Steve Wyer Presents Case Study Regarding Google My Business And Practitioner Listings

Posted By on August 2, 2016

You might have a fairly strong listing through Google My Business, but do individual practitioners at your location have their own listings? Steve Wyer shares a scenario outlining the potentially devastating consequences when a practitioner moves on.

According to Steve Wyer, individual practitioners are considered their own entities where Google My Business listings are concerned. This works to everyone’s advantage–until the practitioner moves to a new practice, says Steve Wyer. In the following example, Steve Wyer uses the fictional “Dr. Jeff” and “Freeland Eye Care” to illustrate the importance of paying attention to Google My Business listings.

Dr. Jeff owns Freeland Eye Care and previously had three other partners, Dr. Michael, Dr. John, and Dr. Victoria. Recently, Dr. Michael moved to a new practice across town. According to Steve Wyer, Dr. John and Dr. Victoria have remained at Freeland Eye Care.

Steve Wyer says that Dr. Jeff was aware that he had a presence on Google My Business, but believed it was simply three listings: his personal listing and those of Dr. John and Dr. Victoria. However, the practice actually had a total of five listings. Steve Wyer cites the duplicate listings as:

  • Dr. Jeff’s verified listing at the current address with 25 reviews
  • Dr. Victoria’s unverified listing with three reviews
  • Dr. John’s verified listing with 21 reviews
  • An unverified listing for Dr. Michael
  • An unverified listing for Dr. Jeff’s original practice at an old address with 2 reviews

Steve Wyer explains that this number of duplicates is problematic, especially the unverified listing for Dr. Michael. Entering “Freeland Eye Care” into Google would possibly bring up the unverified/outdated listings. So instead of seeing the correct listing for the practice, Google users could see a blank profile for Dr. Michael who, as Steve Wyer reminds us, is with another practice across town. This issue is compounded as Google users can mark this practice permanently closed, meaning that Freeland Eye Care will lose an unknown amount of business, says Steve Wyer.

The issues may be rectified by merging the verified listings and having Google unlink Dr. Michael from Freeland Eye Care. Dr. Michael must then subsequently take charge of his own listing, says Steve Wyer.

This is just one example, according to Steve Wyer, that illustrates the beginning of a real problem for many business owners. Steve Wyer offers the following advice for others in a similar position.

Know your practitioner’s online activities.

Lawyers, doctors, and other professionals will nearly always have a separate listing on Google My Business, says Steve Wyer. If you have practitioners leaving your practice, remind them not to neglect that account, as Google will post the most recent information they have available. As a business owner, you don’t want a previous employee attached to your business; as a practitioner, you’ll want your current and future clients to be able to find you at the new location.

Remember there is a connection between practice listings and practitioner listings.

One of the most confusing ideas here, acknowledges Steve Wyer, is that practitioners and practices are connected. This is an internal feature by Google and not available to the public. A support member must be contacted to unlink the two.

Move and merge listings in a timely manner.

Steve Wyer notes that moved rankings do not affect search results. Consolidated duplicates that have the same contact information can positively affect a search result. Request to merge duplicate listings as soon as you see them.

Practitioner listings need to be kept current.

The example given by Steve Wyer above outlines Google’s idea that each individual practitioner owns their own listing. However, since the two are connected, moving the listing actually goes against the algorithm. Steve Wyer suggests maintaining communication with Google My Business support to ensure a smooth transition for all.

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