Removing Duplicate Profiles in 3 Easy Steps: Google, Yelp & Vitals

Online review sites like Google My Business (formerly Google+ Local), Yelp and Vitals are valuable marketing tools for businesses. Part of this value stems from the quality of information provided about a business, such as the correct hours, address and contact information. Taking ownership of profiles on these sites for your practice and providers is only part of the solution. You must also clean up extra, or duplicate, profiles that exist now and any that are created in the future.

duplicate profile is an unclaimed profile that represents a practice or provider with a claimed profile. In order to ensure the accuracy of information online, all duplicate profiles need to be reported to the site for removal. Note, any provider profiles on Google and Yelp should be reported as duplicates of your practice’s claimed profile.*

Profiles are periodically generated on these sites based on information found online and in various databases. Be proactive about addressing duplicate profiles by searching for your practice and providers on each site once a month.

Follow the step-by-step instructions below for how to report duplicate profiles on Google, Yelp and Vitals.

*per HCA Web & Social Media Services Best Practices

Google My Business (Google+ Local)

You do not need to be signed into your Google account to report a duplicate profile. You will need to report each duplicate profile separately.

1. Go to Google+ Local and search for profiles by practice name and popular variations, address or phone number and provider names.

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2. Click on the duplicate profile you wish to report to view it. On the Google Business profile under Contact Information, click Edit details.
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3. On the next page, select Place is a duplicate of another place. Provide an explanation, include the URL of your claimed profile and click Submit.
google4Note: Sometimes Google does not remove profiles when they are reported as duplicates. It’s important to check periodically to ensure the reported profile is removed.

Yelp

You do not need to be signed into your Yelp account to report a duplicate profile. You can perform multiple searches and select multiple duplicate profiles at once.

1. Find the duplicate business page by searching for it on the Yelp Homepage.

2. Select the listing and click the Edit business info link.

13. Scroll down and check This is a duplicate of another business on Yelp box at the bottom.

4. Provide your email if you are not logged in to your user account.

5. In the Notes section, include the link to the claimed business page.

6. Click Submit.

2

Vitals

You do not need to be signed into your Vitals account to report a duplicate profile. You can report all duplicates in one submission.

1. Go to the Vitals Contact Page and click on Contact Customer Care under Get Support.
vitals12. Fill in the required fields. Under Issue, select Remove data from the drop-down.
vitals23. In the Comments box, provider an explanation, include the provider’s full name, NPI, the duplicate profile URL, as well as the URL of your claimed profile and click Submit.
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If you have further questions about how to remove duplicate profiles, please contact your Account Manager.

How to Suspend Duplicate Listings on Google+ Local

A few weeks ago, Google+ Local underwent a design overhaul to make its business listings look more like Google+ pages (read all about Google+ Local’s updated look here). Along with the redesign, the process of suspending duplicate listings has changed. Below you will find instructions for the new method.

Duplicate listings for a single practice location can be a problem in either Google search results or in your business owner’s Google+ Local account. There should only be one listing per practice location, both in the business owner’s account and in search results.

How do I know if I have duplicate listings?

If your practice appears more than once in your account or in search results, you have duplicate listings you need to suspend. Make sure you search your physician’s names as well–they often appear as listings in Google Maps.  Follow the process below to suspend duplicates.

If you have already claimed duplicate listings for your practice that now appear in your dashboard, you will need to remove the extra listings from your dashboard before you can report them as duplicates. Start with the instructions for Removing duplicates from your account.

Removing duplicates from search results

Do multiple results for your practice appear in Google Maps search results, like this?

multisearchresults

If so, follow these steps to report the duplicate listing:

1.  Make sure you’ve claimed one of the listings for your practice in Google+ Local. To verify there’s only one active listing (per location) in your account, log in and view the dashboard.

If there’s more than one listing in your account for the same location, you have probably already claimed your duplicate listings (received PIN and verified it online), as per instructions for the old method of suspending duplicates. If this is the case, skip to the instructions for removing duplicates from your account below.

2.  For every extra listing of your practice, go to its live Google+ Local Page by clicking more info. Once on the page, click the Report a Problem link toward the bottom right of the page.

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3.  Choose Place is a duplicate of another place and include a link to your claimed listing in the comment box (this will help Google easily find the correct listing to merge with).

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Removing duplicates from your account

Are there multiple listings in your Google+ Local account for the same practice location, like this?

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If so, here’s how to ensure you have only one listing per location:

1.  Determine the listing you’d prefer to keep in your account.

a.  Make sure you have all content filled in on the listing you are keeping (photos, business hours, description, etc.)

b.  Make sure its status is active or live.

2.  Delete all other listings for the same location from your account. From your dashboard, click on the listing you wish to delete. Go to the bottom of the page to Manage this listing and click the Report problems with this listing link.

managelisting

3.  In the fields provided, enter the email you use for the account and the link to the listing you are removing. Check off the box for I no longer want this business listing to be verified in my dashboard and click Next.

removeverification

4.  Once you have removed all duplicate listings from your account, go to Google Maps and search for your practice. Follow the instructions above for reporting duplicate listings found in search results.

Please note listings reported as duplicates can take several weeks to be removed from Google. If the listings are still showing up in search results after a few weeks, contact Google support directly.

Facebook Adds New Duplicate Page Finder Tool

Duplicate Facebook pages take away valuable “likes” and visitors from your official practice page. Even worse, anyone including people not associated at all with your practice can make updates to your unclaimed Facebook page. The good news? Facebook is finally doing something about it.

The “Report Duplicates” module will allow you, as a Facebook page owner, to search and report unofficial pages. Once these pages are reviewed, Facebook will change the duplicate pages to “community pages that link back to the official fan page.”

To use this feature (which is not yet available to all page owners), you go to the “Edit Page/Update Info” dashboard and select “Report Duplicates.”

(All images are from this article by Brittany Darwell.)

Once the change has been made, the duplicate pages will have “Community Page” listed directly underneath their page name and will also include a link to your main practice page.

If you are a page owner who does not have this feature yet, you can search your practice’s name in the search bar to find duplicate/unofficial pages. If you find one that is not yet listed as a “Community Page,” simply click on the gear symbol to the right of the “Message” button and select “Report Page” from the drop-down menu.

Then, fill in the information on the pop-up window to classify the page as a duplicate.

It is crucial to search Facebook pages for any duplicates. Every single “like” counts–especially if you are still trying to cross the initial benchmark of 25 likes to gain a vanity URL.