At OUTography, our Google certified & trust Street View photographers in Phoenix often face a critical question from the local business.
Who actually owns the local business page?
Without a claimed and verified Google Maps Business Listing, your business is not likely ranked, and won’t be found on the Google search. Your Google Street View Virtual Tour will not be fully published either. In other words, your potential customer won’t be able to find your business. Even with a verified listing, the business owner should also optimize the business information to ensure all correct business name, Phone number, Address (NAP) are entered.
However, a local business owner wants to manage and update their page, but they suddenly realize that their previous web developer or someone else currently owns the listing page. The person is no longer available to make changes or to transfer the ownership to the current owner or developer. Sadly, there is no easy to accomplish, because Google wants to make sure no one can steal the page ownership.
Google does offer an online listing page ownership transfer request form available, but it’s a little tricky to get to the form. So here you go! A few simple steps to take you to the request form.
[Updated on 03/23/2017 – Google Local Business Listing Support Changes]
Ever since we published this page, we’ve received lots requests asking if we can speed up the process. Unfortunately, no one and not even Google employee will promise you to get your Google Listing Ownership issue resolved. However, request ownership transfer process has changed as well.
[Speedy way to request Google Local Listing Ownership Transfer]
You should NOT use this method before submitting your ownership transfer online (see next section). However, most ownership transfer processes will be rejected by the current owners who tend do hijack or damange your business. So call, chat and email are the last options to get your ownership claimed.
Simply visit the following page:
Scroll down and find “Need Help” section. There are three options: Call, Chat or Email. I personally prefer to chat, because you won’t be able to understand the voice from the other side of the line. The support team is in India. They often kick you around with the same answer, which is to ask you to do ownership transfer requestion online.
Don’t see the “Need Help” section? Google is playing trick on you. It is timing out. So do the following:
- Click on the top right corner of your screen where it says “Need More Help?“
- Click on “Ownership or access to my business”
- Click on “Other problem”
- Click on any “listing” link should take you to a page with the “Need Help” section available.
[Request Google Listing ownership online – It will take 7 days or longer]
Google has changed the ownership transfer process. It’s actually a simplified version. Do this followings:
- Log into your Google Account, which you want to own your listing for.
- Please visit: https://business.google.com/add/info
- Add your business
- Make sure Business Name, Address and Phone number match exactly like the current one.
- Follow the instruction and request ownership transfer.
- Google give the current owner 7 days to respond.
- If they do accept, the ownership will transfer to you in few days.
- If they deny, then you will have a record. Then try the speedy way (phone, chat, email) to contact Google. They will be able to see that you have tried to send ownership request.
[Below is the OLD fashion way to request your Google Local Listing Ownership before 1/1/2017]
Step 1: Find and Identify the local business
- Open a browser window and make sure you do log into Google with the new owner’s account.
- Visit Google My Business | Find Your Business page
- Type and search the business you want to transfer the ownership (ex. OUTography Business Photography)
Step 2: Request Admin Rights & Ownership Transfer
- Click on the business, and it will pop up a “Request Admin Rights” alert.
- Click on “Request Admin Rights” button, and it will take you to an online form with more questions. It’s important to answer them correctly to speed up the process. Google will verify the information before authorize the ownership rights to your account.
- Answer the following questions
- Is this business verified in another account which you can control? – NO
- Is this business verified by a user whom you’re able to contact? – NO
- What is your name? – The new owner’s full legal name.
- What is your business contact phone number? – The same phone number used to verify the Google+ local page. Unless the phone number has been changed since the previous owner took control.
- What is the official email address you are using to manage this local business on Google? – It prefilled with your current Google Account email. I highly recommend using Gmail account instead of your own domain email or other emails.
- Do you wish to request manager access to the local business on Google or to request transfer of ownership from the owner? – I wish to request ownership transfer.
- Check – I consent to have my email address shared with the current Google owner.
- Leave a message for us to share with the owner on Google so that they may contact you directly. – This is the most important part, don’t leave it blank. You need to describe the difficulties and reason why you are unable to reach out to the previous owner of your Google local page. Make is sounds more serious or like emergency may help to speed up the process.
Using currently listed phone number on the page will most likely approve your request in a week or two. You need to be patient. If your request is rejected, try again in a week. If your request is approved, you will receive an email to notify your ownership.
What else should a local business pay attention to?
In many cases, the verified listing has wrong map marker on the Google Maps. It’s really important to move the map marker to the right place. Otherwise, the virtual tour won’t publish correctly. It will not even show up at all. Our Google certified Street View photographer in Phoenix, Arizona will actually help you correct the marker before publishing the tour. So local business owner can rest assure that the tour is published properly. OUTography’s photographer has the privilege on Google Maps, so the correction of the marker will be available almost instantly on Google Maps.
Good luck. Feel free to contact us for any questions about Google+ local page and how to use Google+ to boost your local business. If your business is located in Phoenix, AZ, I am more than happy to shoot the virtual tour for your business. You can also see some great virtual tour examples.