How To Keep Your Hotel’s Google My Business Listing From Being Hijacked
As Google My Business listings have become a popular way for customers to access information and make purchase decisions, your hotel’s Google My Business profile is now an essential piece of your online marketing strategy. A well-maintained listing can improve your visibility for local search terms and help you effectively present your hotel to potential guests.
Now the good news is that it is relatively easy to create a Google My Business listing for your hotel or resort. The bad news is that the same can be said for hijacking these listings. Some internet pirates are currently on a streak trying to take over Google My Business listings by replacing the hotels URL to their own links.
How can I use Google My Business for my hotel?
If you haven't taken advantage of your hotel's Google My Business listing, what are you waiting for? Your listing is free to create, easy to set up, and inexpensive to optimize. Having a Google My Business listing will help you manage your business information and interact with (potential) hotel guests.
First, you have to claim and verify your hotel's information so that Google is able to include you in the search results of people who are looking for accommodations in your area. You can fill out your hotel's information, add contact details, upload photos and share your business hours.
Once you have created your account, you can read and respond to reviews and answer questions regarding your property. You can also create posts to highlight events, special offers, and other news that you think potential guests might be interested in. When your Google My Business listing shows up in someone’s search results, your active posts will appear below the listing.
How are Google My Business listings being hijacked?
Internet pirates have been hijacking hotel listings by replacing the accommodation's official website URLs with their own links.
How are they doing this, you wonder? Google My Business allows users to suggest edits for a business's page, as well as answer questions about the business listing. Simply head to any Google listing and you'll see the option ‘Suggest an edit’.
When you haven’t verified your listing yet, it’s fairly easy for someone to edit your hotel’s URL because you will not be notified of any pending changes. When you have claimed and verified your listing, you will receive a notification when someone suggests and edit to your listing. You are then given the option to either accept or deny these edits. However, suggested edits can still be brute-forced through with multiple accounts saying the edit is correct.
How do I avoid my hotel’s Google My Business Listing from being hijacked?
First of all, it’s important to claim your listing and make sure all of your hotel’s information is correct and up-to-date. Secondly, you need to verify your Business Profile. You can do this either by postcard, by phone, or by email. Your fastest option would be by phone or email, but some businesses may be able to verify their profile by postcard only. Sign into Google My Business and click "Verify Now" to see which options you’re offered.
When you have (already) claimed and verified your account, you will want to regularly check your Google My Business listing ― even if you don’t, or rarely, make any changes on your own. When you receive a suggested edit for your listing, you need to always make sure to double-check these changes before approving them. Once you have faulty information on your listing, you might need multiple submissions rejecting the proposed change for the information to go away.
Are you looking for assistance with your hotel’s Google My Business listing or online marketing strategy? Plan a free demo with us to discuss your hotel’s marketing goals and business objectives… and expect a quick reply from our team soon!