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Why is My Business Not Showing Up on Google Maps?
6 Reasons & How to Fix Them

By ISAAC ROBINSON
a.k.a. the Wize Wizard of the Web

If your business isn’t showing up in Google Maps results, it can be a deathblow to local sales. While there are a variety of reasons big and small why your listing might not be ranking, here are 6 major fixes that can get you back on Maps.

1. Your business isn’t verified with Google

The #1 reason your business might not show up in Google Maps results is that you haven’t verified your Google My Business account. 

Google adds businesses to Google Maps that it knows about, but it may not know about your business yet, especially if it’s relatively new. 

Once you’ve added your business to Google, you have to verify it before it will show in search results.

Why is My Business Not Showing Up on Google Maps?
6 Reasons & How to Fix Them

By ISAAC ROBINSON
a.k.a. the Wize Wizard of the Web

If your business isn’t showing up in Google Maps results, it can be a deathblow to local sales. While there are a variety of reasons big and small why your listing might not be ranking, here are 6 major fixes that can get you back on Maps.

1. Your business isn’t verified with Google

The #1 reason your business might not show up in Google Maps results is that you haven’t verified your Google My Business account. 

Google adds businesses to Google Maps that it knows about, but it may not know about your business yet, especially if it’s relatively new. 

Once you’ve added your business to Google, you have to verify it before it will show in search results.

How to tell if your business is verified on Google Maps

Go to your Google business listing via Google search or a link. Make sure you’re finding it from Google Search, not Google Maps! If it says “Own this business?” then the listing is unverified.

How to Tell if Your Google My Business is Unverified

If it doesn’t have the “Own this business?” link then the business has been verified.

How to Tell if Your GMB Is Verified

If you search for your business by name in Google Maps and it doesn’t come up, Google doesn’t know about it and it is unverified.

How to verify your business in Google Maps

Click on the “Own this business?” link on your Maps profile and sign in with a business email (preferably @gmail.com). If your business isn’t already in Google Maps, go to https://www.google.com/business/.

Sign In to Verify Your GMB Listing

Click the “Manage Now” button and search for your business with the tool.

Manage Your Google Business Profile

The search tool will auto-populate all the relevant businesses Google knows about.

Find and Manage Your Google Business Profile

Click the correct pre-populated business or add your business if there are no results.

Continue following the setup prompts, and eventually you will reach the verification page below.

Verify your Google Business Profile

Enter your address, and you will receive a postcard with a verification code in 3-5 days.

When you’ve gotten the postcard, sign into the account and click “Verify Now”. Enter the code and you will see a confirmation like this:

Hooray! You can now manage your Google business listing and optimize it to show up in Google Maps.

2. Your listing was suspended

Google is constantly evaluating GMB listings looking for spam/fake listings, and it’s possible that something about your business listing triggered a suspension. If your business suddenly stops showing in Google Maps, check if your listing was suspended.

How to tell if your Google listing was suspended

When you log into your Google My Business listing, a banner will display saying your listing has been suspended. While your business listing is suspended, it will not show up in any search results on Google. Your Google reviews will not show up to customers either.

Why is my business suspended on Google?

A business can be suspended from Google for any number of reasons, but the most common reason for suspension is violations of Google’s policies. These guidelines are designed to force businesses to represent themselves accurately and combat fake listings to create a level playing field.

Some of these guidelines include:

  • Have an accurate business name. Keyword stuffing in your business name will get your GMB listing suspended.
  • Website redirects to a different business. This is a marker of a fake listing to Google.
  • Spam signals. Inconsistent information, extremely frequent edits, etc. These are red flags for Google.

How to fix a suspended Google business listing

To fix your suspended Google My Business listing, follow Google’s reinstatement request process. One important note is that you should only submit one request per account or it will cause delays in fixing the suspension.

3. Your location is too far away

Proximity is one of the 3 main ranking factors for local businesses on Google Maps. If the search doesn’t include a location keyword like the name of your city or neighborhood, the results will be businesses closer to where you typed it in.

