IMPORTANT Google Places Announcement - Phone Verification is GONE

153 replies
Hey Warrior,

Like always I'm trying to keep you up to date.

One of my Google Places Unleashed customers just contacted me saying that since this morning he can't verify his listing by phone anymore.

I wouldn't believe him - so I went ahead and created a listing real quick.

It turns out that he's right, the option to verify by phone is gone! (at least for now, let's see what Google comes up with)

This means a lot of things, especially for the advanced guys that created and verified listings for multiple cities.

One thing that this affects is obviously time. Now if you create a new listing for your client, you'll have to wait 2-4 weeks for them just to get the postcard - and hope it doesn't and up in the gatekeeper's trash can.

Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

To your success,
Mario

Update 1/25/11

Okay so here it goes:

I've just read a post on blumenthals where he pointed out the following comment from the Google Places team on the official forum:

Hi all,

I understand there have been some recent questions about verification methods. If a business is new to Google, certain verification methods may be unavailable depending on the information provided for the business.


So it seems like the phone verification is gone most of the time for brand new listings and let's be honest, just like always with Google, one has no clue what exactly the information is that they want to see that makes a listing trustworthy.

So let the games begin and find out

Will do some testing, set up a couple of test listings and see if something triggers the phone verification.

Cheers,
Mario
#announcement #google #important #phone #places #verification
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    • Profile picture of the author Mario Brown
      Originally Posted by k60mall View Post

      Not having that problem in the UK.

      Keith
      Good for you .

      I hope Google is just testing or something like that.

      Would be somewhat of a pain to wait for weeks to get a listing verified and to hope that the business owner's gatekeeper actually forwards it.

      We'll see, you never know with Google

      Cheers,
      Mario
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    • Profile picture of the author telsave
      Originally Posted by k60mall View Post

      Not having that problem in the UK.

      Keith
      I think we are Keith I set one up yesterday to find postcard or SMS

      cheers
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    • Profile picture of the author paintbrush4u
      Originally Posted by k60mall View Post

      Not having that problem in the UK.

      Keith
      Interesting.....I have to get some clients out there in the UK market.
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      • Profile picture of the author Chad Kimball
        fyi folks, we are still getting phone verification options on listings where it already exists in google when you're trying to claim/verify. Phone verify is not very steady if you're starting a listing from scratch manually and google doesn't know about it yet.

        moral of the story, you need to get those listings into google, but don't knock on the front door, go through the upstairs window from the alley, its not locked.
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        • Profile picture of the author 12thmonkey
          I have benn trying to play around with phone verification for the 2 months that it is has disappeared for new listings. Sometimes I get the option but most often I do not.

          If there is anybody who can phone verify in a consistent way I would be happy to outsource and pay just for the phone verification. No seo, no citations, no work on the listing just phone verification that works.

          If anyone is intersted please send me a private message or reply here and I will get in touch with them.

          I will open a thread with the same topic.
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          • Profile picture of the author Chad Kimball
            I'd be interested in this too but I think it is going to have to be a full fledged listing creation service, because the only way to phone verify is to get your listing into google through the back door

            Originally Posted by 12thmonkey View Post

            I have benn trying to play around with phone verification for the 2 months that it is has disappeared for new listings. Sometimes I get the option but most often I do not.

            If there is anybody who can phone verify in a consistent way I would be happy to outsource and pay just for the phone verification. No seo, no citations, no work on the listing just phone verification that works.

            If anyone is intersted please send me a private message or reply here and I will get in touch with them.

            I will open a thread with the same topic.
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            • Profile picture of the author 12thmonkey
              Hi Chad,

              I can not private message due to lack of posting so I sent this on this forum.

              What do you mean you would be interested? In outsourcing the job or doing the verification?

              If you would like to elaborate about what you mean about not knocking on the front door. Or for it having to be a full fledged listing. You mean by adding the listing on maps and then claiming it? Did this work for you consistently? It worked a couple of times for me but not consistently for sure.

              I however have heard of people who do still phone verify. That is why I made my offer. Maybe I am missing something.
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  • Profile picture of the author LiquidSeo
    Ouch - that's not good! Let's hope its a short-term glitch!

    If businesses had to wait on GP to send their confirmation cards....I could only imagine!


    Originally Posted by Mario Brown View Post

    Hey Warrior,

    Like always I'm trying to keep you up to date.

    One of my Google Places Unleashed customers just contacted me saying that since this morning he can't verify his listing by phone anymore.

    I wouldn't believe him - so I went ahead and created a listing real quick.

    It turns out that he's right, the option to verify by phone is gone! (at least for now, let's see what Google comes up with)

    This means a lot of things, especially for the advanced guys that created and verified listings for multiple cities.

    One thing that this affects is obviously time. Now if you create a new listing for your client, you'll have to wait 2-4 weeks for them just to get the postcard - and hope it doesn't and up in the gatekeeper's trash can.

    Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

    To your success,
    Mario
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  • Profile picture of the author MsMotivation1
    Yuckie! Hope that's temporary. Thanks for the update, Mario.
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  • Profile picture of the author rafterman
    i noticed that too the other day. I think the 2-3 week time line is probably a lot shorter.
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  • Profile picture of the author halfbakedrew
    its not that google is taking it away, They do this from time to time. If a area is getting alot of maps up lately then they think something is up. so they take away the phone Verification. If you cant get a post card for that address just wait 3-6 days then log back in then you will see that the phone Verification will work. But even if they did take it away one day for good, that would be a good thing. when you wait for the postcard you can start working on backlinks for it then when you have the listing live it will get to letter A alot faster.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mario Brown
      Originally Posted by halfbakedrew View Post

      its not that google is taking it away, They do this from time to time. If a area is getting alot of maps up lately then they think something is up. so they take away the phone Verification. If you cant get a post card for that address just wait 3-6 days then log back in then you will see that the phone Verification will work. But even if they did take it away one day for good, that would be a good thing. when you wait for the postcard you can start working on backlinks for it then when you have the listing live it will get to letter A alot faster.
      Never heard about this before and have never seen it happening in the way you describe it - interesting!

      Cheers,
      Mario
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    • Profile picture of the author adriver38
      I ended up having a PIN sent by mail and it was in my mailbox in less than 5 days. Still not as quick as a phone call but at least it wasnt 2 -3 weeks.
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  • Profile picture of the author halfbakedrew
    well alot of people dont know that much about places just yet. One thing I have seen lately is that ether people are tryin to make places sound harder then it is or places is just messing with us and just changing things around for differnt areas. Ether way I will help anyone when I can, I scratch your back you scratch mine. lol.
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    • Profile picture of the author TE2
      I had this happen for the first time last night.

      I changed the phone number on a place page that had been created the previous day and phone verified.

      When I hit the submit button, the only option it gave me was the postcard in 2-3 weeks.

      I was thinking WTF?

      Double checked the listing and tried again, same thing. So postcard for that one it is.

      I hope halfbakedrew is correct.

      Regards,

      John
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    • Profile picture of the author Mario Brown
      Originally Posted by halfbakedrew View Post

      well alot of people dont know that much about places just yet. One thing I have seen lately is that ether people are tryin to make places sound harder then it is or places is just messing with us and just changing things around for differnt areas. Ether way I will help anyone when I can, I scratch your back you scratch mine. lol.
      Hi again,

      My point was more that I'm dealing with Google Places every single day and I have never seen that they've taken away the option to verify by phone and I never had one of my customers tell me about something similar.

      So that particular statement from you, that they take that option away because to many people create maps - haven't seen that happening and haven't heard about it from any source except you - so I hope it'll come back.

      If not, no big deal, change is always a good thing - that's the mindset to have.

      Anyway, thanks for sharing, always interesting to see what Google comes up with.

      Cheers,
      Mario
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  • Profile picture of the author halfbakedrew
    Well lets see. You changed the phone number on your listing, most of the time when any one does this google will more likly send a post card just to make sure you are the owner. If they didnt to many people could hack in and change your number to their number.

    This happens more then you think. So Yes they will send a post card, Does suck but good in many ways.
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    • Profile picture of the author TE2
      Originally Posted by halfbakedrew View Post

      Well lets see. You changed the phone number on your listing, most of the time when any one does this google will more likly send a post card just to make sure you are the owner. If they didnt to many people could hack in and change your number to their number.

      This happens more then you think. So Yes they will send a post card, Does suck but good in many ways.
      That's pretty much the conclusion I came to.

      John
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  • Profile picture of the author jacquic
    That happened for us a few months ago, and then the telephone verification came back shortly thereafter.

    I hope it settles down soon as we're running a workshop next month for local businesses on Places!
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    • Profile picture of the author Mario Brown
      Originally Posted by jacquic View Post

      That happened for us a few months ago, and then the telephone verification came back shortly thereafter.

      I hope it settles down soon as we're running a workshop next month for local businesses on Places!
      Very Nice! Good to hear that.

