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Google Ownership Conflicts| Hitchhikers Platform
What You’ll Learn
In this section, you will learn:
- How ownership works on Google
- What an ownership conflict is
- What you can expect and what you need to do when resolving ownership conflicts
As we’ve mentioned, Google cares deeply about the accuracy of the data that consumers find on search, maps, home, or assistant. If the information isn’t right, they’ll lose their customers’ trust and fewer people will want to use Google. This is a big key to their success.
As a way to help manage that trust, Google makes sure that all business listings updated via GMB are verified by the business. But, what if multiple people claim to be “the business”? And what if the data is different between those two sources?
For that reason, Google carefully manages the ownership of listings. Each verified listing exists only once globally across GMB, but multiple users can have access to it.
If someone else has already verified your location, your listing will be flagged as “Access Needed”, which means that you will need to initiate an ownership conflict process to request that you be granted access to that listing.
To kick off the process, you can go to GMB and click on Request Access on the location in question. You will be taken to a form that looks like this:
Similar to bulk verification, you should use an on-domain email address if you are an employee of the brand to help legitimize your authorization. The user that owns the verified listing will then receive an email with your information and your request.
There are a few different outcomes for this process:
- The other user grants you access to the location. This will add it to your account view and enable you to make updates as needed. Keep in mind that the other user may also be making changes, even conflicting changes, or responding to reviews or questions.
- The other user declines your request. You can contact Google to try to sort it out if the other person truly is not authorized to manage the data. If it is a franchisee, we recommend reviewing your franchise agreements or involving your legal team as needed.
- The other user does not respond to your request. After a couple of weeks of no response, you can follow up with Google verifying that the user has not responded. In this case, they may choose to unverify the other user’s location, which will allow you to verify your location. Note: this can happen to you in reverse so make sure to monitor the email of the account that owns the listing – if others, like franchisees, request access and you do not reply, Google may choose to unverify your location and give it to them.
In most cases, if the ownership request is rejected or ignored, you can complete the verification process to confirm your association with the business and take ownership. So rejection or lack of response does not mean you’re completely out of luck.