This is a step-by-step guide on how to claim hijacked Google Maps business listing. This can also be useful if you simply want to increase your listing’s visibility in Google Maps and universal search (since verified listings appear higher up in results).
- Go to Google Local Business Center http://www.google.com/local/add/businessCenter.
- Click on ‘Add new listing’ and fill in the form using exact details that the hijacked listing is using (even if it’s incorrect) and click ‘Next’.
- Most likely you will now see a screen asking “Already on Google Maps?” saying that the listing you entered closely matches the listings already existing on Google Maps.
- Click on ‘Claim Listing’ button next to the unverified listing which is the most similar to the correct/accurate one.
- Now Google will ask you if you want to edit the listing or suspend it. Both need verification so you will choose ‘Suspend’ and once you verify it can be re-activated with correct information.
- Next, choose the verification method. Google offers either telephone or postcard verification.
- If you choose phone verification, Google will make an automated call to the supplied business number straight after verification request. The message will include a PIN number which then needs to be added to the verification box on the site.
- If you choose postcard verification, Google will send a postcard within 2-3 weeks to the store address you provided. The postcard will also have the PIN number which needs to be entered on the site.
- Once you get the PIN, enter it in the box on Google Local Business Centre website and press ‘Verify’. If verification was successful, you can go back and re-activate the listing with correct info.
Read more about Google Maps and Search Engine Optimisation techniques.