      I'm wondering if this is only happening in Florida right now? Do you guys that are not in Florida also only see the postcard verification currently?

      Cheers,
      Mario
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      • Profile picture of the author TE2
        Originally Posted by Mario Brown View Post

        Very Nice! Good to hear that.

        I'm wondering if this is only happening in Florida right now? Do you guys that are not in Florida also only see the postcard verification currently?

        Cheers,
        Mario
        I'm in Illinois
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        • Profile picture of the author Robert SEO
          I'm In Los Angeles and am having the same problem. Has anybody been able to make new listings this morning? Waiting 2-3 weeks really isn't an option for some of my clients. I'm hoping the disappearance of phone verification is temporary? I also hope it has nothing to do with the phone #s I'm trying to register??

          Anyone else still noticing this?
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  • Profile picture of the author Voasi
    I wouldn't panic just yet - this may be a test or just some fluke.

    Having said that, I don't think it would be the best move on Google's part to only send postcards. I had a client and it took him 6 weeks to get the card. I don't know if it actually took 6 weeks or if he got it 5 weeks ago and FOUND it again. Point is, clients aren't responsible with something like this... and that's where the problem would lie if Google made this a "standard".

    Mario, I'd try and create a few other listings and also talk with other "listers" and see if they're experiencing the same in other states.

    Google wants to be THE SOURCE for local data online and sending postcards for validation is not going to be the way to get where they want to be in a timely matter, let alone relying on the business OWNER to remember to save a little, tiny postcard.
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  • Profile picture of the author rolltide
    I just did a GP listing in Alabama and it was phone verified. You know we are always the last to get everything in Alabama
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    • Profile picture of the author Mario Brown
      Originally Posted by Voasi View Post

      I wouldn't panic just yet - this may be a test or just some fluke.

      Having said that, I don't think it would be the best move on Google's part to only send postcards. I had a client and it took him 6 weeks to get the card. I don't know if it actually took 6 weeks or if he got it 5 weeks ago and FOUND it again. Point is, clients aren't responsible with something like this... and that's where the problem would lie if Google made this a "standard".

      Mario, I'd try and create a few other listings and also talk with other "listers" and see if they're experiencing the same in other states.

      Google wants to be THE SOURCE for local data online and sending postcards for validation is not going to be the way to get where they want to be in a timely matter, let alone relying on the business OWNER to remember to save a little, tiny postcard.
      Agreed, no reason to panic and I can also not imagine that they would only stick to a postcard considering in what times we live - unless the creation of fake listings totally got out of control.

      Originally Posted by rolltide View Post

      I just did a GP listing in Alabama and it was phone verified. You know we are always the last to get everything in Alabama
      Ha that's funny
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  • Profile picture of the author rafterman
    i can still phone verify
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    I think Google should require both. Unfortunately, there are too many people out their trying to set up fictious business listings that they can rent out.
    If Google were to require both, this would help eliminate the false listings. Having to verify by phone and by mail via a postcard. I agree that 2-3 weeks is a long time, but there isn't a whole lot we can do about it.
    Just have to ride the wave and not let this interfere with GP listings for clients. It may be more inconvenient, but still not a big deal.
    In an effort to avoid this, work with only clients that have already claimed their listings, until things settle down with Google. Or if you offer a guarantee like, we will get you on the first page in xx days, have the guarantee start once the listing has been verified.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tiduslite8
    I just did a client's claiming of their GP, and it did offer the phone verification at the end. Ity could be because the GP had been in place for some time, so wasn't a new listing.

    EDIT:
    Should have mentioned that I live in the Chicago south suburbs.
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    • Profile picture of the author BaldJake
      In TX here. Just had phone verification go away yesterday. Have been verifying by phone before. We'll see what happens!
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  • Profile picture of the author buckeye04
    Hey Mario,

    Thanks for the head's up on this. I sent you a PM a few days ago with some questions about your Google Places Unleashed course. Please let me know if you have received it and get back to me when you can.

    Thanks,

    Mike
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  • Profile picture of the author digitalrev2k
    I agree with JSamson because of all of these spammy products google has decided to pull off phone verification.

    Google realized we are gaming their systems.

    but its gonna hurt small business now verification post card will take at-least 5 to 6 weeks to arrive and if you are SEO guy you gotta wait longer than before to see the optimizations outcome .
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  • Profile picture of the author digitalrev2k
    we have tested no phone verification option in the UK and USA.
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  • Profile picture of the author ArticlePrince
    No phone verification for me and I have 12 clients to set up today. Great.
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    • Profile picture of the author digitalrev2k
      Originally Posted by ArticlePrince View Post

      No phone verification for me and I have 12 clients to set up today. Great.
      what is great ? how come ??

      phone verification is the quickest and easiest way to verify your business .
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    • Profile picture of the author David
      Originally Posted by ArticlePrince View Post

      No phone verification for me and I have 12 clients to set up today. Great.
      I think that's why we're getting the post card instead of phone verification:

      If you do 12 listings in a day... Google Id's you as an SEO

      web designers, SEO, internet marketers... there's a few genres that Google disallows G Places accts for.

      The average business owner might have, maybe 3 businesses... if you start claiming places accts over and over Big G knows you're an SEO
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      • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
        Web designers, seo, and the such are not prohibited from claiming a Google Places listing, I don't know where you got that information but from my experience that is completely false.

        What Google does, is not show those GP Listing from the "Everything" search.

        Go ahead and go to "Places" and search for any geo targeted city + seo or search engine optimization.

        I see no one responded to my question about using phone verified gmail addresses.

        Hmmm

        Originally Posted by David View Post

        I think that's why we're getting the post card instead of phone verification:

        If you do 12 listings in a day... Google Id's you as an SEO

        web designers, SEO, internet marketers... there's a few genres that Google disallows G Places accts for.

        The average business owner might have, maybe 3 businesses... if you start claiming places accts over and over Big G knows you're an SEO
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        • Profile picture of the author David
          Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

          Web designers, seo, and the such are not prohibited from claiming a Google Places listing, I don't know where you got that information but from my experience that is completely false.

          What Google does, is not show those GP Listing from the "Everything" search.

          Go ahead and go to "Places" and search for any geo targeted city + seo or search engine optimization.

          I see no one responded to my question about using phone verified gmail addresses.

          Hmmm
          hmm, phone verified gmail addresses? gotta look that up, and the mac address changer as well perhaps.

          Umm, yeah, we're not *prohibited* from getting a G places listing, and when someone searches for a specific web designer/ seo / internet marketer that companies places listing does show up.

          In my state (G shows different things to different geographical areas) when you search for web designers/ or SEO or internet marketing (using keywords plus geographical area) the places listings are just missing, all you get is organic listings

          That's my experience here in Maryland, from my computer and from my client's computers.

          I also read something to that effect on the G Places support forum, once the algo spots keyword phrases such as SEO or Internet marketing (even though internet marketing is among the predefined categories offered) your G places listing isn't searchable from keywords using G maps
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  • Profile picture of the author Midnightscream
    I have been trying to do phone verification since Monday and no option. I am in California but have clients throughout US. This has happened before but I go back and delete listing and redo and then get phone verification. This time is not like that. It is definitely down and not available.
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  • Profile picture of the author grin
    There are a couple of educated guesses I have here. For one, if I have ten customers while my IP is being logged on these digital transactions, and THEN Google sends out a phone call to a customer who does not answer; that could get your IP turned off for awhile.

    Also, if you are setting up in the same situation and using your own phone for verification more than once in a day, I can see that getting flagged as well.

    Not that this is what is happening, but I can see that it is easy enough to create this kind of code to manage what IP's, emails, phone numbers are being used and tracked as entries to the database are entered. Obviously there has to be some kind of leeway for Google, as any given company may have several locations (though I recall that is a selection in the process of signing up).

    Again, I have not run through any kind of USE CASE to understand what may be going on here completely, but I do not doubt there will be conditions in place to filter or limit entries in bulk. As well, confirming by phone in the way that Google does is far too valuable to get rid of, so I know that this is not a technology that is under threat. Another guess along those lines is that Google is large enough to want follow government regulations which would include the paper reduction act, so sending postcards only is not a solution. Again, just a guess that sounds right to me, and which leads me to think they are tracking (IP's, Phones, ZIP) and applying a database rule. This is certainly a good point to bring up for the community of offline marketers, so thanks for the post.
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  • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
    This happened not too long ago.... They did this in some areas and not in others....

    The last time it was southern florida, and somewhere else..... I can't remember...

    I am wondering if that is happening again... I freakin' hope so...

    The bad thing here...

    I just tried to do another listing.... and it didn't give the phone option. Which is wierd because I did one earlier today.

    The thought of IP addresses being tracked is VERY possible. I hope not but as with everything... there is a way around it.

    We just have to figure out what it is... or wait 5-6 days to get the listing verified.

    It is what it is......

