In both cases I wanted to change the landing page URL – the page visitors go to when they click the “Website” button in the search results – from pointing to a subpage to pointing to the homepage instead.
(As I’ve written, I tend to suggest using the homepage as your GMB landing page, because typically it’s got all the link juice and tends to help your Maps rankings more than would another page. At least in my experience.)
Both cases were different, but both edits were approved by Google. I don’t have a great track record of getting my edits approved – pretty hit-or-miss. Also, though each edit made sense, neither was a no-brainer.
One of my newer clients – a chap in Australia – hadn’t claimed his Google My Business page. Getting him to do it proved a pain. In the meantime, I wanted to fix his GMB landing page URL, which pointed to his “About” page. I wanted it to point to his homepage instead. We’d claim his page another day.
I used “Suggest an Edit” to suggest the homepage as the landing page URL. My edit was approved instantly (I got the email within about 2 minutes).
Another of my newer clients has two locations. The high-ranking, “flagship” location has a Google page that points to the homepage, as it should. The lower-ranking, satellite location pointed to a “Location” page on the site. It was “SEO’d” just fine, but my general approach is the use the homepage unless there’s an unusually compelling reason not to do so. In any case, her non-Google listings (i.e. citations) pointed to the homepage, not to the “Location” page, so we had to pick one URL or the other to use across all listings. We agreed that using the homepage as the landing page URL would be the way to go.
Now, my client had long since claimed both of her Google pages. I easily could have edited the landing page URL in the Google My Business dashboard. But I wanted to see whether this particular public edit would stick on a claimed Google page.
I requested that they change the Google My Business landing page URL from the “Location” page to the homepage.
7 days later it was approved.
Remember, that was an edit to an owner-verified Google My Business page. It wasn’t one of those unclaimed pages on which Google isn’t sure whether it’s got the correct data, where edits seem to stick more easily (as they probably should).
So the landing page URL isn’t always hard to edit. So what?
Mind you, I like when Google approves my edits. They sure don’t always approve them, probably because often they’re not edits to landing pages, but proposed changes to an address or name.
My concern is Google is far more likely to approve edits to landing page URLs than to name, address, or phone info – which in general either is factually correct or factually incorrect. What’s the correct landing page URL of a business? As long as the site is one the business owner actually owns, the specific page used is a matter of preference.
That’s why I’m concerned that this presents a way for some unethical business owners to mess with their local competitors with relative ease. Sometimes, if you’ve got a site with decent link-juice and clean citations, all it takes to “pop” into the Google Maps 3-pack is just to get your landing page URL right. The reverse can happen, too.
I wonder how public edits will be affected when Google MapMaker is killed off in March of 2017.
Have you made public edits that get approved too easily?
Have your competitors been abusing public edits?
Were they edits to a landing page URL, or to some other bit of info?
Leave a comment!