How Do I Merge My Google + Pages? Usually You Can’t, Now What?

google-plus-240pxThe question of how to handle the existence of two (or more) G+ Pages for a given local business has become a frequent one. Over the past month, I have gotten 1-2 queries a week asking what should be done. For example, I recently received this email:

Ran into an issue with Google Places and Google+, curious if you know of any solutions.  One of my clients set up a Google+ page.  But since Google Places automatically created Google+ pages, I now have two Google+ accounts for one company. All three are under the same gmail email address.  The page my client created is more developed than the one Google Places created.  Do you know if there is a solution for this that you know of?

This has mostly resulted from location-based businesses having created a Google+ Page for a company or brand (as opposed to a Page for Local), perhaps when G+ was in its infancy. They then realized that they also have a G+ Page for local that was either auto created by Google or created in the old Places Dashboard that has now shown up in their Plus environment. I typically get one of several questions:

  • How do I merge these two pages?
  • Can I keep my Google+ Page for Business and delete the one that Google has auto-created?
  • Should I keep more than one?
  • What is the best path forward?

The answer to each is pretty much the same. Some givens of the Google Plus page environment:

  1. Google will automatically create a G+ Page for local for any business that has a bricks and mortar presence, as well as for individual doctors, lawyers and real estate agents at those locations.
  2. Typically there is no way to suppress or delete this G+ Page for local.
  3. It is not possible to merge two G+ Pages (unless they are both of the type: local and for the same business at the same address, in which case you should contact support). Nor is it possible to pass followers from one page to another.
  4. Google is much, much more likely to show a G+ Page for local in the search results than a company/brand page for a given local business.
  5. A business can have as many other G+ Page types as they desire for their brand, events or the parent company.

As to the best path going forward, it is really a matter of matching the above reality with your marketing goals, objectives and budget.

The G+ Page for local is going to exist no matter what and the real question becomes which of your pages will get the most exposure, which best fits the company’s marketing goals and where should the company put their efforts going forward.

Here are the possibilities. The company can:

  • Delete the G+ Page for business and repost the old content to the G+ Page for local. This has the benefit of only having one page going forward, and your work will be on the page most likely to show on the main Google search results.
  • Keep both pages and post actively to both. If your company has both a national and local presence this makes sense, but is much more work.
  • Keep both pages but only post actively to the local page. You would need to put a last post on the business page asking that folks follow their local page. This has the benefit of being relatively easy, and if the G+ Page for Business were ever to be important in Google’s scheme of things you wouldn’t have to start over.
  • Keep both pages. Make the primary post to the local page and repost it the company page. This is more work and it is not clear that there is any benefit to this.
  • Keep both pages and make the primary post to the company page and put a one-time post on the local page sending folks to the company page. This only makes sense if your brand is a national brand and local is not a big part of your strategy.

To make the decision as to which course to follow you really need to answer the following questions:

  • What is the goal of your social presence and who is the target audience?
  • Is the company national in scope or do most of its customers come from the immediate region?

If your clientele is mostly local or regional I would:

  • Delete the G+ Page for business and repost old content to the G+ Page for local, or
  • Keep both pages but only post actively to the local page and put a last post on the business page asking that folks follow their local page

If the company is mostly national in nature, I would typically recommend to add a decent cover photo to the G+ Page for local and make at least one post there referring to the G+ Page for business. The posts page tab on the G+ Page for local is the link that Google shows in local search results in the main SERPS. Thus it might get some visibility and shouldn’t be left completely empty.

Unfortunately, because of Google’s slooow merger of Places and Plus, there has been a great deal of confusion created in the marketplace. The lack of tools and mechanisms to convert one type of page to another has only added to that confusion. However, if you have a local business then you are going to have a G+ Page for local and that likely should be at the center of your marketing plan.

79 Responses to “How Do I Merge My Google + Pages? Usually You Can’t, Now What?”

  1. Thanks for this Mike. It sure was confusing and hard on our customers who do not understand what the G is doing.

    I tell ‘em Mike Blumenthal says to be stoic about it … it will all change again soon! =^)

    Mark Bossert
    • @Mark
      Stoicism is NOT my strong point… I love to complain too much but I do think that worrying does little good either. So perhaps a certain fatalism is the best way to think about my recommendations and attitudes towards Google. :)

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter Mike. Don’t you think that Google will come up with some sort of merging tool in time? They are the one to blame for a lot of this confusion.

