How to Recover Missing Google Places Listings
This morning Google started rolling out a global update to Google Places. The entire service has finally merged with Google+ Local. If you try to go to the normal Places login, you’ll be automatically redirected to a gateway to Google+. For most people this isn’t a problem, but if the email address you use to manage your Places listings doesn’t already have G+ activated, you’re probably going to find a screen like this where you should see your business listings.
If that’s the case, don’t panic. You can still recover your work. This morning, we received a Google Places verification post card for a client. They are eager to gain a presence on Google Maps so that they can start gaining leads. Unfortunately, the client’s listing was in the middle of the verification process when update hit.
This client’s listing was brand new, and, as mentioned before, had yet to be verified. It wasn’t already a part of the G+ Local ecosystem, which meant that we thought we lost all the work we’d done to create their local listing. But after exploring the new dashboard and Google Maps, we found a way to reconcile what would have been yet another stray listing.
If you have a Google Places listing that you need to recover, follow these steps:
1. Go to your old Google Places dashboard
2. Enter your verification PIN
Enter your verification PIN to verify your listing. You should be redirected to the standard verification screen for Google Places.
3. Submit your Places listing for early upgrade
Once your listing is verified, go back to your Google Places dashboard by clicking the logo on the upper left side of the PIN verification screen. You should be redirected to your dashboard and find your listing marked as “Pending: Being reviewed.”
If you look at the top of the page you’ll also notice a message explaining that Google Places is being upgraded to Google+ Local. Follow the link in the message to go to Google’s article explaining the changes in detail.
At the end of the article, there is a field to submit your page for early upgrade to G+ Local, under “Who can use the new Places dashboard?”Submit your listing, and wait on Google to update your Places listing to a Google+ Local listing. (This is probably a good idea because it sends a signal to Google that your listing is monitored by a real human being, and that you care enough about your listing to proactively submit it to G+ Local.)
4. What if my previously verified listing disappeared?
If your listing was previously verified and you know the URL, recovering your listing is simple. First, sign into the Google account you use to manage your listing. Next, go directly to your listing and click on “Manage this page.” If you don’t know where this is, you can find the button in the lower right sidebar.
You should be redirected to the old Google Places dashboard where you can still send verification postcards.
Don’t forget to take the time to also submit your unverified listing for an early upgrade, lest you lose hours of work.
At the end of the day, to succeed in this new local search environment that Google+ Local offers, you must make sure that your Places listing is managed by an active account, currently enrolled in G+.