Back in April, Google announced that they were introducing a new feature to the Google My Business platform. This new feature is short names and what it does is that it allows businesses to create custom URLs for their Google My Business listings. While this sounds like a great tool for marketing and getting more traffic to your listings, there have been some issues with the feature that SEOs should be taking note of.
The Short Name Issue
What webmasters have come to find out is that adding short names to your Google My Business listing is causing legitimate business listings to get suspended and removed from search engine results pages. This is a huge issue as this directly affects the website’s presence and searchability on the web. The bright side of this issue is that not all listings that add a short name are being suspended or removed.
With not all listings getting suspended, SEOs can breathe as most listings likely aren’t experience any issues but it would be smart to keep an eye out for updates. While not all listings are affected, there has been a common theme of recent report of random suspensions.
The good thing about this bug issue is that it seems to be a relatively quick fix. If you find that your listing has been suspended or no longer visible in search results, you will just simply have to remove the short name. By removing the short name, your listing will be able to be viewed in search and maps with all reviews back to normal within minutes. If you have a GMB listing that has the option to add a short name, you may want to wait until his bug is fixed entirely to avoid any suspensions or removals from SERPs.