  3. @Lars
    Google has most certainly created the problem and has done little in the way of communication to clear it up. That being said I doubt that is reason enough in and of itself to hold out hope for a process to merge disparate page types.

    It took them 7 years to put in place tools to allow for local listings to be fixed.

    So I suppose “in time” they might offer some ability to do the merge but I would NOT hold your breath.

  4. Hi Mike,

    I have a similar, but still very different question…

    My client already created a Google+ page for their business (though I don’t think in the “local” category). Then I recently claimed their Google Places listing which has the new dashboard, but there’s no “Google+ Page” section between the “Adwords Express” and “Offers” sections. A colleague said she’d never seen the new dashboard without it and I hadn’t either. Have you? (BTW, the same email address is used to access both the Places and G+ page)

    The other thing a little odd with this account was that when I first accessed G+, there was no personal account managing the business page. It was just a business page, but Google encouraged me to create an individual account every time I logged in (which I did hoping beyond all hope that somehow that was what was causing the glitch)

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks in advance for your time and wisdom,
    Randy

    • @Randy
      When a listing is now brought over to the new dashboard, Google is now auto upgrading listings to the G+ social status. They have been doing so for the past 3 months or so. Thus there is no need for the “Google+ Page” section which was there to allow the listing to be upgraded. You can confirm this by visiting the listing and seeing if there is a “posts” tab.

      Also Google is no longer requiring that a Page be associated with a persona. That is a relatively recent change but it should not impact the G+ Page for local one way or the other.

      • Thanks for the reply – Sadly after I posted my original message I had a highly unproductive call with Places support who basically said he’d never seen/heard of any of these issues but had me try a few things, one of which involved unverifying the listing, but then we couldn’t get it verified again…. Fiasco.

        Anyway, thanks again.

    • Hi Randy,

      I had exactly the same problem. I had one old listing which was created way before the new local dashboard interface, and I had a regular old Brand Page. When the listing was moved over to the new dashboard, I couldn’t find a way to “make” it into a G+ Page. That button, like you said, was missing.

      At the same time, ON THE SAME dashboard, I added my new listings for our new locations and those automatically generated G+ Pages and the button was there. So now some of my listings had a G+ local page and the original listing did not.

      I struggled with this for a months, clicking everywhere I could when it asked me randomly to create a G+ account for the listing, but it always took me back to creating or claiming a new listing, NOT creating a G+ page for the existing one. It would tell me at the end, you already have this listing in your dashboard…. Duhhh.. frustrating.

      That was until today!!! I went to my listings dashboard and went into the reviews section for my first old listing. I clicked to read one of my reviews and under it there was a “Reply” (to the review) link. When I clicked there, it told me that I cannot reply unless my listing is a G+ Listing and it gave me a link to generate the page… AND IT FINALLY WORKED!

      Now of course, I have the same problem this article talks about. I have a relatively well developed Brand Page and a Local Page… Oh joy!

      I think it might be a question of waiting a little bit until old listings sync with new interfaces all the way, not sure. I hope this helps you though :)

  5. Hi Mike and thank you for the sharing! This defo clarifies a bunch of things!
    I would appreciate your thoughts on this new type of business pages that now show a map but they don’t show reviews or don’t show in GoogleMaps, i.e. https://plus.google.com/+Sheratonmilanmalpensa/about , they have some features in common with a Google+Local page but defo not the same functionalities…could you possibly give your oppinion on what they are and how would you proceed with them? Thanks a lot for the good info!

  6. thanks for sharing this info Mike. finally, I found an answer to my question :)

    but, as I chose to have two pages, shall I also change the URL of the “publisher” link in the header of my page?

    what do you suggest here?

    • @Leyva
      At this point publisher is not really functioning in local so I am not sure that it makes a huge difference. I guess that I would probably:
      1)Point your publisher link to the company page
      2)I would also be sure that your logo is in rich snippets.

  7. Hi Mike, thanks for a very helpful summary. I am having a number of issues with G+ page. One of which is, depending on the page, it shows different name:

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/+Farhoumanddentistry/
    has as its title Farhoumand Dental

    but all the posts are shown as posted by Farah Farhoumand, DDS (one of the dentists there).

    The G+ is verified yet it would not change to Farhoumand Dental.

    Any suggestion would be much appreciated!