    The concern about the gatekeeper tossing it as junk mail is a threat... but I think if we educate our clients well enough... it won't be an issue. That just means we are going to have to do a little more work...

    darn it....
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    • Profile picture of the author David
      Originally Posted by Amir Luis View Post

      This happened not too long ago.... They did this in some areas and not in others....

      The last time it was southern florida, and somewhere else..... I can't remember...

      I am wondering if that is happening again... I freakin' hope so...

      The bad thing here...

      I just tried to do another listing.... and it didn't give the phone option. Which is wierd because I did one earlier today.

      The thought of IP addresses being tracked is VERY possible. I hope not but as with everything... there is a way around it.

      We just have to figure out what it is... or wait 5-6 days to get the listing verified.

      It is what it is......

      The concern about the gatekeeper tossing it as junk mail is a threat... but I think if we educate our clients well enough... it won't be an issue. That just means we are going to have to do a little more work...

      darn it....
      It's not just the IP address being tracked, it's your Mac Address as well.
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      • Profile picture of the author grin
        Well again I do not have any real particulars, but I would hope that limiting signups to one per day would might show a solution. I certainly can understand why anyone would hate the idea of only doing one per day, but really, if you are doing one per day that is roughly 30 clients a month. I am just getting into this, which is why I have not tested any of this out myself, and why I am keenly interested in all of your input. Is there a reason you need to fill out 12 all in one shot? I can completely understand why Google would have that as a database rule according to the business model of places? Are you doing your prospecting by filling out a places account as part of your proof of concept, or waiting until the deal is closed to signup?
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      • Profile picture of the author grin
        Originally Posted by David View Post

        It's not just the IP address being tracked, it's your Mac Address as well.

        Might want to check out "MAC address changer"
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      • Profile picture of the author Robert SEO
        Originally Posted by David View Post

        It's not just the IP address being tracked, it's your Mac Address as well.
        Is this really possible? I had heard somewhere that google was looking at the "digital footprint" of machines doing mass places creation. I always assumed it meant IP address. Isn't your MAC address hidden?

        @Rus: I have been using phone verified gmail accounts. Phone verification isn't an option.
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      • Profile picture of the author bencarroll02
        Originally Posted by David View Post

        It's not just the IP address being tracked, it's your Mac Address as well.
        aaahhh...good call I didn't think about this.
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        • Profile picture of the author Chad Kimball
          The IP may weigh in on this, but we've claimed 100-200 listings on the same IP address and it did not affect whether we got postcard or phone verification. There are other factors that google is taking much more seriously.

          Originally Posted by bencarroll02 View Post

          aaahhh...good call I didn't think about this.
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      • Profile picture of the author CharlieGosh
        Originally Posted by David View Post

        It's not just the IP address being tracked, it's your Mac Address as well.
        FWIW, assuming you're using a wi-fi or hardwire router to connect more than one PC to your internet connection, the only MAC address that would be visible on the public side is the one on your router, not your PC. If you're going to change the MAC, do it on the router.

        IF you agreed to let a website download a piece of software and install it, that code could easily pull your PC's MAC and report it, along with the serial numbers on your motherboard and hard drives, etc.

        Many routers have a "clone" feature left over from when many ISP's registered your PC's MAC and shut you off if you tried to switch your internet connection to a different PC, under the premise that you were improperly 'sharing' your cable with a neighbor. The clone tool let you change the router MAC to be the same as your 'authorized' PC's MAC. Then you could change PC's to your heart's content.
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        • Profile picture of the author Chad Kimball
          I seriously doubt that this is a MAC address issue. Could be an IP address tracking issue, but we've confirmed hundreds of accounts off the same IP with no problems, almost 95% phone confirmations.

          Originally Posted by CharlieGosh View Post

          FWIW, assuming you're using a wi-fi or hardwire router to connect more than one PC to your internet connection, the only MAC address that would be visible on the public side is the one on your router, not your PC. If you're going to change the MAC, do it on the router.

          IF you agreed to let a website download a piece of software and install it, that code could easily pull your PC's MAC and report it, along with the serial numbers on your motherboard and hard drives, etc.

          Many routers have a "clone" feature left over from when many ISP's registered your PC's MAC and shut you off if you tried to switch your internet connection to a different PC, under the premise that you were improperly 'sharing' your cable with a neighbor. The clone tool let you change the router MAC to be the same as your 'authorized' PC's MAC. Then you could change PC's to your heart's content.
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  • Profile picture of the author digitalrev2k
    Google cant see your MAC address . (Mac Address is layer 2 address) they are using technology call device finger print.

    I don't blame Google for doing these . we are internet marketers responsible for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author digitalrev2k
    Guys, as i mentioned in the previous post. Google cant see your MAC address . not just google no one can see your MAC address. MAC address is layer 2 protocol which isn't visible outside of your local segments .

    Google using something call device finger prints to detect spamming efforts .

    @ david . you are right Gplaces doesn't trigger any results for Query : web designer , SEO . etc
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  • Profile picture of the author russellprisco
    Has anyone having this challenge tried proxies with a new client?

    My guess is that the option would still be only for postcard verification for the particular listing that you've had this happen to, but testing out a proxy on a new client might rule out whether it's an IP issue or not.

    If changing your IP doesn't fix this when verifying a new client in the same area, then I would have to wonder if it's the area, or maybe even the type of business in that area possibly (like someone had mentioned earlier about too many listings going up at once making it seem fishy...).

    Russell =P
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  • Profile picture of the author digitalrev2k
    russel, we tried to create nearly 30 different type of business with new IP addresses and new user agents. nothing really worked . we even tried to create listing for restaurants and pizza shop . whatever your business type and location, there is only one way to verify new listing : post card.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Ellis
      This has not been an issue in my area as well. I just used a phone verification yesterday and they called the customer within 5 minutes and it was active within an hour.

      Hopefully I won't run into it but it really doesn't matter to me too much. Fast results are great, but just telling your customers that Google takes 2-3 weeks to verify sometimes then all should be good. Just don't promise number 1 listing by morning
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      • Profile picture of the author digitalrev2k
        Thanks Brandon , did you create new listings ?

        Originally Posted by Brandon Ellis View Post

        This has not been an issue in my area as well. I just used a phone verification yesterday and they called the customer within 5 minutes and it was active within an hour.

        Hopefully I won't run into it but it really doesn't matter to me too much. Fast results are great, but just telling your customers that Google takes 2-3 weeks to verify sometimes then all should be good. Just don't promise number 1 listing by morning
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        • Profile picture of the author Bronwyn and Keith
          Hey Warriors

          Did a new listing today - phone verification worked beautifully.

          Google must be slow to move here in Oz.

          Hope they keep it that way.

          Regards

          Bronwyn and Keith
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        • Profile picture of the author Brandon Ellis
          Originally Posted by digitalrev2k View Post

          Thanks Brandon , did you create new listings ?
          Hey man, Yea they were new listings.


          Thanks,


          Brandon
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    • Profile picture of the author bigredmachine
      Hi,

      Thanks for sharing these information.

      Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author patrick2000
      Today is jannuary 25 2011 ..
      i'm trying to list my business on google places for like a week now, and it's not giving me the option to verify by phone option, all i get is veryfy by post card only .
      i have try to contact google places by phone and the phone number dose not seem to work any more.
      is this is the end of phone verification ?
      if anyone know anything about it please post something back , thanks
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      • Profile picture of the author Mario Brown
        Originally Posted by patrick2000 View Post

        Today is jannuary 25 2011 ..
        i'm trying to list my business on google places for like a week now, and it's not giving me the option to verify by phone option, all i get is veryfy by post card only .
        i have try to contact google places by phone and the phone number dose not seem to work any more.
        is this is the end of phone verification ?
        if anyone know anything about it please post something back , thanks
        Hey,

        I've posted the update on top of the thread, please read it and you'll understand.

        Cheers,
        Mario
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    • Profile picture of the author linksman
      Recently set up a couple of sites here in the Uk and had to get phone verification which was no problem. Had another which needed the pin number sent via a postcard which took about 4 weeks!
      Google always seem to be changing one thing or another and we spend all are time figuring out before the next bumpy ride!
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      • My understanding is it's based on trust that the biz is legit. So if you are claiming a listing for an existing company that's been around and has some citations/reviews, etc. then sometimes phone verify may be available. Most of my clients are existing businesses so I'm anxious to test. But right now all my clients have claimed listings.

        The biggest prob with postcard verify is staff tossing it as junkmail. So here's a tip I use that may help.

        There's an attention field you can fill in on the postcard. Don't just put the owners full name or whatever because staff gets all kinds of junk mail like that. I'll put some kind of code for the business or something that will stand out. Sometimes just IMPORTANT - GIVE TO DAN.

        Then I email my contact a copy of the postcard. Stress that staff may throw away and how important it is and to tell staff to look for mail from Google that says IMPORTANT - GIVE TO DAN.

        Whatever code I use, then I have a record to of the code I put in the attn field so if I'm dealing with dupes and have multiple verifications coming in I know which pin goes with which account.

