Many businesses have received the dreaded Google Maps Error “We currently do not support the location” after clicking the “See your listing on Google Maps” link from the Google Places Dashboard. This can be extremely frustrating after you’ve spent a lot of time and effort getting the correct citations for your Google Places listing.
Unfortunately we’re not immune to this error either. Although our clients local listings are rock solid, our own listing for Bossa Nova Interactive hasn’t been so bulletproof.
For the past 43 days (and counting) our business listing has been completely removed from Google Places and Google Maps, which also makes it ineligible for the new Google Local rollout on Google+.
About the “We currently do not support the location” error
We’ve seen this error before, but this time is different. In the past either some moderator removed our listing from Google Maps or some technical glitch caused our listing to not be displayed. However, in both of those scenarios, our Google Places listing (and its associated reporting statistics) remained intact. It was simply that the listing could not be found in Google Maps when clicking the “See your listing on Google Maps” from the Google Places Dashboard. In at least one of the above scenarios, our business was still showing in a search on Maps but was not associated with the same Places listing.
Google’s Horrible Communication Concerning Local Business Listings
We love Google for a ton of reasons but in the area of Places, Maps and Local Listings, they really have dropped the ball on communication. Each time we’ve had a problem like this, they have not notified us at all. We’ve also heard of listings being removed by local moderators or by Google staff members themselves without notifying the listing owner whatsoever.
This Time Our Listing Is Completely Gone
Unlike the previous scenarios our listing cannot be found in Google Maps, Google Places or Google Local on Google+. It is still in the Dashboard, and at one point it had a “Pending Review” flag but did not state why. By the way, the Pending Review flag can last for 4 weeks or more before you are told the reason and what is needed to fix the problem, if indeed there is a problem at all.
How To Contact The Google Places Help Team
We did reach out to Google by using the troubleshooter and contact form for Google Places and we did receive a response initially.
Here’s the process to use to contact Google if you have this problem.
- Go to the Google+ Local (Google Places) Help Center
- Click on “My Listing Has Incorrect Information“
- Click on “My listing no longer appears on Google Maps or is incorrectly marked as closed.”
- Fill out their form and click submit.
A couple of days later, we received this response:
Thanks for getting in touch with us about your listing not showing.
Unfortunately, your listing may have been dropped due to a technical issue that we cannot yet resolve. We hope to have a resolution soon for this issue, at which point we will be in touch with next steps to help you return your business to Google Maps.
The Google Team
Or so we thought. Then nothing happened.
Ok, so it takes some time to clear up. It is a free service after all, so you shouldn’t complain, right?
After a few weeks reality set in that this was going to take a very long time to clear up. Our listing, our reviews and our traffic stats to our Places listing are completely gone. We haven’t been banned or officially deleted, but it is as if the listing never existed.
Pending Review Flag
We’ve read advice about what to do. Some people just create another listing and get it verified. Even though the verification takes a while it seems to be a much shorter process than waiting for this to be fixed.
However we hadn’t done that yet when we reached this point (still about three weeks after we noticed it was missing.) We logged into our Places Dashboard to check it out and discovered a “Pending Review” flag on our listing.
Well, it is progress, right? We’ll just find out what the problem is and get it fixed!
Wrong. They don’t specify what the problem is. In fact the only message we see on the flag is that it will take about 4 weeks before they let us know what the problem is, if there’s still a problem.
So which is it? Was it a technical error? Was it a keyword problem? Was the Google Maps listing incorrect? Did we violate a Google Places Quality Guideline?
Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands
Left to our own devices, we of course do what most business owners probably do in these situations. We started second-guessing our listing elements.
I had read from a previous Google staffer forum post that sometimes you can “poke” – or – edit a random component of our listing and click “publish” and it would fix the “glitch.” We tried that, along with a few other guesses to fix the potential problems with our listing.
Well, the listing changed from “Pending Review” to “Active.”
But it didn’t show up in Google Maps or Google Places.
I did notice this at the bottom of the same forum post mentioned above:
Update — We’re currently experiencing a longer delay than usual with getting listings live that have been deleted. You’ll get an email back from the support team (Step 4) that asks you to wait if we think your listing is affected.