    • @Mitko
      It would appear that two listings, one for the practitioner and one for the practice, have likely been merged into a single listing by Google. I would imagine that they are also probably claimed in several locations with several logins. I would suggest that you go here: https://support.google.com/places/?hl=en and click on the big red CONTACT US button and have a chat with Google support. They are really the only folks that can it squared away.

  8. Hi Mike,
    Thank you for the insights- Question, I was told some time ago by a respected source that Google only wants one Local Business
    listing per business, not counting the listing of different locations within the same business.
    Your reply above cast doubt on this, in looking thru Google support forums I can’t find anything one way or another on this.

    Do you have anything definitive for me please?

    • @Christopher
      I am not sure what I said above that would cast doubt on it. Google wants one listing per location. There are exceptions like when their are professional practioners or there are departments withing a large organization but as a general rule it is “one location, one listing”. If you are ever in doubt about the rules here is the current bible.

  9. Thanks Mike. This is a common problem, one which we suffer from and one which we see clients suffering from on a daily basis.

    Given that creation of company/brand pages was the only option for business on G+ when it was in its infancy I cannot believe Google still offer no method for merging brand pages with local; especially if both pages are verified within the same account so clearly belonging to the same organisation.

    It’s hugely frustrating. We’ve spent a long time building our G+ following on our company/brand page therefore it will be difficult and time consuming to pull this over to our local page, not to mention confusing for the follower base.

    I’m still hoping Google will eventually offer a solution but I’m not holding my breath…

    Chris

  10. @Chris
    While I wholeheartedly agree that Google has a great deal of responsibility in this issue, it isn’t because company/brand pages were the only choice.

    At the November 2011 introduction Google offered Local pages along with the other types. Shortly there after they offered up the ability to merge G+ Pages with your Places page.

    The issue has been the poor communication to local businesses and the even poorer transition from the old style dashboard to the new dashboard and full integration into G+. They are most certainly responsible for that. While a merge function would helpful it also presents numerous problems for their architecture, support and spam.

  11. Hi Mike,

    Are there any preferred strategies for listing a business on google places/maps (with a little red bubble)?

    I can use my home address and opt not to show the address
    I can rent an office space just to have the address listing (I won’t ever actually use the space)
    I can continue using my P.O. box and then list that I do not have a physical location

    Most of my business is done in people’s homes.

    What do you think the best solution would be with regards to local SEO with the little red bubble and which google social media to use?

    Thanks so much

    RJ

    • @RJ
      The first guideline is to religiously follow Google’s Places Guidelines. They prohibit the use of PO Boxes and effectively ban the use of virtual offices. They do support what they call service area businesses (SAB) using their home address but hiding it as their main address. This technique offers no penalties and is your best path.

      As far as ranking goes you need to make your business and its website more prominent on line to make it onto the front page of Google.

  12. Thank you Mike,

    I was concerned about doing this because:

    My top keyword searches (and areas I serve) are for the county and city that I live in, but not the town. I live outside of the main city and county area that I serve and I thought that by using my home address, it would put me at a disadvantage if I served clients in the county and city outside of where I lived. Is this a concern or am I overanalyzing?

    And if I understood your post correctly for a local business like mine, it would be best to use and communicate with customers via my G+ Page for local?
    Thank you very much,

    RJ

  13. @RJ
    With the SAB option in Google you can tell Google what the center of your service area is. So that should allow you to focus on at least your primary market area if not all of your market areas.

    And yes, you would be best off using your G+ Page for local instead of any of the other page types that Google provides.

    • Thank you Mike!

      Last question,
      If I close my google places account with the old wrong address (p.o. box) and then reopen it with the correct designation , as service area business (SAB), how will it affect my webmaster account (if at all) associated with the account. I want to make sure I do not lose any information or data in that account.

      Thanks so much!

      RJ

      • Generally speaking there is never a reason to close an existing places account. The only time would be if a listing was already claimed into multiple accounts.

        If I were you I would just modify the listing to accurately represent your business in the existing account.

        • Hmm, that brings up another dilemma because the google places representative (from the website requesting a call back) stated marking my business that was using a P.O. box as closed and then making a completely new one as a SAB. Why? I have no idea.

          I will try calling them back and getting a reason why and will let you know. thanks

  14. Hi Mike,

    I’m a bit confused about all of this. Perhaps you can help?

    Google+ for Local = standard, automatically created listing for businesses. We have claimed and verified these. Google+ for Business = more social listing which you can add people to circles, create posts, etc.

