By: Emily Williams
Last month, we reported talk of a change at Google in regards to Google Plus verified pages. Last week, Google announced they would begin shutting down unverified pages and removing verifications on pages with unresponsive owners today, July 28th. This leaves lots of questions for Google Plus page administrators, which we have answered below:
What was Google’s announcement regarding Google Plus pages?
Starting today, July 28th, Google+ is going to unverify pages that have not had administrative account activity in six months. Administrative activity can include responding to reviews, making profile updates or simply logging into the account.
Google will also delete unverified pages.
Based on this logic, if you don’t log into your page for six months, your page will become unverified. If your page is unverified, it will be deleted.
Why did Google make this change?
The change to verified listings is an attempt to clean up Google+. There are a lot of unverified and duplicate listings that show up in search results, even though they may no longer be applicable. Also, many business owners never go in and remove their page once a business closes, creating a lot of clutter on the web.
I claimed my listings during Promote My Practice Course 100. Are my listings safe?
Yes. For now.
Yesterday, before this change took effect, the Promote My Practice team logged into all Google+ pages claimed during Course 100. The only exceptions were pages without current log-in information on file.
Because we logged in, this essentially reset the 6-month window. Going forward, it is the page administrator’s responsibility to log in on a regular basis to keep the page’s verification intact.
Does this apply to my account going forward, or is it a one-time thing?
While this six-month time frame means a lot of pages are unverified today in one swoop, the six-month window will remain in place on a rolling basis. For example, if you log into your account in November 2015, you should log in again before May 2016 to keep your verification.
What do I need to do to keep my listing verified?
At minimum, you must log in at least once every six months to keep your Google+ page marked as verified,. Go to http://google.com/business, log in with your credentials and check the verification status for each listing.
However, the Promote My Practice team strongly recommends logging into each of your claimed listings (Google+, Foursquare, Vitals, Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List and Healthgrades) at least once per month. This helps you to review your comments and activity regularly, remove negative comments if applicable (you can hide two negative reviews on Vitals) and signify to the host that the page is active.
Is it important to have a verified page?
Yes! A verified page shows your business is legitimate and your page is active. Also, with the news that unverified pages will be deleted, it is now imperative for your web presence that your page be verified!
Verified pages have a checkmark below the page’s key image: