by Joy Hawkins
**This is taken from my LocalU Presentation called “What Really Affects Local Rankings”. Catch round 2 of this in Atlanta in March 2020 where I go through a whole new set of scenarios and questions to clarify what things impact local rankings and what things do not.**
Suspensions are something we hear a lot about in the Google My Business world. We’ve helped tons of businesses get reinstated after having their listings suspended but I was very curious to track and measure how having a suspension impacted the ranking of the listing in the map pack.
A soft suspension is what we call a suspension that makes the user (Google Account) lose the ability to manage the listing through Google My Business. The listing still exists on Google and you can still find it by searching for the business name. The only difference is that now the listing will appear unverified and in order to get access to the listing back, you’d need to file a reinstatement form.
We monitored the ranking for a listing that had a soft suspension and found there was absolutely no impact in ranking when the listing became unverified.
A hard suspension is when Google actually removes the listing completely. This means the entire listing along with all its content (reviews, photos etc) will no longer show up anywhere on Google. If you receive a hard suspension it’s because Google, or a user, has decided the business is not eligible to be on Google Maps and therefore the listing shouldn’t exist. I have also seen Google issue hard suspensions due to repeated violations of the Google My Business guidelines.
Based on our findings, when the listing is suspended, it ranks nowhere but when it is reinstated it bounces back to where it was previously.
Have you seen anything different when it comes to how suspensions impact ranking? Please tell us about it in the comments.