    The accounts which our standard listings are associated with already have Google+ accounts, but they’re personal ones. I am unsure how to create a Google+ for Business account for our actual businesses in the account when a personal account is already there.

    To put it simply: Our Places listing is under a gmail account which has a personal G+ account attached to it. How do I get a business G+ account for the listing already attached to the account?

    Thanks a lot,
    Stephen

    • @Stephen
      I am not quite sure that I understand.

      Firstly G+ for Local = standard auto created listing and if with the upgraded dashboard (soon coming to all) = more social listing which you can add people to circles, create posts, etc.

      G+ for Business isn’t an account its a page.

      G+ Page for Business and G+ Page for Local can be managed by either just a gmail/google account (no personal profile) or a G+ account (with a personal profile).

      If you are asking how to create a G+ Page for Business for those accounts with “standard” G+ Page for local, it is likely that you are in the old dashboard? Regardless you can create the G+ Page for Business by going over to G+ Pages and adding one. If you do it via Plus than you would need to remove the personal profile page if you didn’t want to have it.

  15. Thanks, Mike; this is extremely helpful.

    I have a small business client with a verified G+ local page that was set up before I started working with them. Their business model has changed, and they are not operating a store front. They have a home office and while they do business locally, the goal is to work with clients nationwide.

    If I read the article and comments above correctly, there’s not a way to remove the G+ local page but the client could be penalized for having one while not doing business with clients in person? Otherwise, are there any disadvantages to using the local page rather than setting up a business page? I suppose people might think the company only does business locally…

    I have been investigating this issue for over a week and haven’t been able to decide the best course of action!

    Thank you.

    • @Amy
      As long as the business does transact locally then they are eligible for a listing. There is a requirement that they provide face to face service whether by a storefront or on site. I can’t see any benefit to you in getting rid of the local page.

      Since they are a home office they should choose the option to hide their address to be in full compliance. At this point Google isn’t penalizing local businesses that don’t hide their address but reserves the right to hide the address if they determine that would be most appropriate. However I would think in your situation the business would want to hide their address to avoid having folks driving up to their house. And I would think that the local business obtained from showing in search results would be welcome even if a small percentage of their future growth.

      So you aren’t likely going to be able to get rid of the local page. Google will auto create it even if you abandon it.

      Given that your goals include a nationwide clientele you need to decide how that is best approached in the context of Google+. Would it be best to build out a strong business page presence or a strong personal presence? Or both. These would be in addition to the local page.

      Google+ had its origins in being a platform for real people. Pages for Business came later. As such it is easier, for many business types (consultants, trainers) to build trust on the network as an individual rather than as a business. In that case the personal page would be all that is needed as a platform for a national presence.

      On the other hand companies with more prominent brands and no one that is the face of the business are more likely to go the route of the G+ Page for company or brand. It is harder for a small company to pull that off effectively but it might be an option if that is the long term dream.

      I personally have followed the former approach and I am the personal face of my national presence (my G+ persona and page) and that my local business has a G+ Page for local. It has worked quite well.

      Obviously Coke and Ford have not done that.

      The decision is a resource driven one and to some extent matching your goals and interests against what Google has to offer more than a technical one.

  16. Thank you for this – I’ve been losing sleep over it, as I have a couple new clients for whom duplicate listings are an issue. However, I confess I’m still kinda confused about one thing:
    The names of the G Products (which keep changing/combining and confusing me further) really don’t make it any simpler. What is the difference between:
    Google+
    Google+ Places
    Google+ Local
    Google Maps

    The only one I really understand is Google+, the social property. If anyone could spell these out with exact definitions, including visual examples, and also explain how each ones comes into existence (either through Google dumping it there or through someone purposefully creating a page), I, and several of my colleagues and clients, would be forever in your debt. Until Google changes it up again.

  17. @Kristen
    You need to realize how Google views local…. it is data that they will show whereever it is relevant. It is not a product, it is not a page… it is granular information that can appear in the Knowledge panel (sidebar in search), in Google Maps, in Google Plus, in various mobile apps, in Glass, etc etc. This data gets reforrmated as necessary.

    You also need to understand that Google sees the input as distinct from the output. Google loves new data and they get it wherever they can:
    Old Google Places Dashboard
    New Google Places Dashboard (which shares an input screen with)
    Google Plus
    Mapmaker
    Report a Problem

    Here is an article that details the big picture: The Debranding of Google Local

    And here are some that details the various pages
    A Guide to Google Local Listing Page Identification

    What kind of page is it?

