A funny thing happened on the way to Kansas. Well, not so funny because Local SEO Guide, an SEO agency, was never located in Kansas, but Google My Business believes the Pleasanton, California, company has been located in Fawn Creek Township, KS, since November 2020.
Thank you, Mike Blumenthal, Near Media co-founder and authority on local search, for calling this to our attention in a tweet. In my dozen or so years writing for MediaPost about search, I’ve learned that Blumenthal and Local SEO Guide Founder Andrew Shotland are two funny and smart SEO guys.
However, this is a true story. Not only did GMB somehow change the location of this business, but said the company apparently opened a hotel, as Shotland wrote in a post. According to GMB, he moved and opened a hotel, all in the midst of COVID-19.
He said Local SEO Guide doesn’t really rely on the company’s GMB page for leads, but sent a note to GMB support for help. Then he forgot about it, until February.
“In February, while in a 20-person Zoom meeting on how much we should freak out about Core Web Vitals, I logged into LSG’s GMB dashboard to see if maybe we had been moved to Colorado (hopefully near Aspen),” Shotland wrote in a post. “While in there, for some reason, I decided to add “SEO agency” as a Business Category. ‘SEO Agency’ must be on the double-secret do-not-use list because as soon as I added it, our listing got suspended.”
When Shotland didn’t get quick results, he turned to Steven Saldana, LSG’s GMB problem-solver, to give it a try.
Shotland’s request went something like this: “Hey GMB, I added a new service category and got suspended. I deleted the category so please un-suspend us. Thanks!”
Saldana’s request basically said the same thing although a bit more forcefully, but he also added: "This is our corporate listing and it must be reinstated ASAP!"
It worked, in terms of getting the company off the suspended list -- but it was still located in Kansas.
As of today, the company’s safely back in Pleasanton, California, but Shotland suggests no company should rely solely on GMB, especially for leads.
Among the points to his story: "If you are looking for a great restaurant in Fawn Creek Township, KS, Google recommends Vegos Food Truck. Don’t worry that it’s actually located in Albuquerque, NM. It’s a truck, so you never know when it might show up in your hood."