        Let me know if you think that's helpful or if you have any other tips and maybe I'll blog a more detailed version and include the email I send clients explaining all this.
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        • Profile picture of the author portland
          So far I have found that if the place already exist but is unclaimed by the business owner that it can be claimed using phone verification. My thinking right now is to try and create citations for new places in directories with the hope google will then create the places listing on its own.

          Random note, In my experience the only problems from an
          IP address happen after several hundred listings have been created. At
          that point captcha will be asked every time, the only verification
          option is postcard, listings will show up as pending, rejected or some
          combination of thereof. Once you reach that point it's a good idea to
          switch IP's.
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  • Profile picture of the author Headfirst
    I created 4 new listings this past week, all with phone verifications. No problems. I think it may depend on other factors.
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  • Profile picture of the author digitalrev2k
    dude, even wed day evening everything was okay . they stopped phone verification since Thursday .
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    • Profile picture of the author Tradewinds
      I'm just getting ready to add Google Places to our business offerings and was somewhat discouraged by the news.

      I don't care if it does take a couple of weeks to get the client approved, but I was looking forward to upfront payment for our initial service. Does this mean we can't get any payment from our new client until the verification is approved by Google?

      Thanks....Tim
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    • Profile picture of the author dankiger99
      I haven't experience that kind of problem in here.
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      • Profile picture of the author Allworth
        I just did a phone verification with one of my clients this past Thursday.
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        • Profile picture of the author CoolMomma
          Hi everyone,

          I tried to add a new listing for one client of mine and I was asked to do a postcard verification that will take 2-3 weeks..yikes! This is for a new listing for a business in CA. Once I press submit and yes verify with postcard, I was given this message: "System Error
          We're sorry, but we are unable to serve your request at this time. Please try back in a few minutes
          ".

          This is slightly off topic. But has anyone here encountered that error message? If yes, has anyone succeeded in troubleshooting it? I need to get my client active asap...

          I tried going to Google Places help for solutions and found out that there are bunch of other people that encounter the same problems but haven't gotten any solutions from Google. Here's the link: http://www.google.cl/support/forum/p/Places/thread?tid=11d6a8e4a39d835b&hl=en

          Thanks,
          CM
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    • Profile picture of the author SamyE
      Haven't seen this locally here in New Jersey yet.

      Must be something new or its getting cough by some new algorthem. Lots as spamy google places listings so it makes sense that they could try the mail/postal method to weed the non authentic ones out.
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      • Profile picture of the author JimmyD
        I tried to add a new listing for one client of mine and I was asked to do a postcard verification that will take 2-3 weeks..yikes! This is for a new listing for a business in CA. Once I press submit and yes verify with postcard, I was given this message: "System Error
        We're sorry, but we are unable to serve your request at this time. Please try back in a few minutes
        ".

        This is slightly off topic. But has anyone here encountered that error message? If yes, has anyone succeeded in troubleshooting it? I need to get my client active asap...
        Just got this trying to add a new listing. I've searched and there seems to be a load of people listing the same problem on G forums, nobody has dicovered the fix yet. I'll be very keen to know if anyone has the ansqwer to this.
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    • Profile picture of the author cchipster
      ONLY on new listings and not ones pre-created....
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      No signature, I'm sure you will be ok.
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      • Profile picture of the author 12thmonkey
        Hi Hipster,

        I believe that you have to precreate a listing in order to get the phone verification option. That was basically what Chad was saying.

        There is an easy way to get your listing to appear on Google as unverified - unclaimed, but then it does not always give you the phone option.

        I don't know why. If anybody knows please elaborate and explain what would be a surefire way to get the phone option.

        If anyone would like to work as an outsourcer for phone verification alone I would also be interested.
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  • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
    One could or could not be location... I think it may depend on where you are....
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  • Profile picture of the author dannytheplumber
    Ok im not to technical but have experience in using google places.

    around the 10th Decemeber 2010 my PC put an add on google places and then that was the end of phone verification for that despite resetting my cache ect. I tried on my MAC and it worked, strangley i had to reset safari everytime and it had to be created in google UK so as to avoid the Encryption. this worked until approximately 6pm on the 20th January 1 day after a long awaited local listings update.

    since then i have tried adding more, ive changed proxies (private) and the reset methods, new numbers, merged google accounts with yahoo. NOTHING.

    the one thing thats obvious by seeing what happened to the PC is that google does somehow detect your computer or ISP or something to know its someone associated with other Accounts.

    now the UK google also has encrypion that cannot be avoided.

    im going to try create an account in the APPLE store tomorow to see if phone verification is closed off to everyone or just individuals associated with other accounts.

    why would it happen on a PC before an IMAC?

    my finding suggest its google knowing that you have already created a listing.

    but i could be wrong
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    • Profile picture of the author patrick2000
      Originally Posted by dannytheplumber View Post

      Ok im not to technical but have experience in using google places.

      around the 10th Decemeber 2010 my PC put an add on google places and then that was the end of phone verification for that despite resetting my cache ect. I tried on my MAC and it worked, strangley i had to reset safari everytime and it had to be created in google UK so as to avoid the Encryption. this worked until approximately 6pm on the 20th January 1 day after a long awaited local listings update.

      since then i have tried adding more, ive changed proxies (private) and the reset methods, new numbers, merged google accounts with yahoo. NOTHING.

      the one thing thats obvious by seeing what happened to the PC is that google does somehow detect your computer or ISP or something to know its someone associated with other Accounts.

      now the UK google also has encrypion that cannot be avoided.

      im going to try create an account in the APPLE store tomorow to see if phone verification is closed off to everyone or just individuals associated with other accounts.

      why would it happen on a PC before an IMAC?

      my finding suggest its google knowing that you have already created a listing.

      but i could be wrong
      Hello ,.
      i have try lot's of things in the past week to get google listing verify by phone and just one thing has work , i call someone i know in a diffrent country and ask him to list a business for me and he said that he have the option to verify by phone . , since then anything else didnt work ,
      here is a list of things we have try
      1 new router
      2 new computer
      3 new ip
      4 new mac address
      and still nothing is working , i belive google closed that option forever , they want only verification by postcard .
      if anyone konw , hear , have somthing to say please post any info.
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      • Profile picture of the author dannytheplumber
        Well the obvious thing to do is put pressure on google over this. what a step back into the dark ages especially with bing and yahoo on the uprising.

        the obvious things to try.

        create the business with trusted directories that google would normally transfer the reviews from.

        1. free index

        2. qype

        3. tipped

        are a few.

        ping and bookmark the life out of them.

        the next day if google does not recognize that the business being added to places is also found else on google then i think its game over for the speedy verification.
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    • Profile picture of the author SexyMichelle
      has anyone found any new info. about the verify by phone feature or still no luck??
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      • Profile picture of the author Chad Kimball
        Originally Posted by SexyMichelle View Post

        has anyone found any new info. about the verify by phone feature or still no luck??
        yea we found a solution that gets you 95% phone verifications. Occasionally they still ask for a postcard with this method but it is almost always phone. I'll be talking about it in the new version of my google maps cash course in a few weeks.
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        • Profile picture of the author NewMedia
          Originally Posted by Chad Kimball View Post

          yea we found a solution that gets you 95% phone verifications. Occasionally they still ask for a postcard with this method but it is almost always phone. I'll be talking about it in the new version of my google maps cash course in a few weeks.
          Interesting. You should put together an optin for those who want to know more.
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          • Profile picture of the author Chad Kimball
            Originally Posted by SexyMichelle View Post

            has anyone found any new info. about the verify by phone feature or still no luck??
            Originally Posted by chad-kimball

            yea we found a solution that gets you 95% phone verifications. Occasionally they still ask for a postcard with this method but it is almost always phone. I'll be talking about it in the new version of my google maps cash course.
            Originally Posted by Patrick Forbes View Post

            Interesting. You should put together an optin for those who want to know more.

            Thats a great idea Patrick... I'll post it here as soon as I can pull that page together
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            • Profile picture of the author Geoff Lord
              Originally Posted by Chad Kimball View Post


              Thats a great idea Patrick... I'll post it here as soon as I can pull that page together
              Thats Great News Chad.......Will there be a free upgrade for old clients or will this be a totally new product ?

              My current Places listings have been "under review" for several weeks now and "google" do not seem to be in any rush to give any assistance. I have several place listings entered in a shopping Mall and Google just do Not seem to understand that they are actually different businesses......the only difference to the addresses is "unit S 2" "unit S3" etc etc in the address line. Maybe someone from google should visit a Shopping Mall someday and switch the Lights On and see all those different shops !!!
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              • Profile picture of the author Chad Kimball
                Originally Posted by Geoff Lord View Post

                Thats Great News Chad.......Will there be a free upgrade for old clients or will this be a totally new product ?

