spam never set foot in it, and this HAS to be removed. And I can provide you with spreadsheets of all my guests over the years and you will not see this person’s name anywhere.”

This detail of my business being in my home led to the CSX guy noting that Google only is supposed to list businesses with VISIBLE SIGNAGE, which leaves me out.

So I rather happily said “just take down the whole thing.”

Here’s the relevant verbiage:

Google My Business Help: Ineligible businesses:


Rental or for-sale properties, such as vacation homes, model homes or vacant apartments. Sales or leasing offices, however, are eligible for verification.

Eligible businesses basically “must display permanent signage year-round at the location.”


#7

Yeah… my Personal Chef and AirBnb Host business card only lists websites, links and cell phone.

I started trying to do a Google Business with my Personal Chef business and they kept calling me to update and pay for ads and such. It took forever to get them to stop calling me…


#8

Thanks @K9KarmaCasa @KenH @TotalAirHead @Kerensa_Baker @HumptyDumpty
I see it has my address and mobile phone number neither of which I want out there, I get enough spam to my email address from SEOs and web programmers from when I had a web page listing. How did you get Google to remove it? I am reluctant to register first with the code they sent as that will confirm I am a real person. I suppose I can, errm, Google it. :thinking: It seems wrong to have to go through Google CS to get something removed I never signed up for.

If nothing else I don’t want potential guests see that I charge a lot more on some sites than others because they attract overseas travellers who generally pay more. Or treat Google as though they are a listing site I have chosen in their global race with Facebook to monetise humanity.


#9

Thanks. Yes I don’t imagine it is free. I am immune to “free”. Nothing gets me hitting the cancel button faster than the small print saying “and after the first free month we will automatically start billing your credit card”.


#10

Good question, I can’t recall. I think I might have gone in and changed the address and phone number to fake ones because I couldn’t remove it? Been too long ago but no one has contacted me out of the blue in a years.


#11

My address came up on google search when I search my listing name because it is visible on Bookings website. We have had s few reviews, some are in the names of people who weren’t actually guests, but they stayed at the cottage with someone else who booked.
I “claimed the business” and you could follow more prompts to customise your business listing. I don’t really pay too much attention to it. I get the occasional email to say someone has left a review. Claiming the business allows you to respond to reviews as the business owner.


#12

Thanks, I’ll give that a try.


#13

@JamJerrupSunset

To remove my Google listing, I followed this link to request a call from a Google specialist:

Google My Business: Help

“Francis” from Hyderabad called me and walked me through the process. We went through a series of steps at my end (basically going to my admin page and clicking things to request the listing be removed, you might be able to figure this out on your own), and then overnight he did a delete at his end and he called me back the next day to confirm.


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