Google Business Profiles Bugs and Fixes – December 2021
Joy Hawkins

Google Business Profiles (GBP) are meant to help businesses make money and gain exposure. When GBP breaks, it can have costly effects on businesses. 5 major issues are plaguing GPB at the moment. You will either need to wait for Google the fix the issue while you slowly go out of business or take matters into your own hands if you can’t afford to wait. 

Two Service Area Business Issues (SAB)

There are two different technical issues impacting Service Area Businesses (SAB). The first issue is you can’t clear the address to comply with the TOS. Google keeps trying to add the cleared address back in and remove the service area. This issue has been raised with Google and they haven’t provided an update yet. 

The second issue is for SABs that move from one location to another. Google still has the business showing and ranking in the wrong city and/ or state. Both issues you either need to wait for Google to fix or willfully break the TOS and add and publicly display your address. A test was run on one of the businesses affected by the Kansas bug. They had previously created and verified their business in Pennsylvania. They moved to Florida and when the Kansas bug was resolved by Google, they kept ranking in Pennsylvania. After several months of Google being unable to correct the issue, the business owner added and is not publicly displaying their address. Problem solved as they are now showing and ranking in their correct area. Please note that by updating and displaying your address, your business profile can be immediately suspended. 

Google Business Profile Suspensions

There is a major issue happening where Google is refusing to reinstate business profiles. Google won’t say why, this is an increasingly new trend. Google won’t tell you if your business profile is unable to be reinstated. The only way to find out is to visit the Google Business Profile Help forum and have a Product Expert privately escalate the issue for you. If you are denied a reinstatement, you will need to create a brand new profile and start all over from scratch. All hope is not lost as you can contact support to get the reviews transferred from the original profile to the new one. The review replies, photos, posts, and history will be lost and it can take 6 months to rank again. 

If you do apply for reinstatement, you better hope that you don’t get caught in the suspension loop. A suspension loop is when you get immediately suspended as soon as you are reinstated. Several businesses have been suspended for over 2 months and counting. You will either need to wait for Google to fix the issue or create a new business profile. 

Call History Issue

The other issue that keeps popping up is businesses using the call history feature. The call history feature places a dynamic call tracking number on your business profile. Google can track and provide metrics on click to calls. Sadly, Google has been routing the calls to the wrong businesses repeatedly since this feature was first launched. The kinks haven’t been ironed out yet as the forum keeps getting complaints of calls are being routed to the wrong businesses. You will need to toggle the call history feature off. There are complaints that this too is not working, so you will need to toggle it on and off again. 

Google has several technical issues at the moment and these issues are having negative impacts on businesses. If you follow the above steps, you can fix the issues and forgo waiting on Google to fix the issue for you.

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Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006, writes for publications such as Search Engine Land, and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove, and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.