                My current Places listings have been "under review" for several weeks now and "google" do not seem to be in any rush to give any assistance. I have several place listings entered in a shopping Mall and Google just do Not seem to understand that they are actually different businesses......the only difference to the addresses is "unit S 2" "unit S3" etc etc in the address line. Maybe someone from google should visit a Shopping Mall someday and switch the Lights On and see all those different shops !!!
                is the ONLY difference the unit S 2... for instance, do you have the exact same business name/phone as well? or are they completely different business names/phones?
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  • Profile picture of the author BrendanBurner
    Keeping a close eye on this people as im just launching into the offline world this could be a big stumbling block for me just when i thought it was time to GO ive now been averted by this keep the updates coming

    Thanks Brendan
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  • Profile picture of the author lchiles
    Mario, thank you for helping me out with the breaking news. That sucks but our patience will be rewarded I'm sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author theprofitguru
    Could depend on the industry and/or geographic are you create a listing in. Let's just hope this doesn't become standard.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mario Brown
      Okay so here it goes:

      I've just read a post on blumenthals where he pointed out the following comment from the Google Places team on the official forum:

      Hi all,

      I understand there have been some recent questions about verification methods. If a business is new to Google, certain verification methods may be unavailable depending on the information provided for the business.


      So it seems like the phone verification is gone most of the time for brand new listings and let's be honest, just like always with Google, one has no clue what exactly the information is that they want to see that makes a listing trustworthy.

      So let the games begin and find out

      Will do some testing, set up a couple of test listings and see if something triggers the phone verification.

      Cheers,
      Mario
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      • Profile picture of the author WikiWarrior
        This change is really frustrating although I can see their reasons for going this route. I do quite a lot of Places listings and it was great getting everything set up, viewed by the customer and paid in the space of a day or two. No messing around. Now not only do we have to wait 1 or 2 weeks for the postcard to reach the customer, we have to hope someone doesn't think it's a flier and throw it. Oh well, will just have to get used to it if this change is permanent.
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        • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
          Originally Posted by YOUniversityLife View Post

          This change is really frustrating although I can see their reasons for going this route. I do quite a lot of Places listings and it was great getting everything set up, viewed by the customer and paid in the space of a day or two. No messing around. Now not only do we have to wait 1 or 2 weeks for the postcard to reach the customer, we have to hope someone doesn't think it's a flier and throw it. Oh well, will just have to get used to it if this change is permanent.
          In the irrefutable words of George Carlin.....

          "It is... What it is....":rolleyes:
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      • Profile picture of the author dannytheplumber
        Keep us updated pal. im going to carry out a few experiments as-well.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Jones
        Originally Posted by Mario Brown View Post

        Will do some testing, set up a couple of test listings and see if something triggers the phone verification.
        I think you are right. But location could also be a possible cause.

        Have you done the test listings? do keep us posted.

        Cheers
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean D Kelly
    I have heard of this happening before, especially when people try to spam a certain area with flagged listings. I think it is a security measure to keep it from happening. At least I very much hope so, it does seem to follow the normal pattern.
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  • Profile picture of the author digitalrev2k
    Now places optimizations become way harder than organic optimizations . Google stopped it because some people were so greedy : some people were selling leads and others were selling ebook/tutorial "how to create tons of spammy listings" . I am sure Matt cutts were reading some of these ebook/post and he advised Google to block this loophole (phone verification).
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  • Profile picture of the author Tess D
    Hi guys- I just finished writing a pdf guide for my upcoming lead gen workshop on the subject. As of today, Google Places does allow phone verification for NEW listings, but postcard on edits for existing listings concerning address or telephone number changes. I don't know if that is the same as in your areas.
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    • Profile picture of the author jim112
      if some one can make listings of locksmith with the new postcard thing send me email to philllipcampbellsATgmail and we will start working together.
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      • Profile picture of the author Todd B
        I have had no luck with Phone verifications on new listings. Existing businesses in the index that are unclaimed is still allowing phone verification.

        Who wants to start an address sharing group so we can can all our listings verified?
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      • Profile picture of the author Todd B
        Originally Posted by jim112 View Post

        if some one can make listings of locksmith with the new postcard thing send me email to philllipcampbellsATgmail and we will start working together.

        Locksmiths are nearly impossible to get live. Even if you send a postcard... it never comes. The only luck I have had is getting UNVERIFIED listings in he index and then optimizing the website in hopes of Getting Blended Local result. You can still achieve first page ranking with this method. Goo and get a bunch of citations too using a service like Local Site Submit to help boost the Google places "unverified" listing.

        To get unverified listings in the index submit the business to Superpages, CitySearch and insiderpages. Then wait about 3-4 months for google to (hopefully) pick up the listing. Its worked before...... but things change all the time... so no guarantees.
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  • Profile picture of the author grin
    This is all very interesting, and my interest is mostly coming from my IT security background. I do not really understand what everyone is doing specifically. There are more variables involved than people are explaining in how they are setting up places. I have just recently started to take on clients in the "offline marketing" manner; everyone I am talking to already has a places listing - including me. So beyond what I went through on my own, I am not getting any personal experience in signing up even more than one google places listing.

    Some questions I have are after the statement "Places is no longer allowing phone verification"

    Are you filling these forms out yourself?
    More than one a day?
    Are you setting the customers phone as the verification contact?
    Do you call the customer and tell them they will receive a phone call shortly that will tell them a code to enter? (did they answer it?)
    Are you using a unique gmail address?
    If so, is it associated somehow with your original gmail address?

    It's after those questions, that IP and MAC addresses come into play if at all (remember many people in the world do their work from internet cafe' which can end up using the same IP; this is just an example that signing up from the same IP is not that large of a priority.

    I think the main issue in my head is that I can only imagine a scenario where if your client has no listing on places, you will have to walk them through this in a PDF tutorial or email or on the phone with them helping them to fill it out. Again, I have little experience filling these out for others, because they tend to already have them where I am; so I am really curious about what process you are all following.

    From an IT security view:
    Some may think that we can not see your MAC - that is only true if there is a privacy policy in place. Otherwise, if you have agreed to some sort of TOS, YES we can see your MAC. Even before any IP is involved, the MAC is used as the primary unique identifier of any device, especially the network card.

    For those on a windows system try this:
    Technitium MAC Address Changer v5 Release 3 (FREEWARE)

    If you are using the same phone, I can tell you that will shut down immediately. So I cannot imagine anyone is trying to do that. I could imagine setting protocols allowing a few signups on the same phone number, but more than three, no way. Anyone setting up a system like this would easily kill that.

    As for IP numbers, most people are on dynamic IP, the first three sets may stay the same, and I could see those being logged - but it would not be feasible because you could have several businesses on that range and even within the last set. So only uniques would have a series logged to turn off phone verification.

    Is Google turning it off per region? That makes sense if they have an algorithm to vary the load being placed on their phone system that accomplishes the task. However, like I have mentioned before - the phone verification is EXTREMELY valuable in google taking on clients for their places service, so I can't see that they want to bypass it in exchange for a slower postcard system. Except, if they are thinking that they only want established and long term business. However, consider how much money they have made on ad-words from people who are not established and are wanting to "start" something. Expendable money from startups (including affiliates who want to just do a redirect to a CB ad - not the smartest but it happens) is just as large as any of the other segments they are selling services to. As much as people think that G hates "make money online" people; they gross millions from it.

    So as for the thought that Google is not pleased with offline marketers encouraging people to signup to places - that does not make sense. The only thing I can really think of is that they are putting into place protection from many forms of attack on their system. One example is an injection attack, and the manner in which you complete a places listing sounds very similar to this.

    So, am I off here? Does consulting with someone on the phone and getting them to signup themselves not work with your business model?
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  • Profile picture of the author halfbakedrew
    I have done over 100 new maps. and some are post cards and some are phone calls. I still say it all has to do with how many maps are being made in you area.
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    Alot of poeple say they cant start they're business because of the lack of money so I have started a company that works with you to get started on your online business
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  • Profile picture of the author traceface
    I worked on several (6 or 8) google places pages one day last week. All different clients, all different log-ins (their accounts) and the verification on each of them was different. For one client with three different locations, there were two phone verifications and one postcard. For another client with two locations, I was adding the second, they sent a postcard.

    I think there are more things involved in what verification google offers than we've figured out so far. My partner is having the same sporadic experience. We just don't know what to expect, but we've found that the phone verification is available, just not all the time.
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  • Profile picture of the author teaball
    I'm doing a listing tomorrow from the client's office. Will report back.

    TB
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    The short cut to success is always the long cut for lasting success.
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    • Profile picture of the author teaball
      Originally Posted by teaball View Post

      I'm doing a listing tomorrow from the client's office. Will report back.

      TB
      I ended up with doing it for 3 of the customer's listings. All phone verified.

      But problem of interest... phone verification had to be set up with a store employe because of the phone system IVR (you know the "press 1 for ...") . It rings twice before going to IVR. So it was just a matter of getting someone to pick up and write down the pin.

      Originally Posted by Amir Luis View Post

      That works Teaball...

