After Googles roll-out of depreciating unclaimed, unverified business pages, the true extent of businesses ignoring this vitally important piece of online real estate is becoming apparent.
Within an hour of publishing this article Google started rolling out a new local pack, thus answering the question why depreciated pages were having the Google+ Page link removed and also leaving half this article irrelevant.
I have added in new screenshots from the 7 Pack becoming a 3 Pack in local search.
I See Depreciated Pages …. Everywhere!
So what is a depreciated page? A depreciated page is a business page that Google auto generated based upon data, either from the businesses website and or other citations for that business online. Google has now removed the Google+ Page link from these pages that appear in search, so you cant actually get to the business page itself. You can click through to view the location in Maps, but that’s as far as you go.
These depreciated business pages are everywhere in the UK and not just for singular businesses, but some very large brands have also unclaimed their property.
New 3 Business Snack Pack. you can see why the link was removed
In an article this week by Martin Shervington, Online Reviews for Local Businesses: What Marketers Need to Know, he reveals that 63% of business pages are unclaimed.
Google & Depreciated Pages:
In summary, “shell” pages were automatically generated by Google for certain locations that had never been claimed by a user. Instead of displaying that data on a Google+ URL we will be redirecting those requests to Maps.Users have been able to find automatically generated Google+ “shell” pages for locations that had not been claimed by an owner.
The links to these generated pages will soon stop showing up in search results and additional links to these “shell” pages on other Google properties will also be removed. In the future we will no longer automatically generate pages for unclaimed locations.
The guidance is still the same: business owners should claim their business and complete verification to edit their business information.
Where Did It All Go Wrong?
It takes Two to Tango, so I blame both Google and Businesses
By creating auto generated pages for businesses with a physical location, the business assumed that these listings that were appearing were some by product of their great online authority.
The lack of consistency presented to businesses about these business pages.
It started out being called Local Business Center then Google Places then Google+ Local and now Google my Business or as I like to call it Google Business Pages.
No wonder these pages remained unclaimed, where was a business supposed to look!
For the past 10yrs every business that has a small piece of the online landscape has read about owning your Brand and Position online. They may have done some SEO in the past, they may have taken a social media course, they may even be paying someone to look after their online profiles, so there is no excuse, not to have not investigated what this additional piece of business real estate was doing with their name on it.
Own Your Business Online
Google will no longer be auto generating these business pages ( result ) but how does a business get their hands on this valued piece of online property?
Via Google My Business
Go to :
Get on Google:
Sign In, with Google Account
Via the Depreciated Page
If a depreciated business page exists for your business, you can track it down in the search results by searching for the full name and address that is listed and by adding >> site:plus.google.com
Business Name + Address + site:plus.google.com
Follow the Steps
Businesses with a large amount of properties ( 10 + ) can upload all their details via bulk location management tool : https://business.google.com/manage/
It’s time to stop seeing Depreciated pages everywhere and start owning them.
Speak to Online Ownership about Owning your business online