  18. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for this article. Google+/local/pages/places has been giving me untold grief!
    I read through all the comments to see if you already answered my question but I haven’t found it.

    Here’s my situation:
    I have a verified Google+ Local page and a Google+ Page page for that same business. The account associated with the Local page is a manager of the Page page.

    Question 1:
    The Page keeps telling me to ‘verify my business’ but when I click it it says “This business is already in your account.”
    So is there a way for me to verify it if I plan to keep both the pages? Does it matter if it’s not verified?

    Question 2:
    I’ve never clicked the ‘Google+ Business’ page on the dashboard of the Local page and as far as I can tell right now my Local page doesn’t have social capabilities.
    If I add the Business page, what happens? I add social capabilities to my Local page?
    Do I want to do this if I already have a Page page?
    If I do, I’m going to have the problem that you’re writing about in this article. But maybe if I do as you suggested, gain the social aspect, and point everyone to the Page page.

    Thank you!

  19. Hi Mike,
    My understanding (wild educated guess?) is the reason you can’t physically merge your G+ local page (the page a local business listing in the SERP will link to) with your G+ Business (profile) page (the one that can have a custom URL based on the business name) is because your G+ Business page is a special brand page for business (see: http://www.google.com/+/business/brands/), what Google calls “Google+ For Brands.”

    Google+ For Brands is a way to promote brands w/in the overall Google+ superstructure of related G+ properties, e.g., Google Hangouts, Google+ communities.

    • @Christopher
      There are two types of “Thing” pages that a business might want to merge with their Goggle+ Local page: A brand page and a company page. Regardless of the role of a brand page, it would make total sense to be able to merge a Company Page with a Local Page in cases like this.

      I think that the issue is that there are no tools within or without of Google that allows the user to reach into the index and execute this type of merge. I would bet that at some point Google will offer such a tool.

  20. Hi Mike,

    What is the best way to set up a new Google+ Local page?
    This is for a new brick and mortar business.
    Do I create a business page from my personal gmail account?
    Or is it better to set up a new gmail account for the business?
    Such as CompanyName@gmail.com
    I want my webmaster and other managers to be able to get in and administer the account. Upload photos, etc.
    I am just confused on weather or not Google now requires it to be set up from a personal account or not.

    • @mark

      If your gmail account had never used Places before then the best set up option is via google.com/places.

      This allows you to use your gmail account and doesn’t require you to upgrade to a Google + account.

      In this dashboard (settings gear/upper right) you can add managers to the page but you will be the owner.

  21. Hi Mike,
    thank you so much for providing me the incredible information !!
    I need you input on Google+Local pages for small business.
    I need to create 377 Google+Local pages for small business for a retailer brand who own his business on many places. I claim the first 100 adresses and it works … but i discover that it is limited to 100 pages for 1 profile account.
    So i did create a new profile account to link the newt 100 pages and trouble start…
    1- Google ask me my phone number for each new page
    2- you can use the same phone number (to validate your Gmail account) only for 6 pages…

    Did you found the same pb already? Do you have any suggestions to help us please ?

    • @Mery
      Google has implemented these steps to prevent abuse at scale. Their recommended option for dealing with this many businesses is via Bulk Upload.

  22. Thank goodness I finally came across your article. I’ve had a horrid time googling my problem (exactly as you have detailed it) and getting any decent results. I have been trying to build my google+ for some time now and today when editing google places to have them create a new + account is really annoying. From what you have written this is obviously a common concern for people.
    I am unsure whether to use the transfer google+ circles and connections now available as I am concerned this will stuff up the custom url in the original page.
    Unfortunately no solution is perfect.

  23. Hey Mike,
    You stated at item #1 that “Google will automatically create a G+ Page for local for any business that has a bricks and mortar presence, as well as for individual doctors, lawyers and real estate agents at those locations.”

    Does this include manufacturing companies? In this case, I like to think of the manufacturing company as the parent company and the products they produce as the brands. The products are sold to the US and Canada. We don’t want to maintain separate pages/accounts for (5) brands on an ongoing basis.

    If I understand correctly, in this scenario, it is best to:
    1. Create a G+ for business page for the parent company
    2. Create a G+ local page (if it does not already exist) for the parent company. Have a single post on this page that points the user to the parent company G+ business page.
    3. Here is where I get a bit lost. I am not sure how to handle the brand pages.