      I have done that... infact that is how I have been getting around this issue. I use thier internet connection and my laptop. I get the initial basics of the information set up right there from them. Then I stop.

      I then go back to the lab. Set up the micro format for there address on the website listed, upload the KML, GeoSiteMap, pics, videos, links in the details, etc.

      So far I haven't had a problem with the phone verification issue.

      There is a way around everything. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box.
      I tried to create the postcard thing (changed phone#). It worked that is, it gave me only one option - postcard. So, I backpaged, refreshed and put in correct number. Then I got the phone call option added.


      Originally Posted by 5starAffiliatePrograms View Post

      I tweak CORE DATA in listings all the time without needing to do a verification at all.

      Typically if you change anything in NAP (Name, address, phone) then you need to re-verify.

      But I almost always have to fix NAP due to incorrect address formats or the listing has the practice name instead of Dr name and I want to use both, or whatever.

      I did coaching for an SEO company on Advanced Places Optimization a couple days ago and showed him how to tweak the NAP without triggering a re-verify and did 2 listings of my own this week and none of them needed verification.

      NOTE: Every listing I work with needs changes to core data and I think it's an important step most local SEOs miss and no one teaches the how and why of it. Same thing with dupes and all dupes need changes to the core data which if you aren't careful can result in MULTIPLE verifications per client. This can be a huge time suck and drive clients nuts, ESP if it requires postcard verification.

      Let's say current Place page is ABC Chiropractic 122 Avalon #2B, Miami
      and I need to change NAP to ABC Chiropractic: John L Smith D.C.
      124 North Avalon Road Suite 2B, Miami

      Instead of copying and pasting all the changes I just carefully delete or correct one key at a time. Then the important part - I cross my fingers before I hit submit. :p Almost always works.
      Do you mean you make one change like name, then submit? Then immediately change another, or do you wait hours/days then do another change?

      And, I totally agree, every listing needs changes in NAP's... kind of amazing.

      I just had another listing described as "permanently closed". I'm convinced it's YP guys... they called him over and over and over until he got rude with them. Those YP guys know something about how to "shut down a business" from their listing side. Both incidents I've seen have happened to people who have cancelled their YP ads.
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      • Profile picture of the author netkid
        This is slightly off topic but how do I delete one of three locations listed for my client in Google Places? This is a result of my client closing one branch down.

        I searched forever and can't seem to get a straight step by step answer.

        thanks in advance,

        Bruce
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        • Profile picture of the author fritzseo
          The Why behind Map Mergers
          Google wants relevant data. They also want to eliminate spam, or excess data. Map mergers are the result of data being too similar or of Google deeming the data as spam/false.
          Addresses that are too Similar:
          The simplest of mergers happens when two listings look to reference the same company. Like an address that only differs from the neighbor by a suite number. Two dentists sharing the same building, the same city, zip code, and the same category (i.e. Orthodontics) are at high risk of merging. These mergers happen to both claimed and unclaimed listings, and the information when merged may result in a blend from both listings; his phone number, your website, and your business name.
          Business Name Similarities:
          Google local listings may be merged because business names are too similar. Let's take "Charlotte Pest Control" and "Charlotte Pest Control-Deals". (Yes... there is still a spammer in Google Maps named "Charlotte Pest Control Deals" regardless of the number of times I have reported it.) Hypothetically, Google will judge the info and their sources.Let's say that "Charlotte Pest Control" is listed as registered and licensed with the pest control board on the governing body's website. They also have a local business license associated with their physical address and business name. Plus the local chamber of commerce website lists them and their address. Compared to "Charlotte Pest Control Deals" only having a profile created on Google by a Google user. Then if Google merges these listings they will most likely merge it to the "Charlotte Pest Control" listing. This is easy enough in this case because one company has references that look legit and the other does not. However, there are other factors that could sway this the wrong direction. Recent content, excessive content on articles, and domain registration all count when tallying the scores.
          Same Business Name Different Locations:
          A company with mulitple locations may see their listings merge. Key factors in merging these local listings are the website address and the phone number. If you have a single phone number for all of your locations then you are at a high risk of being merged. If all of your locations share the same website then you have a higher risk. If your locations are "fake rental mailboxes" or "virtual offices" then you are at a higher risk. Essentially, if there is not enough supporting evidences on the web, or in other search-able documents backing the fact that you have 10 locations in the same metro area, then you are likely going to see your listings merge.
          How to Unmerge Wrongfully Merged Listings.
          Step 1: Claim the listing
          <if you're listing is already claimed skip to "Claimed Listings">

          If the listing is unclaimed: You can tell if the listing is claimed by the portion that says, "Edit this place - Business Owner?".
          Fix the listing FIRST.Do this while in Google maps, not in Google places.

          Map View in Google Maps > Click the drop down menu "more" > scroll to "edit details".
          After editing the listing claim the listing, do this in Google Places. It would be recommended to wait for the edit to take effect. Trying to claim the listing prior to the edit may delay the correction by having to wait through the verification process. Most don't believe there is a difference between a phone call and a letter, but I opt for letter verification. Google tends to use this method when conflicts arise.


          Claimed Listings: Noted by owner verified check mark.
          If the listing is claimed then first check and perhaps fix it in your Google Places. These edits may take some time. If the information is correct in the listing then make another edit, like to your description, so that your Google places has the most recent edit. Note that this may cause another request for verification. If it does then simply comply and wait for the verification.
          If you have not claimed the listing and it says owner verified then you will want to claim the listing for yourself. Simply click on the text "Owner Verified" and it will take you to Google places. You can create your profile there and claim your listings. This will take time as you will have to wait for Google to verify you and then sort out who the real owner is. There are ways to weight this judgment in your favor.
          Step 2: Correcting the information elsewhere
          Because Google is relying on other sources for their listings, and scarped content, you must go to those other sources. The best way to unmerge the listing is go to the primary source of all local listings: InfoUSA
          BE WARNED: This is a sure fire way to increase your phone calls!
          But they are not the phone calls you want as InfoUSA will sell your information to businesses that solicit other businesses. So your calls will increase, but mainly because of solicitors. Overall the best fix is going to the root of local business listings. If you are one of two businesses with similar addresses that have been merged then enter in both businesses. If you are the same business with multiple locations then enter in all of your locations.
          Take note that changing it at the source may not delete previous errors. Many directory sites simply keep adding new information to the pile of old information. And if your old incorrect information keeps getting scraped by Google, then Google will continue to re-create your listings and potential re-merge listings. To do a thorough job you need to search out and destroy all of the bad addresses for your business on the net. When I say "bad addresses" I mean inconsistent. MAKE ALL OF YOUR ADDRESSES CONSISTENT. Use the exact same punctuation, abbreviations, everything. Make it either "Suite - B" or "Ste. B". Pick either "Street", or "St.", "North" , "N" or "N." Yes, Google should catch all of this and they do a good job for the most part, BUT WHY LEAVE IT TO CHANCE?
          Step 3: Wait for it.
          Google usually does not show edits immediately. Some updates will take place very quickly, within a couple of hours or a couple of days. Most unmergers will take much longer, up to 12 weeks. These 3 steps should solve your merging problems and even unmerge listings. If you had reviews with your previous listing then you want an unmerger. Google stores all the previous information. Just check the reviews.
          Review Check Sample 1: Here is an old review that has not merged with the new correct address for Bulwark's San Antonio pest control location. Old Review In this case, the review still exists it simply is unattached to my local listing right now. If you get the error, "We no longer support this location" then your listing was banned.
          Step 4: Last Resort: Create a new listing.
          If Step 1-3 do not fix your problem after 3 to 12 weeks then you may attempt to create a new listing all together. Make sure that you still follow Step 2 so that other sources are mimicking your business information. Unfortunately without these outside references your business listing will not stick.
          Final Notes:
          Unmerging Local Listings is not easy and it will take time, but it will work.



          1)Be sure that your business name is short and not keyword spammy. The longer it is and the more similar it is to other spammy business titles the greater the chance of a merge
          2)Be sure that your phone number is unique to your business. If your number was previously used by a similar and/or nearby business the chances of a merge go up immeasurably.
          3)Be sure that your address is a unique reflection of your actual location.
          4)Reinforce the name, address and phone number by widespread dissemination of the basic business NAP throughout the local ecosystem.
          5)Carefully position your business on the Map when you edit your business in Places.
          6)Be sure that you provide reinforcing geo signals to Google via a KML file, geo-sitemap, hCard, geo-tagged photos, myMap references. Confirm that the geo info provided in all these geo-references is accurate to the specific lat-long minute and second.
          Remember that Google's algo is just an algo and if you nuke a listing without changing anything of the underlying data and signals that the algo looks at, the algo is likely to merge the two listings again.

          1. When you click on the listing, does it say "Owner-verified listing" in the top right?

          The first thing you should always do even before contacting Google. Please claim your listing. You need to put in accurate business information or Google will have no other reference besides the "source" website that it found to create the Places page to begin with.


