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Google Listing Verification| Hitchhikers Platform
What You’ll Learn
In this section, you will learn:
- How Google approaches verification
- How bulk verification works
- How single location verification works
- How to manage verification through the Yext platform
Overview of Google Verification
Google manages the delivery of data from GMB to its consumer-facing properties like Search and Maps only for verified Listings. If your Listing is not verified, the data will sit in GMB but will not be delivered to consumers.
What does it mean to be a verified Listing? It means that Google has enough trust that you are the rightful owner of the location and therefore trustworthy enough to provide good data. Google cares tremendously about the quality of data that their users see — it’s a huge part of their value and the reason they’re used by so many people. If consumers stop trusting the data they find on Google, this could significantly impact Google’s valuation and operations.
At a high level, Google has two methods of verification:
Bulk Verification — you can apply for this if you are a chain with more than 10 locations with physical locations. Once approved, all entities you add to your account will automatically be verified, unless flagged by Google’s algorithms as suspicious or a duplicate.
Single Location Verification — you must use this method if you are a business with less than 10 locations or you don’t have a physical presence (e.g., service area business). As the name implies, you must do this for each location individually.
You can learn more about Google’s verification policies in Google’s Verify your local business listing on Google article. As a trusted partner with Google, Yext can help assist and advise you through the process but Google has ultimate say on your verification status.
Bulk verification is available for any brands with more than 10 locations and that have a physical presence where customers can visit during the stated business hours. If you are a service area only business, unfortunately you will not be eligible for bulk verification and will need to use single location verification.
If your business is eligible, Yext will assist you with the bulk verification process. For more information on how this works, see Google’s Request bulk verification for 10+ locations help article. As a best practice, you should only apply for verification once you’ve uploaded all of your locations in your account with accurate information.
During the review process, you can expect to hear from a Google representative asking you questions about the data in your account. They may be reviewing each location to make sure it really exists or ask you to verify certain locations using photos. They often require that the data match the data on your locator or finder on your website. You should expect this process to take several weeks for Google to fully review, process and approve.
Once you’re verified though, it will become much easier to manage your brand’s data. By default, new listings should become verified quickly (sometimes as quickly as a few minutes, otherwise within a few days). That said, your listings can always get flagged as “suspended”, “disabled” or “duplicates” – we will surface this information for you in the Listings tab and you can read more about what these statuses mean in Google’s Understand your listing status article.
Single Location Verification
If you represent a brand that has less than 10 locations or does not have a physical presence, you’ll need to use single location verification. This means that each location must be verified individually.
Google provides a few different methods for verification and is often experimenting with additional methods with subsets of users. Each method will involve sending you, the business representative, a verification code that you can then submit back to GMB to complete the process. In all cases, the verification code will expire after 30 days so you want to make sure to complete the verification in a timely manner. The standard forms available are:
- Postcard verification: This will trigger a postcard sent to your business address.
- Phone verification: An automated caller will call the phone number on your Listing. Make sure to tell whoever is answering your phones to expect this call so they don’t hang up!
- Text: This will trigger a text message to be sent to the phone number on your Listing.
- Email: This will trigger an email to be sent to the email address listed in the platform.
It is important to note that not all of the above options will always be available when you attempt to verify your listing. Verification methods differ by location, and Google determines which options to provide for your business. This is especially relevant for single location businesses, as oftentimes the postcard verification is the only available option.
We recommend putting together a process for your brand to manage this if you have more than 10 locations to verify to make sure that the process runs smoothly. You should identify:
- Who will be responsible for requesting verification — either directly on GMB or via Yext
- Who will be responsible for receiving the verification code
- Who will be responsible for making sure that code is submitted to GMB — either directly on GMB or via Yext
This person might be the same for all three steps or it may be a different person for each step, which would require additional coordination.
Managing Verification in Yext
In the Yext platform, we will surface your entity’s verification status via Listings Status. If for any reason your entity is not verified or pending verification, your Listing will have an associated unavailable reason.
You can also initiate and complete single location verification through the Yext platform. For any eligible listings, you will see a call-to-action to Verify Listing.
When you click this button, you will be provided with the verification options that Google will allow for your location (e.g., phone, postcard, etc). Once you receive your code — whether that’s immediately or days later via snail mail — you can enter the code in the Yext platform directly to complete the verification. Don’t forget that the code expires after 30 days!