Blackhat SEO - Getting a Verified GMB Location

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Let's Get on Google Maps

Many studies have shown that more than half of the clicks from searches for local services go to the 3-Pack! We also know that SABs (Service Area Businesses) tend to not rank as well for GMBs with a public address. This makes sense due to "proximity" being a leading ranking signal for Local SEO.

Therefore, if you are interested in ranking your business (or your Rank and Rent GMB), then you'll likely want to have a public address in your GMB. But since it's a Rank and Rent, we often don't have an address where we can get the verification postcard... So what can we do?

Well, with enough strong signals to Google, it is sometimes possible to bypass that postcard verification process and still get your business added to Google Maps. In this tutorial, we'll cover one of the many ways that have been proven to work with some industries in some areas.

Note: This is BLACKHAT SEO, and could possibly result in your Google Account being suspended or banned. I'm not recommending you ever try any Blackhat SEO tactics. Use at your own risk.

Step 1: Building Online Citations

The first thing we'll need to do is to build some citations out online so that when Google tries to validate information about your business, it'll actually find some other content about it in the usual places.

Yes, you can do this manually- but it's way more time consuming than it's worth. And if you accidentally screw something up, you're compromising your chances at getting past the Google checks when you're trying to get your GMB online.

Instead, get Yext (or a similar directory management company) to set you up a Business profile on all of their accounts... This should get you about 70-80 citations, but only about 5% will ever get indexed by Google. It's still worth doing.

At this point you should also have social media profiles on all the major channels with at least some activity on them as well. Make these part of your Yext profile.

Estimated Cost: $35/mo
Build Citations with Yext

Alternative, Manual Option

If you don't want to pay $35/month for Yext, there is a way to do it manually. It's more time consuming, and it's a manual process- but it'll save you money in the long run if you're on a tight budget.

It goes like this... Go get Link Chest from SEO Buddy. Go create all the citatons from the sections that I've highlighted in the screenshot. Those are free to create, but you'll have to do it manually. Luckily, the Link Chest makes it really easy to do this.

Coupon Code MARKETINGNINJA will save you 25% off the cost of Link Chest!

Step 2: Domain and Website

Have a complete website and domain email

You're going to want a completed website when you attach your blackhat GMB listing to it. The older the domain, the better. Many people actually buy expired domains and build their site there just to establish additional legitimacy with Google. That might be overkill for your niche, or it might be the saving grace...

Inside that completed site, and specifically in the schema markup throughout the site, you'll want to include the Company Name, Address, and Phone Number identically to how they show up in the Yext directory listings and (more importantly) to how they will be entered into the GMB profile.

We'll also want an email address associated with that domain. Go ahead and setup a Google profile with that email. Note: DO NOT USE THE SAME DEVICE FOR THIS GOOGLE ACCOUNT AND THE LOCAL GUIDE ACCOUNT IN STEP 3 (below).

Step 3: Google Local Guide Account

Buy (or rent) a HIGH LEVEL Local Guide Account. I recommend trying to get a Level 7+ for the best chances, but the higher the level, the better your odds of getting the GMB published. As an additional bonus, it's best case scenario if you can get a Local Guide Account from the area of where you're going to place the GMB.

Once you have that account, login to it with a mobile device. (NOT THE MOBILE DEVICE FROM THE PREVIOUS STEP... NOT EVEN ON THE SAME WIFI...) 

Using that Local Guide account, you can "Add a Place" on Google Maps. Include the Name, Category, Phone, and some business hours. This works better on Mobile, and arguably even better if the cell phone is actually at the target location.

Google Local Guide Account

Step 4: Make Edits to the GMB

Make Front End Edits to the GMB

Still not suspended yet? Congratulations - you're doing better than most people.

A few days after the place is added via Google Maps, and ensuring that you are on a DIFFERENT DEVICE AND IP ADDRESS, you're going to visit the GMB listing from a mobile device where you are logged in with the Google account associated with your domain from Step 2.

From here, you can "suggest an edit" from the FRONT END of the Google Business Profile. For instance, maybe add the website to the GMB or something similar. Monitor the profile for a few days (while not logged in, and in Incognito mode), and if these edits take effect on Google, THEN you can go "Claim the business" listing.

Step 5: Generate Activity via App

If we're still not suspended and we're in control of the GMB profile, then we're going to start creating some activity within the account.

Using the Google My Business app (while logged in with the Google account associated with the domain in the GMB), you can then add some photos to the listing, and a few GMB posts. DO NOT make massive changes (like address or primary category) because it will trigger a suspension.

For the immediate future, we want to get a few reviews (not a ton) from LOCAL user accounts. Again- Local Guides are even better. Get these accounts to leave a natural review and/or they can ask a Question in the GMB and you can answer it. Do all of this in increasing frequency over 2-3 weeks.

After that, assuming we're still not suspended, then you can go make additional changes like adding in products/services, secondary categories, etc.

Generate Activity with Increasing Frequency

Note About GMB:

Google has recently announced that Google My Business ("GMB") will now be known as Google Business Profile. However, due to the long history of usage of the term "GMB" we have still referred to it as such in this article.

See this article from Search Engine Land for more information about the change to Google Business Profile.

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