How to protect against Google Death: The one phone call that can destroy your business (part 3 of 3)

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The past few blog posts I’ve been talking about “Google Death”–when Google gives you the message “We do not currently support this location” and how missing one call (and being the top search result for computer repair lawrence ks) nearly destroyed my business. One of the key factors is I knew this content didn’t belong to me and I plan for contingency.

One of the obvious things I did, and continue to do, is to regularly back up this information. Websites like Google+ Local (formerly Google Places) do not easily lend themselves to backup. You can change or modify the information there but you can’t download it. What you can do is take picture of the screen. For both Yelp and Google I regularly monitor for any new reviews and take “screenshots” of them–both good and bad. Here are a few examples

Computer Repair in Lawrence KS review on Google-highly recommend him

Computer Repair in Lawrence KS review on Google-knowledgable and will explain your options in detail

Computer Repair in Lawrence KS review on Superpages by Guest29680 With Facebook, I take pictures of the screen showing our list of our Likes so that way I can contact them again if there is a problem. I haven’t figured out a way to directly download any of this information, so if you have an idea leave it in the comments. Third party services such as tweetbackup allow you to backup your Twitter posts and followers

Additionally I actively monitor these accounts looking for weird activity and/or problems. Eventually I would have seen my Google Death and how my activity trailed off right on December 11th. I check to make sure the information they have on me is accurate and I correct any problems if I can. As stated, I can only request the changes since they actually host all the information. You can see exactly from the dashboard when my listing “flatlined” on the right hand side. Activity daily and then nothing for a month.


Ultimately, the key to survival for any business suffering Google Death (or Yelp Death, Facebook Death, etc) is to focus on those area you do have control over: mainly your website and blog (such as the one you are reading!). Although I’m active on Twitter and Facebook I use those as tools to draw readers to my website and the blog provides them relevant and interesting content. If I disappear from Google like I did, they have other ways of contact me. Since my Google Death, I’ve used other tools to cross-post the information so that way people have other ways of contact me. The website serves as a central repository for my information but I’ve since posted screen shots on my Google+ (not merged with Google+ Local), Flickr, and Facebook accounts. While my Google+ Local page suffered Google Death, my business stayed alive due to proper backup and diversification of my identity.

If you own a business, it’s time you examine your reliance on third party services and make sure to properly capture the information listed on these sites. Be sure you can answer the question: “What if we died on Google one day?”

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