    Can you clarify your statement that ” business can have as many other G+ Page types as they desire for their brand, events or the parent company?”

    How would I go about creating the brands under the same *umbrella* of the parent company?

    It sounds like I can create a business page (like a profile page) and then add brand pages to it. Is that correct? I thought you needed a personal profile page to which you would then add a biz page.

    I’m concerned about 5 brand pages floating around as local pages all with the same address. I don’t want to have to manage all of those. Is there a way to avoid having Google auto-create local pages for each brand?

    Our goal is to promote the product brands individually, but under the same G+ account , if possible.

    Thanks!

    • Does this include manufacturing companies?

      Yes

      We don’t want to maintain separate pages/accounts for (5) brands on an ongoing basis.

      Then don’t. There is no benefit in creating pages for the sake of creating pages. Either they are active, attract followers and have original, related content or they are not worth doing.

      Can you clarify your statement that ” business can have as many other G+ Page types as they desire for their brand, events or the parent company?”

      I am not sure how much more clear I can get here. You can create these page ad nauseum. But see above. If they are not active, lively places with conscious effort, they will sit as orphans in the plus.google.com subdirectory with no benefit to you or anyone else.

      How would I go about creating the brands under the same *umbrella* of the parent company?

      Google currently offers no way to relate or subjugate one page to another. They may at some point in the future but as of now there are no “parent-child” relationships. Each page stands on its own.

      It sounds like I can create a business page (like a profile page) and then add brand pages to it. Is that correct?
      I thought you needed a personal profile page to which you would then add a biz page.

      That is correct. A google account without a persona attached can create pages now. It is more obvious how to do so with a persona attached but it is possible to delete the persona.

      I’m concerned about 5 brand pages floating around as local pages all with the same address. I don’t want to have to manage all of those. Is there a way to avoid having Google auto-create local pages for each brand?

      You misunderstand the role of local pages and their relationship and the role of brand pages. Local pages are highly restricted and only exist for real locations and real businesses. You can only have one per location. Not per brand, per location. Google will only auto create Google + Pages for Local for businesses that it determines with trust to be at a location. It will not create them for a brand just because you add an address to a brand page.

      Bottom line
      Walk before you can run. Start with ONE page… perhaps two.

      The G+ Local Page can do everything that a company page can do in terms of content, videos, photos, followers, pluses… Why not use just that page for everything? You create brand oriented posts, videos and photos. If you circle folks that you think are interested in each brand you can then alert them to the new, brand specific content.

      Once you have that figured out then move on to a more ambition plan. But it will do everything you want.

  24. I think Google need to clear up all the mess and confusion related to Google Plus. There should be just two entities G+ profile and Page. G+ Places or G+ business page should be automatic choice depending upon information provided in about page eg: address, website, phone numbers, map marker etc.

    Even G+ custom URL and pre-approved URL are a problem. I have a G+ local page with a pre-approved url which I would like to have for my profile but there is no way I can do that or report about it.

  25. Hi Mike,

    Could you explain why there is a ‘reviews’ section in the Google+ business page and where these reviews come from? I’ve always thought that these would come from the Places page once merged. Thanks Xan

    • @Xan
      That is for reviews that have been made by the business that the page represents. If you are logged in as the business and make a review of another business they show in that tab.

  26. Hi Mike,
    This is a great post and clarifies the situation a lot for me.
    I still find Google+, Google+ Business, Google+ Local, Google Analytics, YouTube, etc… to be the most confusing group of products ever released but at least I’m a little less confused now.
    It’s as if Google intentionally try to make things difficult to understand. I’ve got to persevere though as sorting it out is very important to me.
    All the best,
    Gary

  27. THANK YOU!!! Finally a concise and straight to the point explanation of the mess that this topic is. Even the help desk at google themselves cannot (why I don’t understand) explain this to people like you have.

    I am frustrated just like everyone else with these constant changes and total lack of easy to navigate instructions, and I come from the online marketing world. I CANNOT imagine what a mom and pop shop with “normal” computer knowledge can do if we, the people who live online, can barely figure it out.

    I usually love google products, but this G+ mess is totally ridiculous!

    Thank you again!!! Priceless information.

