Why Duplicate Local Business Listings Matter
By: Hayden Jarman
You own a local business that also has a website. You've heard you need a Google Local Business Listing, but you want to make sure you do it right. Or maybe you've already created your listing, & are concerned about all this buzz you're hearing about "Duplicate Business Listings" causing problems for business owners.
Either way, I wrote this post to help guide you in the right direction.
First, what is a Google Local Business Listing? Put simply, it's the box you see on the right-hand side of Google's search results when you search for your brand name. This box usually includes a picture or logo of the business, it's contact info, a link to the website, & perhaps most importantly - reviews of the business.
This is a vital aspect of your company's online presence. Think about it like this:
Your Google Local Business Listing is the first thing most potential customers will experience in regards to your company.
If everything about the listing isn't all squeaky clean, you're almost literally blocking customers at the door.
Now you know why the listing itself is so important, but what about this issue of "Duplicate Listings"? I mean, the more the merrier...right?
To start, according to Google's Official Guidelines, there should only be a single listing for each business location. The exceptions here would include law firms with multiple partners, medical offices with more than one practitioner, & other comparable business set-ups. Failing to follow that seemingly simple rule can negatively affect your company's online presence in a variety of ways.
If there are multiple listings, you have no way to choose which will show up first. This means that if you have an outdated & inaccurate listing floating around, customers could end up calling the wrong phone number, or worse - driving all the way to your previous business location.
The next issue relates to the ever-important Reviews I brought up earlier. If you have more than one listing, your reviews could be spread out among them. That means that you'll lose the power & authority you could've had if those reviews were combined into one listing.
Another thing to think about is the fact that you never ever want to confuse Google when it comes to your business. When you have duplicate listings, Google doesn't know which one of them to trust, & could end up lowering its trust for your business overall.
Also, you should know that a Google Local Business Listing will often spread across the web on multiple listing-type platforms. You can't necessarily control this spread of information, but you can nip the potential problems in the bud by making sure you have a single, accurate listing. It is certainly easier to correct a duplicate listing than trying to track down all the inaccurate information out there once it's already been copied from an old listing.
Lastly, you're always going to need someone to manage your Local Business Listing, so that you can react in a timely way to all incoming Reviews (positive & negative). You can see why having more than one listing out there would literally double your work, & for no benefit on your end.
As we wrap up, you should also know that Duplicate Listings are not always your fault. Occasionally, Google will create a "default" listing for a Business if one doesn't yet exist. You may end up creating a duplicate listing on top of this if you aren't aware that it's out there. Either way, the important thing to remember is that regardless of why a Duplicate Listing was created - it still needs to be fixed.
It's a pretty straightforward process to clean up a Duplicate Local Business Listing, but if you need any assistance - BlueTone is always here to help!