          2. What are "source pages"? Why are they important to me?

          Please look at the Places page. If you scroll all the way down to the bottom you will see the "more about this place" section which is where the source pages are located. These source pages are websites (reviews, links, etc) which Google thinks (algorithm) relate to your business in some way. This where it finds the info that has been posted.


          3. Why does it have detailed information about me and then link to another website which is not mine?

          If there is an error with one of the source pages this is a big reason for merged or duplicate listings. It also may be that someone of the title that is in yours is in theirs. If you have "Gainesville PC repair" and someone else has "Gainesville PC repaired" it is likely to be merged.

          4. Got Duplicates? I have 5 different listings for my one business. There is incorrect information on them. Why?

          Duplicates are usually the result of old source pages with old info. Even with the new info you provided Google or Google already has, there is a source page with old info that looks like a different business all together. Hence Google lists it. Go to the listing which is the duplicate and see what source page it lists. You will not have a duplicate without at least one source page.

          5. A source page has my information wrong where can I change that?

          Google has no control over these pages except for indexing them and relating them to yours. You will need to go to the website provided and give them up to date details and possibly even claim the listing on their site so you can change it there. It will not be quick but eventually Google will have the updated information and apply it correctly.

          6. Should I make a new listing if there is a Places Page with old information?

          You should generally never make a new listing if you can claim an older one. Claim the listing and change the details. Then change the source pages. This will help you become placed higher and updated faster.

          here is where this post is:

          http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...-moomoney.html

          good luck
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          1/866/714/1110
          843/847/1558
          Fritz Thorp
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          • I didn't see a link to the original source.

            Since someone took A LOT of time to write that article,
            let's give them credit for being the author.

            Why Google Local Listings Merge and How to Unmerge Listings. | Search Engine People | Toronto
            Signature

            Linda Buquet :: Google+ Local Specialist and Google Top Contributor
            ADVANCED Google+ Local Training :: Also offering White Label Local SEO
            Latest Google Local News, Tips & Tricks

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            • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
              Originally Posted by 5starAffiliatePrograms View Post

              I didn't see a link to the original source.

              Since someone took A LOT of time to write that article,
              let's give them credit for being the author.

              Why Google Local Listings Merge and How to Unmerge Listings. | Search Engine People | Toronto
              Hilarious...

              Welcome to the interwebs...
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              • Profile picture of the author TE2
                New Verification Behavior Observed

                I added a new client yesterday that had claimed their G Place Page in February 2008.

                Their listing had not been published with updated information because they did not complete the verification process. The status showed a PIN was sent to them via postcard when the listing was claimed back in 2/2008 but the verification was not completed.

                So I updated their info to current, added three more categories and some photos.

                The most significant update was that I changed their street address, city, state and zip to their new location.

                I was expecting that the only verification option I would be given would be for the postcard.

                Well... I hit submit and to my surprise, I was given the phone option and only the phone option.

                This is the only time I have seen this scenario.

                Anyone else experience this?

                Regards,

                John

                ps - I'm not complaining as it moved this client effort ahead of expectations.
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                • Profile picture of the author scotth
                  Originally Posted by TE2 View Post

                  New Verification Behavior Observed

                  I added a new client yesterday that had claimed their G Place Page in February 2008.

                  Their listing had not been published with updated information because they did not complete the verification process. The status showed a PIN was sent to them via postcard when the listing was claimed back in 2/2008 but the verification was not completed.

                  So I updated their info to current, added three more categories and some photos.

                  The most significant update was that I changed their street address, city, state and zip to their new location.

                  I was expecting that the only verification option I would be given would be for the postcard.

                  Well... I hit submit and to my surprise, I was given the phone option and only the phone option.

                  This is the only time I have seen this scenario.

                  Anyone else experience this?

                  Regards,

                  John

                  ps - I'm not complaining as it moved this client effort ahead of expectations.
                  Hi John,

                  I just claimed one of my clients GP listing and I got the phone only too.
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      • Originally Posted by teaball View Post

        Do you mean you make one change like name, then submit? Then immediately change another, or do you wait hours/days then do another change?

        And, I totally agree, every listing needs changes in NAP's... kind of amazing.
        ===========================================

        I just had another listing described as "permanently closed". I'm convinced it's YP guys... they called him over and over and over until he got rude with them. Those YP guys know something about how to "shut down a business" from their listing side. Both incidents I've seen have happened to people who have cancelled their YP ads.
        Sorry teaball, missed the 1st Q above.

        No you can do all changes in one sitting here is what I mean. Do ALL your optimization changes 1st and DON'T TOUCH NAP. So do your cats, images, enhanced data, whatever. Then hit submit to save those changes. Then you can go right back in and correct any NAP issues.

        The reason I do this, is if you edit NAP and everything at the same time then ALL your changes are held up until verification goes through. If the postcard does not come or staff throws it away and you have to request another, then it can hold up ALL your changes for over a month.

        If you do cats, images description, etc. 1st then those changes will go live right away to start helping rankings AND so you can show client on live map listing that you made them a nice shiny new enhanced Place page. Then the only changes that will get held up waiting for verification are the NAP changes.

        ===============

        Re: your 2nd point about listings being marked permanently closed. There is a loophole right now - so I'm not going to SPELL it out and have everyone use it so much G closes it - but on many listings you can view the edit history and see who marked the business as closed. PM me if you don't know how and want to find out.
        Signature

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        ADVANCED Google+ Local Training :: Also offering White Label Local SEO
        Latest Google Local News, Tips & Tricks

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        • Profile picture of the author Todd B
          5star- any workarounds on setting up brand new listings?

          How about if they cant receive mail at the address? ie fake addresses. Have a workaround for phone verify only for brand new listings?
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  • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
    That works Teaball...

    I have done that... infact that is how I have been getting around this issue. I use thier internet connection and my laptop. I get the initial basics of the information set up right there from them. Then I stop.

    I then go back to the lab. Set up the micro format for there address on the website listed, upload the KML, GeoSiteMap, pics, videos, links in the details, etc.

    So far I haven't had a problem with the phone verification issue.

    There is a way around everything. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box.
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    • Profile picture of the author Randy Miller
      I set up two new Google Places listings this morning. The first one was completely new and provided only a verification by snail mail option.

      The second listing had been unclaimed. I updated the information, adding all the key elements and the was able to verify the account via phone call from big G.
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      • I tweak CORE DATA in listings all the time without needing to do a verification at all.

        Typically if you change anything in NAP (Name, address, phone) then you need to re-verify.

        But I almost always have to fix NAP due to incorrect address formats or the listing has the practice name instead of Dr name and I want to use both, or whatever.

        I did coaching for an SEO company on Advanced Places Optimization a couple days ago and showed him how to tweak the NAP without triggering a re-verify and did 2 listings of my own this week and none of them needed verification.

        NOTE: Every listing I work with needs changes to core data and I think it's an important step most local SEOs miss and no one teaches the how and why of it.
        Same thing with dupes and all dupes need changes to the core data which if you aren't careful can result in MULTIPLE verifications per client. This can be a huge time suck and drive clients nuts, ESP if it requires postcard verification.

        Let's say current Place page is ABC Chiropractic 122 Avalon #2B, Miami
        and I need to change NAP to ABC Chiropractic: John L Smith D.C.
        124 North Avalon Road Suite 2B, Miami

        Instead of copying and pasting all the changes I just carefully delete or correct one key at a time. Then the important part - I cross my fingers before I hit submit. :p Almost always works.
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        ADVANCED Google+ Local Training :: Also offering White Label Local SEO
        Latest Google Local News, Tips & Tricks

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    • Profile picture of the author Digital Traffic
      Can't this be done through a desktop sharing program as well?

      Originally Posted by Amir Luis View Post

      That works Teaball...

      I have done that... infact that is how I have been getting around this issue. I use thier internet connection and my laptop. I get the initial basics of the information set up right there from them. Then I stop.

      I then go back to the lab. Set up the micro format for there address on the website listed, upload the KML, GeoSiteMap, pics, videos, links in the details, etc.

      So far I haven't had a problem with the phone verification issue.

      There is a way around everything. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box.
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  • Profile picture of the author jackanderson1
    It is really very important. its not that google is taking it away, They do this from time to time. If a area is getting alot of maps up lately then they think something is up. so they take away the phone Verification.
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  • Profile picture of the author redcell1
    This week I had 2 different clients and they both had to be verified snail mail.

    1.) Was a entirely new business with a local number. Snail Mail.

    2.) Shop with 6 locations, each with local numbers same thing.
    Signature

    Just here to see the shenanigans.

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    • Profile picture of the author Tradewinds
      I'm just getting ready to add Google Places to our business offerings and was somewhat discouraged by the news.

      I don't care if it does take a couple of weeks to get the client approved, but I was looking forward to upfront payment for our initial service. Does this mean we can't get any payment from our new client until the verification is approved by Google?