  28. While I appreciate the explanation, there needs to a better way to remedy this hot mess of a situation. I can’t get behind any of the suggestions you gave. I hope Google figures it out soon!

    • @Jenet
      While it is good to hope that google will change the reality that we face, we still face that reality. thus one has to wake up in the morning and deal with the world as it is. While you might not agree with my suggestions… you still need to cope with the fact that you have two pages. What are you going to do?

  29. Hi Mike,

    Thank you so much for being a resource for us as we try to deal with this problem.

    This is something I have also struggled with for a while now. It was even further complicated by my G+ local page and the G+ business page being attached to different Google accounts.

    Finally got them all on the one account this week and discovered that there must at least be some connection between the G+ and G+ local pages, as the plus count for my G+ business page is now also showing on my G+ local page.

    Could this be the start of a merger between the 2 different page types or is it just that Google has noticed the association between the 2 pages and amalgamated the statistics for them.

    https://plus.google.com/+BignotemarketingAust
    https://google.com/+BignotemarketingAulocal

    Graham Apolony
    Big Note Marketing
    Promotional Calendars

    • Graham
      From what I understand from Google that is as close as the two page types will ever get. They will not merge.

  30. Mike

    What did you mean when you state “…..A business can have as many other G+ Page types as they desire for their brand, events or the parent company.”

    I start with the proposition that one local pages page per physical location. I have a verified local business page page Anthony Castelli Attorney with the castellilaw website associated with it

    I have another web site I made to niche out the social security disability part of my law practice. It is run out of the same address , after all, its just a subset of areas of law I practice in.

    I would like to create a place page and associate it with socialsecuritydisabilityassist my new web site to hopefully get some more traction in seo . How would i do this ? Would it be a brand page?

    I did not want to put correct url because I thought that would kick fliter. Thanks

    • @anthony
      There are 5 Google Plus Page types; Local, Company, Brand, Event and Other.

      You can only have one Local Page per location. But you can have as many brand, company, event or other pages as you like.

  31. Great article! What I have learned is:

    1. If you create a Google+ Brand page, then when people search that brand name in Google, the Google+ page appears on the right side of the search results (under ads).

    2. If you create a Google+ Local page, then when people search the company name, IF the person searching is within your local area, (I often manually change my location in search to test different results.) a tiny link to that Google+ Local page appears under the description of the web page being returned.

    3. If you create a Google+ Local page, then when people search for a generic service + their city name – (example: “plumber dallas”) your Google+ Local page will return if you are in that area with that keyword in your description on the about tab.

  32. Mike

    Finally! This sounds like part of my problem but I still have a question. I have created a Google business page for my business because the Local page was verified by some unknown person and now I cannot edit it because I don’t have rights. How can I find out who verified my Local page so I can take admin rights to edit it? I would get rid of the Google Business page if I had rights to the Local. Also, Google doesn’t let me edit my business listing info because it says it is a duplicate of another. I know it is but I can’t edit the original so that is why I have gone after creating a Business page that I CAN edit.

    Thanks, I hope this makes sense

  33. 1. If you create a Google+ Brand page, then when people search that brand name in Google, the Google+ page appears on the right side of the search results (under ads).

    Either a brand or a local page will show on the right side of the branded search result IF the page is strong enough regardless of whether they are in the local area. Search on “Barbara Oliver & Co Jewelry” and let me know what you see.

    • Mike, it looks like she has used her G+ local page as her only G+ presence. It was a small link under her main business listing, large entry to the right side and 2 listings further down in the search listings. Do you think her reviews are counting for anything in the G+ world? They certainly highlight the listing.

      • I think the reviews play a role in local ranking. Whether they play a role the display of the knowledge panel is a great question. I have no idea. They certainly though add lots of credibility.

  34. @Spencer
    You need to contact Google support and ask their assistance in locating the other account that has claimed the listing. It is probably someone within your organization or it was done long ago on a forgotten email account.

    You can send them a form from this URL https://support.google.com/business/troubleshooter/3561373?p=marked_duplicate&id=16534315934689092935&rd=1#ts=3452765,3452770
    or you can have them call you back during US working hours.

    However before you do, you want to be sure that you can demonstrate that your current Google account controls the listing. The best ways to do that are 1)Register the website with webmaster tools using your current G+ Login email and 2)Place the current G+ login email on the website someplace.

    Depending on when the last time the other claimant touched the record support might either offer to email them, possibly give you a clue about their email address or if you are lucky allow you to claim the listing.

