With new technology and increased competition, hijackers are becoming an increasing problem where they aim to steal traffic, leads and sales from competitors.
The problem, where someone other than the owner of the business listing, gains access, and control of the GMB profile is growing. The frequency of the tactic, where a hijacker uses the “claim this business” button at the local listing and generates an email that requests control of the profile, has been reported to be a growing problem on Google Search and Maps.
This issue is a true concern, especially for small businesses. False information and fake reviews can have a direct negative impact on the sales of the business, especially in these challenging times when local ranking on search is more important than ever for many small businesses. Hijackers can change the name, phone number, and email address, among other things, and severely harm the reputation of your business.
We find it extremely important to educate and make sure that business owners with a Google My Business listing are aware of the risk of hijackings on Google. Without monitoring your Google My Business listing on Google, a hijacking of your profile is easily unnoticed by you as a business owner. Anyone can make a suggested edit on the listing on Google Maps and Search and for example, suggest another website or other contact information (most likely their own) and in a matter of hours, the edits are approved. This process is extremely easy to do with an unverified listing, while a verified listing gets an email notification every time someone suggests and edits the profile.
With this in mind, we encourage all business owners to claim and verify your Google My Business listings and to manage and monitor them on an active and ongoing basis. This decreases the risk of being hijacked, and in the end prevents the loss of customers and important sales.
Need guidance or help with this? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us, we are more than happy to help you!