Google Business Profiles Nuked Through Local Service Ads Loophole

Feb 7, 2024 - 7:41 am 2 by
Filed Under Google Maps

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Google seems to have this loophole where you can essentially hijack or destroy a Google Business Profile that is also using Local Service Ads. What happens is if someone else links their Local Service Ads to that same Google Business Profile, the Local Service Ads will stop performing.

There is a complaint about this in the Google Business Profiles forum where, as Ben Fisher put it on X, "A competitor makes a new LSA for a competitor and because the link to GBP is automatic the system will essentially nuke the competitor out of existence." "This is a brutal new tactic that competitors are doing on LSA," Ben explained.

Here is what this business owner wrote:

We had a Google LSA account that was working pretty well. All of a sudden we quit getting leads, and even spam. Every time I call LSA customer support they give me a scripted runaround. I finally got a rep to look into it and he told me that our Google my business profile has two LSA's linked to it, which is causing our ad to be invisible. When I check our GMB there is only one account linked to us, and it's the one that I set up. I've only ever set up one LSA account, and I'm the only one with the access and credentials to do so. I'm being told that I cannot unlink this other uknown LSA account because I don't know any of the credentials of that other account. Their solution was for me to unlink our 10 year old account with established reviews and start a new google business profile from scratch. This is a horrible suggestion in my mind. Why would an unknown entity get to force us off of our own Google listing. There must be a way where we can re-verify our account and eliminate any LSA's we don't approve of.

Of course, I did not try this to verify but I trust Ben knows his stuff here.

Ginny Marvin, the Google Ads Liaison, posted on X that she has shared it with the team. She wrote, "Thanks for flagging, I'm sharing with the team."

We've also reported, not too long ago, on Local Service Ads reviews being hijacked.

Forum discussion at X.

Update: Google updated us saying this was an isolated incident. Ginny Marvin wrote:

We have investigated this issue and determined there were multiple factors at play such that this was an isolated incident. We are communicating directly with the customer about this case.

We have existing processes in place for honoring Google Business Profile (GBP) ownership.

 

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