How Google uses proximity to rank map results

The closest businesses to the point of search get a boost in Maps rankings. Google is trying to serve customer intent, and most of the time, people don’t want to drive a long way to get what they need.

That said, businesses further away from the customer can still outrank closer options by the strength of their review profile or how well their GMB listing is optimized.

4. Your business is missing relevance signals

Factors on your Google business listing like GMB categories, services, and review keywords affect if your business shows up for different search terms. Google’s search algorithms are trying to determine if your business matches the searcher’s intent.

Check out this example:

Top 4 Local Search Results for "Milk Near Me"- Longmont Dairy, Safeway, Royal Crest Dairy, Whole Foods

The first four results all make sense- they sell milk. But how did Google decide where to rank them?

The business categories of the first two results line up exactly with the search. Additionally, they both have positive reviews that mention “milk”, which Google has highlighted in the results.

Safeway and Whole Foods didn’t set “Dairy Farm” as their primary category in their GMB listing. They don’t have “Dairy” in the business name. How does Google know they’re relevant to the search “milk near me?”

If you look closer, they both have a message that says “In stock: Milk” or “Sold here: Milk”. This means that they entered milk as a product.

Google then crawled their products when the search was made and used that information to show them in the search results.

How to add categories to your Google business listing

In your Google My Business profile, click on “Services” in the left-hand menu.

How to Add Services to GMB

Next, click “Add New Category” at the bottom of the page. You can then search through a dropdown of all the currently available categories in GMB.

Under your business category, you can also select the option to add services. Google will suggest services for that category, and give you the option to customize them.

How to optimize your GMB with keywords

For businesses with a wide range of services, like an electrical company that also does plumbing and HVAC, it’s important to add all the relevant categories to your GMB profile and add services in each category. Retail businesses and restaurants should add a menu or upload a product feed. These are keywords that Google will use to rank your listing.

You can also add labels and posts to your Google business listing that contain keywords. Customer reviews also often contain the names of products or services that people search for, so encourage customers to leave a written review (not just a star rating).

5. Your business has low local ranking authority

If your business doesn’t have a high local ranking authority, it won’t show up on the first page of Google Maps results. Even in low competition markets, your business will get little exposure if it doesn’t rank well.

Google ranks the results in Google Maps with a complicated algorithm that evaluates hundreds of factors that fall into three main categories: Relevance, Proximity, and Prominence.

Google My Business Ranking Factors Infographic- Relevance, Proximity, Prominence

Relevance

Google looks at information about your business to decide what searches to show your listing on.

Proximity

Location signals help Google find the right local business to show to searchers.

Prominence

Google looks at a broad range of clues that your business is the best around.

How to rank in Google Maps

  • Focus on established strategies oriented around the three concepts of relevance, proximity, and prominence.
  • Make use of all available Google My Business features.
  • Add new content to your GMB profile consistently.
  • Gather a steady stream of written customer reviews and ratings.

6. Problems with your business address

Problems with the business address tied to your Google business listing can prevent your business from showing in search results.

Primarily, this comes up if you’re sharing an office with another business or if you used the same address for verification as another business on Google.

If this happens, double check the address in your GMB account to make sure you’ve included all the relevant suite/apartment numbers. If the issue continues, contact Google support.

How to change your business address on Google

To change or edit your business address on Google, go into your GMB account and select the info tab from the left menu.

Your address or service areas will be the first thing under your business name and categories. Click the pencil icon to edit it.

Note: any changes you make to your GMB profile must be approved and may take up to 3 days to be reflected in search results.

Conclusion

It can be devastating if your business is not showing up on Google. Thankfully, a few quick fixes cover the vast majority of issues with your business listing. Here’s a quick checklist to review:

  • Verify your business on Google
  • Request reinstatement on Google if your listing has been suspended
  • Search with your city name
  • Add the right categories and services to your GMB profile
  • Build your local ranking authority
  • Check your business address

If you’re still not sure why your business isn’t showing in Google results, please reach out to us and we’ll help you get your business the visibility you need.

Don’t let other businesses push you down the page in local results. Let’s make a plan to build your relevance, proximity, and prominence signals to get back on top of Google.