How Doctors can Deal with Duplicate GMB Listings

How Doctors can Deal with Duplicate GMB Listings

Duplicate Google My Business (GMB) listings have made many doctors and healthcare practitioners anxious. They make customers sceptical about the service and consequently lower your ranking and decrease customer count. Duplicate listings are not necessarily your fault, and they can be dealt with by following the strategies below.

Find out listing status

How to know whether your listing is verified or not? The listing is unverified if it displays options such as “own this business” or “claim this business.” Otherwise, you cannot take any further action against the duplication.
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Check store addresses

There could be the following scenarios related to the address of the practice:

  • Same address

Contact Google My Business support if the address of the unverified duplicate listing matches the verified listing and request GMB to merge them.

  • Different address

Search if the business/practice ever existed at the location. If the business was never at the stated location, perform the following steps after getting the reviews on listings transferred, if any.

  • Pull up the listing on Maps
  • Click on ‘Suggest an edit’ and switch to YES for ‘Place is permanently closed or has never existed.’
  • Select the reason as ‘Never existed’ and click ‘Submit.’

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If a previous address of the business is displayed in the duplicate list, you will need to get the duplicate marked as moved.

Verify duplicate listing

If verified: Get it unverified or get its access. Subsequently, ask GMB to merge these two listings.

If unverified: Get it removed from Maps. For an unverified listing, Google Maps rules are being followed that does not permit service area business. To remove, perform the following steps after getting the reviews on listings transferred, if any.

  • Pull up the listing on Google Maps
  • Click on ‘Suggest an edit’ and switch to YES for ‘Place is permanently closed or has never existed.’
  • Select the reason as ‘Private’ and click ‘Submit.’

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Know about physician listing (or other public-facing professionals)

Physicians, being public-facing professionals, can have their own clinic’s listings apart from the hospital they work for. This is allowed only if they are not the public-facing professional at the hospital, as well. Such people are categorized as solo practitioners and eligible for only one listing, formatted as “Business Name: Professional Name.”

Fix solo practitioner’s double listings

Since solo practitioners are allowed only one listing, it’s easy to fix issues where both the practice and practitioner are listed. You just need to contact GMB to merge the two and combine their ranking strength. GMB gives you the ranking with more reviews.

Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.

Fix multi-physician (or multi-healthcare practitioner) listings

If you are unable to get listings merged or removed because the multiple physicians/ healthcare practitioners still work there, here are some strategies to compete with the listing for the practice.

If there are physicians with different specializations, go for multiple listing. Suppose there is an allergy specialist physician who also has a cardiologist at his office. Here, the allergy specialist physician should link to a site with high rankings for allergy physicians and the cardiologist listing should be on a site with high rankings for heart treatments. This freezes out the competition and instead leads to greater visibility for both.

Or, you can have a main listing for practitioners further enhanced for things like their name and speciality. Also, several keywords will offer you the advantage of organic ranking.

Listing Category Website field
Physician A Neurologist Domain.com/neurologist
Physician B Dermatologist Domain.com/dermatologist
Physician C Paediatrician Domain.com/ paediatrician

Note: Google’s filters do not allow the same website to appear too many times in the results.

Mark the listing as moved

If you had some other physicians or dentists working for your pracatice who have now moved on but present in listings, ask Google My Business to mark the listing as moved on your clinic listing. Remember not to get them moved to their new location, since GMB does not allow movement of a practitioner with a verified listing. In case the physician refuses to remove or give you access to their verified listing, you can only request them to update their current employer’s information on it.

Fix duplicate listings with non-public-facing employee

To remove the listing of a non-public-facing employee, perform these steps

  • Pull up the listing on Google Maps
  • Click on ‘Suggest an edit’ and switch to YES for ‘Place is permanently closed or has never existed.’
  • Select the reason as ‘Never existed’ and click ‘Submit.’

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Deal with deceased practitioners’ listings

If you are in a scenario where you share duplicate listings with a deceased physician, don’t panic. You need to follow the same procedure as in the case of a physician or chiropractor who has left the practice, with an additional step of informing Google My Business that the person is deceased. Also, provide a link to their funeral online as proof for your statement.

Create healthcare practitioner listings

Since there is a verified listing for the practice, you might face issues in creating a healthcare practitioner listing from scratch on the GMB dashboard. Some common errors include:

  • This business is already in your account

To deal with it:

  • Create a listing via Google Maps: Search the address and ‘add a missing place.’ Since there is an existing listing, don’t enter your firm/practice name in the title of the listing. Google Maps will email you for a successful listing that can be further claimed via GMB.
  • Alternatively, contact the Google My Business support team for help.

It’s a myth that more than one listing will increase your ranking as a physician or healthcare professional, thus it is better to get them removed as soon as possible.

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