      Thanks....Tim
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      • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
        No it does not mean you can't get a payment for deposit. There is still a fair bit of work you can do before the listing gets verified by Google.

        Originally Posted by Tradewinds View Post

        I'm just getting ready to add Google Places to our business offerings and was somewhat discouraged by the news.

        I don't care if it does take a couple of weeks to get the client approved, but I was looking forward to upfront payment for our initial service. Does this mean we can't get any payment from our new client until the verification is approved by Google?

        Thanks....Tim
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  • Profile picture of the author billnixon
    Originally Posted by Mario Brown View Post

    Hey Warrior,

    Like always I'm trying to keep you up to date.

    One of my Google Places Unleashed customers just contacted me saying that since this morning he can't verify his listing by phone anymore.

    I wouldn't believe him - so I went ahead and created a listing real quick.

    It turns out that he's right, the option to verify by phone is gone! (at least for now, let's see what Google comes up with)

    This means a lot of things, especially for the advanced guys that created and verified listings for multiple cities.

    One thing that this affects is obviously time. Now if you create a new listing for your client, you'll have to wait 2-4 weeks for them just to get the postcard - and hope it doesn't and up in the gatekeeper's trash can.

    Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions.

    To your success,
    Mario

    Update 1/25/11

    Okay so here it goes:

    I've just read a post on blumenthals where he pointed out the following comment from the Google Places team on the official forum:

    Hi all,

    I understand there have been some recent questions about verification methods. If a business is new to Google, certain verification methods may be unavailable depending on the information provided for the business.


    So it seems like the phone verification is gone most of the time for brand new listings and let's be honest, just like always with Google, one has no clue what exactly the information is that they want to see that makes a listing trustworthy.

    So let the games begin and find out

    Will do some testing, set up a couple of test listings and see if something triggers the phone verification.

    Cheers,
    Mario
    Mario,

    Seems to be the case for me as well. The last few businesses I have added were via postcard. I am wondering, however, if this is because Google has never found another citation with the associated phone number prior to listing it on Google Places.

    Bill
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  • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
    Have never had a System Error on postcard verifications.....


    The average on my post card delivery time is about 7-10 days...

    I think they just say 2-3 weeks... Just sayin....
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  • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
    Did you refresh the page?


    Just curious.
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    • Profile picture of the author JimmyD
      Did you refresh the page?
      Yes, refreshed and been back to the set up and verifications page etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
    Was just curious... I haven't had this problem. But my first thought was that some people freak out if there is a page load error that is no big deal.

    It was a shot in the dark... and I missed....
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    • Profile picture of the author JimmyD
      Thanks for the vote of confidence in my technical mastery Amir!
      I've been on the G Places help forum and there are a load of people in the same position. Just hope they sort it out soon.
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      • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
        Originally Posted by JimmyD View Post

        Thanks for the vote of confidence in my technical mastery Amir!
        I've been on the G Places help forum and there are a load of people in the same position. Just hope they sort it out soon.

        HAHHAA.... Sorry bro.... you just never know...
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        • Profile picture of the author JimmyD
          HAHHAA.... Sorry bro.... you just never know...
          No problems mate, made me laugh...

          Quote:
          Originally Posted by k60mall
          Not having that problem in the UK.

          Keith


          I think we are Keith I set one up yesterday to find postcard or SMS

          cheers
          Yes UK here. The number of compaints on the G forum is growing rapidly.
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          • Profile picture of the author CoolMomma
            Hi JimmyD,

            I know! It's amazing that no Google employees even bother to respond to the situation in the forum! I'm stuck! Can't move forward with my client's listing verification!
            Any help?

            Thanks,
            CM

            Originally Posted by JimmyD View Post

            No problems mate, made me laugh...



            Yes UK here. The number of compaints on the G forum is growing rapidly.
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            • Profile picture of the author JimmyD
              Hi JimmyD,

              I know! It's amazing that no Google employees even bother to respond to the situation in the forum! I'm stuck! Can't move forward with my client's listing verification!
              Any help?

              Thanks,
              CM
              My netbook re-booted overnight and when I restored Firefox, low and behold, the Places listing I was having the trouble with had submitted successfully. It is now waiting for the confirmation PIN.
              Any success with yours?
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              • Profile picture of the author CoolMomma
                JimmyD,

                Just tried again tonight. It finally went through after hundred times clicking on that 'try again' button! Mine went through with postcard verification which will take place 2-3 weeks...yikes!

                CM

                Originally Posted by JimmyD View Post

                My netbook re-booted overnight and when I restored Firefox, low and behold, the Places listing I was having the trouble with had submitted successfully. It is now waiting for the confirmation PIN.
                Any success with yours?
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  • Profile picture of the author marketermatt
    Thanks!!!!

    -Matt
    Signature

    *****
    BRB BUSY MAKING WORDPRESS THEMES

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  • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
    Interesting... reboot... clear cache.... then re submit...


    hmmmm
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    • Originally Posted by Amir Luis View Post

      Interesting... reboot... clear cache.... then re submit... hmmmm
      Not sure that's what did it. They just fixed the prob yesterday so that's likely why it finally went through. There have been several other bugs that past few days too, but I think most are fixed now.
      Signature

      Linda Buquet :: Google+ Local Specialist and Google Top Contributor
      ADVANCED Google+ Local Training :: Also offering White Label Local SEO
      Latest Google Local News, Tips & Tricks

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      • Profile picture of the author Amir Luis
        Originally Posted by 5starAffiliatePrograms View Post

        Not sure that's what did it. They just fixed the prob yesterday so that's likely why it finally went through. There have been several other bugs that past few days too, but I think most are fixed now.
        Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist... But ya' think this means there is going to be a big change coming?
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        • Hi Amir,

          No 'conspiracy theory' needed. History shows that when a big bug or a bunch of bugs show up it's usually due to a big Places update.

          I was waiting for it and clenching my teeth last week when things were so buggy, but have not seen or heard about a major update. I think there was a regular update because many of my clients that I had nuked various types of dupes for, had new and different types of dupes crop up. Yet on the other hand other dupes that I have been trying to merge and assumed would merge the next update didn't.
          Signature

          Linda Buquet :: Google+ Local Specialist and Google Top Contributor
          ADVANCED Google+ Local Training :: Also offering White Label Local SEO
          Latest Google Local News, Tips & Tricks

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  • Over the past year I've seen several instances where phone verification is not available. This is nothing new.
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  • Profile picture of the author phillipphillip
    google obviously has its reasons. i assume they suspected manipulation.
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  • Profile picture of the author halfbakedrew
    Its not just off your IP, MAC ADDress, they look at many things. Big G likes to through a curve ball every now and then too. If you keep getting the post card and not a phone option then change how you are making the listings. If you feel it with keywords or write a " lil about part" the same for every listing then you need to change that up. Big G looks at unique content for every thing that is inputted, so keep that in mind ...
    Signature
    http://www.seodrew.com/

    Alot of poeple say they cant start they're business because of the lack of money so I have started a company that works with you to get started on your online business
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  • Profile picture of the author KRA-12
    I am looking to hire someone who can do phone verification..
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  • Profile picture of the author fall guy
    I set up a new listing and received phone verification but I used an aged gmail account. Has anyone seen this same behavior?
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  • Profile picture of the author Morphius
    Just used new Gmail account and new listing and had a phone verification. All was done for an attorney. No issues at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author halfbakedrew
    I use gmail, yahoo, hotmail and support @ yoursite.com. What ever the client wants it made with is what I make it with. What email you use has nothing to do with getting a phone verification. I think I will make a blog on how to set up a GP and still get a phone verification. Or I will make a vide, what would you like to see. A blog or a video?
    Signature
    http://www.seodrew.com/

    Alot of poeple say they cant start they're business because of the lack of money so I have started a company that works with you to get started on your online business
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    • Profile picture of the author imageworx
      Originally Posted by halfbakedrew View Post

      I use gmail, yahoo, hotmail and support @ yoursite.com. What ever the client wants it made with is what I make it with. What email you use has nothing to do with getting a phone verification. I think I will make a blog on how to set up a GP and still get a phone verification. Or I will make a vide, what would you like to see. A blog or a video?
      I'd be curious to see that. No preference to a blog or video. Which ever is quicker for you to create....
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  • Profile picture of the author PhoneVerify
    Phone verification can be critical if your clients do not have a physical address that can receive a GP postcard or just don't want to wait weeks for the postcard to arrive.

    Lately I have actually seen that ranking and indexing comes much faster through phone verification.

    I would be happy to help out warriors who need to phone verify their GP listings.

    If you need help you can PM me.
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  • Profile picture of the author laserschool
    I had this problem for a business in Texas. And it has been a month with no postcard
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    • Profile picture of the author bmsmarketing
      I am willing to sell a method for phone verifications. Feel free to find me on skype or pm.

      No hassle, will explain the entire method.

      Build 1, build 100, i dont care. Willing to sell for fairly cheap. Make me an offer.
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