Having duplicate Google Plus listings is against Google’s guidelines, but Google creates so many listing on their own, it’s hard to fathom how they can possibly punish anybody for having duplicate listings. When they transferred everyone’s listings into the new dashboard, it wasn’t unusual for new listings to pop up, causing more duplicates to show up in accounts that aren’t verified.
These duplicate listings could also cause reviews to split up. If there is more than one listing out there, people could find either one of those listings and leave a review on the wrong one. As you probably know, having all of your reviews under one listing can help you rank better and can also help you gain more customers.
A potential customer could also come across a listing that is old and has out-of-date business information on it. This could cause them to get in their cars and drive to an old location or pick up the phone and call a number that is no longer in service. There’s a high possibility they would think your business is closed and might not take the time to check to see if there was different information on another listing, which could lead to losing the customer.
Overall, duplicate listings have become harder and harder to find on Google, and I am starting to think Google is doing that on purpose. Recently, when calling Google support to have two local listings merged, the representative I spoke with made it seem like having duplicate listings wasn’t a big deal, when clearly it is. I was told that if the local listing isn’t verified, it won’t show up in the search engines, even though unverified listings routinely show up in search results. As if this weren’t a big enough problem, according to Google guidelines an automatically-created listing will still be counted as a duplicate.
Do you think it’s possible the Google representatives aren’t aware that duplicate listings are a problem, or do you think they are trying to downplay the severity of the issue?
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