Another day, another rumor about Google. This time, the rumor consists of Google having to go to great lengths to require extra verification from Google Business Profiles, as part of security measures intended to limit fake businesses.
What started off as a vague rumor might soon become true -- and if that happens. businesses with a Google Business Profile (hopefully, everyone?) will have to go through extra steps to have their businesses verified by Google. This is both good news (somewhat) and bad news alike.
Want to know more about Google Business Profiles and these alleged rumors about extra-verification?
How Did This Rumor Start?
Twitter user @StefanSomborac posted a tweet on March 1st, telling Google Business Profile users that there’s a push for video verification. In that tweet, Somborac also highlighted a phrase that implies Google will require additional verification for Business Profiles. “We may require you to verify by more than one method,” he wrote, citing Google’s official Business Profile Help Center.
Other Twitter users responded to the thread, either citing their excitement at the change, or others who doubt that anything will change at all when it comes to businesses on Google.
What’s Up with Google Business Profiles - Is Extra Verification Needed?
Google has always required business profiles to be verified, but there seems to be other methods that Google is implementing. Google has very strict rules about business verification — it’s a multi step process that starts with claiming a business, verifying information, and then editing if need be.
To verify a business, Google asks users to claim their business first. To do this, Google will ask you your business name, and then you’ll have to create a Business Profile account, provided that your business is located on Google Maps. If it isn’t, Google will allow you to add it. After you claim your business, Google will ask for a verification method, which you can choose. The options are as follows: phone or text (usually a code is sent to your phone), email, video recording, live video call, or postcard.
That’s where the update comes in: instead of one verification method, Google might require more than one in order to verify Google Business Profiles. Of course, many of Google’s websites already require two-step verification, but this update has neither been publicly announced by Google, nor has it been independently verified outside of Google’s Business Profile Help Center.
The Help Center page also states that the methods of verification depend on different factors that affect businesses, such as business category, information that is publicly available about said business, region, hours, and volumes. This could potentially mean that Google’s extra verification methods could change daily, even hourly, depending on a variety of factors. While this does mean that Google Business Profiles can be safer, Google doesn’t specify if this information is needed every time a user accesses the Business Profile, which can be a hassle with multiple forms of verification.
As of right now, it has not been officially confirmed that Google Business Profiles will require extra verification, save for a line written into the Google Business Profile Help Center information page. With that said, this is something that has been noticed by business owners on twitter, many of whom have faced business verification difficulties.
Until Google officially announces this update, we won’t know for sure, but it is interesting that Google added it to their Help Center before letting their users know (maybe they just slipped that or they are just testing things out still?) Regardless of what happened exactly, it does promise extra security to a business account (or more of a hassle accessing it, depending on which side of the coin you’re on), and we’re excited to see if this does actually reduce fake business locations on Google Maps.