Please Note: This is a long article but it is well worth reading from top to bottom if you are having problems with Google+ Pages, Google+ Local, Google Places or Google Maps.
Please Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section.
This article will explain how to set up a Google+ Page, how to set up Google+ Local Pages, how to edit old Google+ Places listings, how to merge Google Places listings with Google+ Pages to create Google+ Local Pages.
The first thing you need to know is Google+ Pages are set up via a Google+ Profile, old Google+ Places were set up via a Google Account and new Google+ Local Pages are controlled via the account you set up your Places listing with and quite possible NOT your Google+ Profile.
Very Important – check if everything is under one main Google Account.
The first thing you need to do is find out if your Google+ Profile and Google Places are controlled by the same Google Account, if they are this makes things far simpler, if not, this is where the fun starts.
Finding out if your Google+ Profile and your Google Places listing are controlled by the same Google Account is relatively simple.
First log in to your Google account and tick to stay signed in, there are numerous ways of signing in to your Google account use whichever you prefer.
After signing in go to Google+ by using the +yourname tab top left of the admin bar on top of the Google Page which takes you to your Google+ Profile which should be the one you are familiar with, if so move to stage 2.
Without signing out of this Google Account now go to Google Places and click on Get Started Now which should take you straight to your old Google Places control panel.
If it takes you to another sign up screen 1st, be sure to enter the exact same user-name and password you have just used to sign in to your Google Account
If after following either of the instructions above and you are now in your old Google Places control panel your old Google Places listing should be in there.
If you are fortunate and it is, then you can edit and update as you have been doing in the past. You can also click where it says See your listing on Google Maps to see your new Google+ Local Page that has been automatically created for you. From the page that has been created you can now also upload photos.
What if you can’t find your Google Places control panel?
If after following the instructions above and after going to Google Places you are not taken to a control panel or your business is not in your control panel it means your Google Places listing was set up via a different Google Account or via Googles bots crawling the web.
If this is the case the first thing you want to do is log out of the Google account you are signed in with and think very hard about whether you have other Google accounts, this is very probable as other the years it has been very easy to create multiple Google accounts be it deliberate or accidental.
Think hard, do you have different log in details for gmail, youtube, picasa, blogger, etc.?
If so, try logging in to these different accounts one at a time (remembering to tick the stay signed in)
If you find you can log in to Google with different log in details follow the above procedure, go to Google Places and see if your business is in this Google Places account.
If not, sign out again, and try logging in to Google again with different Google log in details and repeat the above procedure.
By doing this you may find (like me) you have created numerous Google accounts over the years that you had forgotten all about.
What if you still can’t find your Google Places Control Panel in any of your Google Accounts?
If after following all the instructions above and checking any Google accounts you may have previously set up you still can’t find you Places listing control panel you need to try and think if it may have been set up on your behalf.
The obvious things are;
- Did your webmaster set up your Google Places listing
- Did someone in your marketing department set up your Google Places listing
- Did someone you employed for SEO set up your Google Places listing
- Did you outsource any marketing or SEO work to a company who may have set up your Google Maps listing
If you are sure that none of the above applies, you are sure you didn’t set up the listing and that you are sure that no one set up your Google Places listing above it is possible it has just been created automatically from information Google has crawled from the web.
What are your options to claim your Google Places Google+ Page
If the above is the case and you can see a Google Places listing for your business first < VERY IMPORTANT make sure you are signed in to the Google Account you want to control your Places listing with VERY IMPORTANT > and see if you can claim and verify the listing.
If you can, all should be fine, make some changes and after verifying the listing via a pin number that will be sent by post your listing should be moved to your Place control panel.
If you find that you cannot claim your listing and get a message that is set up in another Google account which you are absolutely sure you cannot remember you have a number of options and decisions to make.
These are very important decisions which you should think very carefully about before deciding and your decision may also be based on how the Places listing is..
Options if you cannot claim your Google+ Page
Before deciding what to do you need to look at the listing and see if it ranks well.
If the listing is set up correctly, has your telephone number displayed, is linking to your website and is ranking high in Google you could always decide to just leave it as it is but monitor it to ensure no changes are made.
You have no control over the content by doing this, but if it’s not broken why fix it? (ensure you monitor it though to ensure no changes are made)
If the content is correct but you are not happy that you can’t claim it and keep it updated your best option is first to create a new listing via Google Places.
Note: create it via Google Places rather than Google+ despite what you hear eleswhere (this may change later)
Once your new listing is complete submit it to Google and wait for it to be verified (could take a fortnight)
Once your new listing is verified, go back to the existing listing (whilst signed in to yoyr Google account), click on Edit business details and report it as a duplicate listing.
When reporting it as a duplicate explain the details of what has happened and tell Google you have created a new listing. (tick the box to be kept updated by email)
It may take a little time, but Google are quite resonsive if you do things correctly and hopefully your new listing will soon replace your old listing.
What your Google Places listing information is wrong?
If the old Google Places listing is incorrect still follow the above instructions about reporting a duplicate listing, but this time correct all the information as well as marking it as duplicate.
Telephone calls from Google
If you are a small business owner who has advertised online you have probably already had the sales calls from scammers claiming to either be from Google or representing Google, next time someone rings and says they are from Google don’t automatically dismiss them as the scammers, Google do phone to clarify maps changes obviously, be careful that it isn’t a scam but be aware, it could be genuine.
A quick tip, the Google guys ringing UK businesses tend to be calling from Ireland and have Irish accents, don’t let this lull you in to a false sense of security though and ensure they are who they say they are.
What to do if you found your Google+ Places listing in a different Google Account?
First of all don’t worry if you found your Google Places listing in an old Google account that you had forgotten about, in fact this can actually be beneficial.
As long as you still have access to the older Google account you can feel pretty chuffed that your Places listing is set up in there, simply log in to it, create a new Google+ Profile and simply use that profile for administrating Google Places and Google+ Local Pages.
You have the best of both worlds, one Google+ Profile for your social networking side and one Google+ Profile for controlling your business networking.
How closely you then want to intwine these is up to you, all I tend to do is have a message on my old account linking to my new one as you can see here – https://plus.google.com/103409016903761883197
What problems can having 2 Google+ Profiles Cause?
At the moment the only real problems having 2 Google+ Profiles are;
- When you have created a Google+ Page in the wrong account
- The fact Google may be merging accounts and we don’t know how yet,
- It can sometimes be confusing remembering which account you are signed in as :) (quick tip, use a different profile image)
What to do if you have a Google Places listing but no Google Account ?
If you have a Google Places listing you would like to edit but do not have a Giigle account you effectively have 3 choices;
- Create a Google Account.
- Ask someone who you trust to administer your Google Places listing for you.
- Ask someone you trust to create a Google Account and give you access to it to administer your Places listing.
Please feel free to ask any questions below and if you appreciate this advice please remember to share it, +1 it, tweet it and like it.
Help with setting up a Google+ Page
If the above has left you confused and you would like help in setting up a Google+ Page or updating a Google Places listing please feel free to comment below or contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org this is a free service