  35. Blimey Mike that’s a dedicated stream of responses! Fair play to you.

    I ran into this problem today and the answers you have supplied since the article was written are very very helpful. In particular your answer to Amy about the balance between local and national marketing put a cap on a quandary I’ve had for a few weeks now with one client!

    It’s above and beyond the call of duty this blog so thanks again!

    • @Ray
      I am beginning to revise my view on the brand page. If you have but one location and your current brand page has little to no visibility you can do everything you want with the local page both locally and nationally.

  36. Great article which helped me articulate the problems to a client, I’ve had no end of problems with G+ local pages, I’d be happy if I never saw one again.

  37. Hi Mike,

    First of all, brilliant article! But I’m so frustrated and confused as to what on earth Google was thinking about all these various pages!

    I have to create 3 listings for 3 different businesses which are local. So, here is what I’ve done so far:

    1) created a Google Log in
    2) created a Google+ page
    3) created a Google listing….
    4) And NOW there’s another Google+ page!

    Which do I delete because the first page is linked to the Business YouTube account/profile. So if I delete the first one, the YouTube link will break.

    (Can you see how confused I am?)

    These are the accounts I keep reading about:
    1) Google+ Page
    2) Google+ for business
    3) Google+ for Local
    4) Google Local Listing

    Which ones do I need and which ones can I delete?

    Help would be more than appreciated! :)

    Thanks from a more than confused and flustered Sarina…

    • NEVER MIND! :) I’ve just read through all the comments…..I’m going to grab myself a cup of tea and still down and study Google……yay

  38. Dear Mike,
    First of all, thank you so much for this article. I ran into problems with G+ when I only found out recently that we had another “local” page and the Google support was of no help to clarify the issue, only to say that we should maintain our local page.

    I’ve “inherited” these company pages so i’ve no idea how these pages were created. But am I correct to say that:

    (A) https://plus.google.com/b/111564202657772145185/111564202657772145185/ is our Company Page?
    and
    (B) https://plus.google.com/b/112346811472866570677/112346811472866570677/ is our Local Business Page?

    And given that the nature of our business is online, not a brick and mortar, it would make sense in this case to focus on (A) and direct (B) visitors to (A) instead?

    Thanks!

    (FYI, I’ve done a search with our company name on google.com and google.com.sg and find that only in google.com.sg do our posts from (A) – the non-G+ local page appear, but no other listings show up in SERPS on google.com… which really doesn’t answer the question how a local page is advantageous in a localized search engine…)

  39. @Let
    When starting at zero both the G+ page for Local and the G+ Page for Company are equal. They both have an equal chance of showing. However because you have been in business for a while Google knows more about you as Local entity and thus your G+Page for Local has accrued “strength” just by virtue of you having been in business and Google seeing that information around the web.

    When I do a brand search on Google.com I see your G+ Page for Local. See this screen shot.

    When I do a brand search at Google.com.sg. See this screen shot.

    So even though a company/brand page in theory can be equal, at this point in time your G+ Page for local shows on branded searches worldwide.

    Given that the two pages function the same, I see little value in your case to the brand page at this point in time as the local page is more visible.

    Also if you asked international or national clients for reviews they would show up on your brand searches on the front page of Google (which is where you are more likely to be seen).

    Obviously it is up to you and in the end you might be able to get the brand page to show on the front page of Google, but from where I sit, I would focus on your G+Page for Local because you will have higher visibility sooner.

  40. “Unfortunately, because of Google’s slooow merger of Places and Plus,” Let me add a few more “o’s” to your sloooooooooow merger. Thank you for this. I thought it was just me not being able to figure it out. Confusing is a mild understatement. Either it will get worked out with time, or just more confusing and less user friendly. Hopefully it will be the former and not the latter.

    • @Amy
      Once this transition and the next are out of the way, there should be (relatively) smooth sailing.

  41. Hi Mike

    Yes, I was previously logged in, however I just tested logged out, incognito, different browser while logged out. I still get the same results: Typing without pte ltd, shows me recent post from brand page on google.com.sg, and nothing on google.com

  42. Hi Mike

    Thanks for this. Truly appreciate your advice.

    When I type the company name without “pte ltd”, I get a different result with a recent post from the brand page showing in Google.com.sg

    Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to make the decision any easier.

  43. Are you searching logged out and using incognito mode? Otherwise you are seeing personalized results.

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