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The Perils of Ignoring Your Google Business Listing

A recent case has brought to light the perils of ignoring your business listing on Google My Business (formerly Google Places).

Rene Bertagna’s restaurant the Serbian Crown in Great Falls, Virginia, had been doing a roaring trade for forty years and was known for serving speciality meats (even lion). However, a couple of years ago his weekend trade began to fall off considerably which hit his profits hard since that was when he did most of his business. In fact, he lost 75% of his trade.

He couldn’t understand why this was until a regular customer told him that Google Places had listed the Serbian Crown as closed at weekends and on Mondays. However, by this time the damage was done. First, he had to lay off staff and eventually, in April 2013 closed the business.

Bertagna is now suing Google claiming that not only did he not use Google Places, he didn’t even use the internet. His lawsuit blames Google for allowing the listing to be altered and failing to take any steps to correct it.

With Google My Business anyone can make a change in the information provided even if it is not verified. Changes can include the name and business address, phone number, mobile number, fax, the business website, the business email, and, of course, the opening hours. Also included is information about what the business does, keywords that people might use when searching, and photographs.

Since anyone can make changes, it is open to abuse by an unhappy customer or even a disgruntled ex-employee. What better way to get back at the business owner when you have been fired than ruin his business?

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