I wrote Google back and told them that I was afraid we had messed something up and if there was a review process with our listing it had been circumvented (by accident) when we updated our listing.
Second Verse, Same As The First
Six days after writing them, I received the following response:
Thanks for your getting in touch with us about your Bossa Nova Interactive
listing not displaying on Google Maps. We have identified the cause of
your listing not showing and are working on establishing a pathway to
revive dropped listings which meet our quality guidelines.
We don’t have a timeline which we can give for this, but your submission
helps us keep track of this problem and we will be reviewing your listing
once the fix is fully established.
If you have any questions or concerns please reply back to this email
thread and I will be happy to help. Thank you for your patience.
The Google Team
Thanks Sandy I really appreciate you getting back to me. It would be super-awesome if you could tell me what the cause was and what you guys mean by “working on establishing a pathway to revive dropped listings which meet our quality guidelines.”
I have written Sandy @ Google back and I’ll post the response here in an update to this article.
We’re Well Aware: Google+ Local/Places Is A Free Service
But that doesn’t take away from the complete lack of communication when your listing is deleted, removed or otherwise broken. If they removed our listing for some violation I would understand and correct it then ask to be relisted. However none of that has happened. We’re just completely not there as a business. I know it is a free service. Google doesn’t owe anyone traffic or correct listings, but they do want us to use their services. When small business owners come to depend on excellent services like Google Places (or the new Google+ Local) serious damage can be done to the health of their businesses when their listings and reviews just disappear. With great power comes great responsibility, no?
We’ve put a considerable amount of hours into optimizing our Google Places business listing and ensuring we have the properly formatted citations for our company. We’ve also ensured that we actively participated in Google Plus (Google+) despite its poor adoption rates as a social media platform because we had faith that Google would eventually do something big with it. Turns out they are now changing Google Places to Google+ Local. This is great! We’ve had our Google+ Business Page ready for a good while now! But alas, our Google Places listing is gone, along with the traffic statistics, user reviews and ratings, correctly formatted business listing information, photos, logo, and the hours of work we put into it all. It is a really bad time for this to happen and we’re sure that we are but one of hundreds, maybe thousands of businesses affected.
As always we will be sure to update our readers on this situation along with any tips we find along the way because we want to help others avoid this frustrating dilemma if at all possible.
UPDATE – July 14, 2012 – 45 days and counting.
Here’s Google’s response to my second email requesting more information.
Thanks for sharing your concerns and we apologize for your frustrations.
Your Bossa Nova Interactive listing has been affected by a technical bug
we’ve recently experienced. We are currently working on having your
listing reviewed and reinstated. Unfortunately, at this time we do not
have a definite time frame of when this will take place since we are
currently trying to troubleshoot this technical issue, however, please
hold on, we hope to reinstate your listing shortly. We are currently
working hard to bring a solution to this technical issue as soon as
possible as we understand this is least favorable for your business. Thank
you for your patience.
If you have any questions or concerns please reply back to this email
thread and I will be happy to help.
The Google Team
That was basically the same email they sent the first time – just worded differently. Something tells me that if I write them again, I’ll get the same type of response. I’ll bet they’ve created some sort of thesaurus script used to automatically crank out endless variations of the same answer in customer support emails.
Our listing is still nowhere to be found. All evidence of its existence including traffic statistics is gone. I continue to be able see it in the Dashboard at least.
UPDATE – July 28, 2012 – 59 days and counting.
A few days ago, I noticed that my listing is now back in Pending Review status.
Mousing over the question mark next to that status reveals the following tooltip:
This listing needs to be reviewed further before appearing on Google. Please allow several weeks.
Several weeks? Okay, but again here we have no real communication.
FYI: full disclosure time. Here’s my Dashboard. I’m very lucky that none of my clients (not all of them are on this Places account) have been affected.
Talk To Us, People!
Got any advice for us or others in this situation?
Have you found yourself in the same boat?
Got a Google+ Local/Google Places Business Listing/Google Maps Listing horror story of your own to share?