GBP Review – The Suspension Appeal Process

For small and local businesses, having a Google Business Profile (GBP) is a “must” for their marketing game and online presence. It’s often the first thing a customer checks out, and is the quickest way for them to get all the info they need. If a business doesn’t have one, they’ll assuredly miss out on new customers, and in some cases, they might even lose out on existing business altogether.

Business owners and general managers have come to learn that GBP listings getting suspended is not just a rare thing—it happens a lot. Your profile could get suspended for various reasons, like having different versions of your business name online, multiple businesses claiming the same address, or even due to recent changes to your address, business categories, name, website, or phone number.

Until recently, dealing with a suspended Business Profile was a bit of a headache, if even possible to begin with. The appeal process was confusing, hard to find, and frustrating for business owners. But guess what? Google has rolled out a new and improved appeal process for suspensions, and we’ve got everything you will need to know.

Let’s Talk About Changes to the Google Business Profile Appeal Process

The new process doesn’t throw any curveballs or introduce crazy new rules. Instead, it’s like a makeover for what you were already dealing with, aimed at making the existing rules clearer and more accessible.

Before this update, figuring out why you got suspended was like trying to solve a case with no clues. Now, Google is trying to provide more transparency and spill the beans on why you’re in hot water, helping you understand what went wrong and how to sort things out in your appeal. This not only makes the process less of a mystery but also helps you steer clear of future suspensions. 

As this new process gets out into the wild and Google obtains feedback from users, you can bet it’ll keep evolving. Expect some additional tweaks and improvements over time, but it is a major step in the right direction.

Knowing If Your Google Business Profile Has Been Suspended

If your Google Listing gets suspended, you will see a notification in your Business Profile merchant panel, letting you know whether your listing has been suspended or disabled.

You will also receive an email from Google informing you of your suspension and the details regarding it.

The email will show you the “Violation Type,” telling you which guideline or policy you have violated. In the example we’ll be using, the offended policy is “Deceptive Content Behavior.” 

Click on the “Suspension Policy” link to learn more about the policy violation and what you’ll need to do to fix your Business Profile before you file for a suspension appeal. 

Once you make the changes needed to comply with Google’s guidelines, make sure you’re logged into the email address you use to manage the suspended Google Business Profile, then click the “Appeal” button in the email you received. You will then be taken to the Appeals tool.

The Appeal Process

While the appeal process is straightforward, it is time sensitive, and you will need to prepare yourself ahead of time. So be sure you read through the entire process before you get started. 

The Appeals Tool will be the central station of the process and will keep you informed as to the status of your appeal. While you’re in the tool, be sure to check that the email in use is the same email you use to manage the suspended GBP account and then click, “Confirm.” 

 

 

Next, you’ll be taken to a screen where you will select the business that has been suspended. If you only have one location for your business, only one Business Listing will show. If you have multiple locations, you’ll need to choose the correct suspended listing.

 

 

On the following screen, you will see when the Business Listing was suspended, the general reason for the suspension, and the status. The status will be listed as either “Can’t Be Appealed” or “Eligible for Appeal.” It should be noted that not all suspensions are eligible for appeal.

If the status says, “Eligible for Appeal,” click “Next” to move forward through the appeal process.

 

 

In the next section, you will only have 60 minutes to complete your submission, so be sure you are prepared with all the necessary documents required by Google before you click the Submit button on this screen.  

You will need to prove that your business is legitimate. The acceptable documents required by Google are the following: 

  • Official Business Registration 
  • Business License 
  • Tax Certificate 
  • Utility Bill 

Your Business Registration/License must display the business name and address that matches the suspended GBP you are appealing for. The utility bill must display the same business name and address as your registration/license or tax certificate. Utility bills can include electricity, phone, gas, water, sewage, trash, recycling, TV or Internet. 

It’s best to provide as many documents as possible to ensure you have the greatest chance for reinstatement. Once you have all your documents gathered and are ready to upload, click the “Submit” button. 

 

 

Now that the 60-minute timer has begun, click the “Add Evidence” link to open the form and upload your evidence documents. (You may choose to not submit any evidence, however, the chances of your GBP getting reinstated will be slim.) 

 

 

When the evidence form opens, you will see that it is pre-populated with your email address, business name, address and Google Business Profile ID. 

There are two file upload options available. If you have more than two files to upload, create a zip file to add them to and upload as a zipped file.  

There will also be a text box present where you can (and should) provide a narrative about: 

  • Why your profile should be reinstated. 
  • What you changed to fix your Business Profile, so it is now in compliance with Google Business Profile Guidelines  
  • Any other information that you feel would be helpful to your case. 

Please keep in mind that this is not the place to complain about how much business you have lost or how much you need to get your GBP re-listed. Keep everything strictly to the facts. You are allowed 1,000 words, so keep it concise and choose your thoughts carefully. 

Once you have uploaded your documents and completed the rest of the form, click the “Submit” button. 

 

 

Following your submission, you will be directed back to the Appeals Tool, where your details and status should change to “Submitted.”  

Check back to the Appeals Tool often to see if the status has changed to either “Approved” or “Not Approved.” 

You should expect to wait around seven days for the Google Support Team to manually review the evidence and check your GBP for compliance. Once they have taken the time to review your appeal, you will receive one of two possible emails. 

If your evidence is compelling to the Google Team, it proves that your business is legitimate, and that your Google Business Profile is now in compliance with their guidelines, then you will receive an email letting you know that your appeal was approved, and your listing will be reinstated. 

However, if your GBP listing still violates Google’s Guidelines or your presented evidence is not compelling enough to satisfy the Google Team, you will receive an email denying your appeal. If this is the case, you may have an opportunity to “re-appeal” the decision and start the process over, but this is not guaranteed.  

The Positive Change in GBP 

In a nutshell, the recent changes to the Google Business Profile suspension appeal process were a much-needed game-changer. The old system left business owners scratching their heads, and the stakes were high – losing out on potential customers or even the entire business. With the revamped process, Google provides clarity on why a profile got suspended, making the appeal journey less of a maze.  

This transparency not only eases the frustration for business owners but also empowers them to rectify issues and prevent future suspensions. As Google continues to fine-tune this process based on user feedback, it’s not just an update; it’s a lifeline for businesses, ensuring they stay visible, accessible, and thriving in the digital landscape. So, here’s to a more straightforward and user-friendly path, where Google Business Profiles not only survive but thrive!