Google Bugs

Mastering Local SEO: Navigating GBP Bugs for Optimal Visibility

Struggling to rank in local city searches? Many businesses assume they will rank naturally in local city searches because their physical address is located in that city.  While this holds true for many businesses, the reality is more complex for others.  It may be important to identify if the listing has been compromised by a Google Business Profile bug affecting the address.  This article will help you identify some common bugs that will prevent you from ranking accurately.

business doesn't show in search / maps


Review Your Location Map Pin Placement

In your Google Business Profile, it’s important to check the accuracy of your location. To do this, click on the map image and review where your map pin is placed. Be aware that there’s a common issue where the map pin may revert to a previous address after updating to a new one.

Additionally, you can determine if there’s a misplacement of your map pin by examining the “service in…” section found in the knowledge panel. This step helps identify where your business is correctly represented and located on Google Maps.

maps placement

Identifying Map Pin Discrepancies Through Driving Directions

This issue with the map pin can also be identified by examining the driving directions provided for your business. Even if the driving directions display your new address, they will guide your customers to the location where the map pin is currently placed, which might be your old address. The end destination in the driving directions often reveals the actual position of the map pin.

Driving Directions


What to do if you find your map pin on your Business Profile is inaccurate?

If you find that your business is incorrectly listed as providing services in an old city location, far from your actual location, move your map pin within the edit address on your GBP. A common issue with Google Business Profiles (GBPs) is that the map pin may revert to a previous address or fail to update properly when a new address is entered. One important tip to remember: including a suite number in the main address line can sometimes prevent the map pin from moving to the correct location.

How to edit your map pin

Attention all SABs not ranking at their new address!

For Service Area Businesses (SABs) on Google Maps, the option to verify location accuracy through driving directions or the “service in” feature on their profile isn’t available.  However, it is recommended that if you find your business ranking at an old address contact Google support and specifically request them to ‘register’ your new address on your Google Business Profile (GBP). This step is essential due to a prevalent bug affecting SABs, where the new address, although entered, doesn’t get properly registered on the profile. This glitch can prevent a business from being accurately positioned within the boundaries of the new city on Google Maps.

Often times support doesn’t understand the request to register the new address.  If this is the case, you can always create a new listing and then ask support to transfer the reviews.  For more information on creating a new GBP, read 3 Steps to Move Your Service Area Business Google Business Profile Without Destroying Your Ranking.

Kansas Bug affecting Service Area Businesses 

A known issue often referred to as the “Kansas bug” is impacting numerous service area businesses (SABs), causing them to appear in search rankings for Independence, Kansas, even though they are based in different states. Why Kansas? Independence KS is near the center of the United States.

If the business address isn’t correctly registered or recognized by Google or perhaps another bug that causes the address to get removed, the business might end up without a specific location on its profile. As a result, Google’s algorithm might default these businesses to a central location, in this case, Independence, Kansas. This phenomenon isn’t just limited to the United States; similar situations could potentially occur in other countries if GBPs there are also missing precise location data. 

Kansas BUG on GBP


When searching for ‘All American Electricians’ within the North Kansas area (specifically at coordinates 39.1406, -94.5746), the business appears prominently in search results, as illustrated in the ranking photo provided. Interestingly, this same business, which is actually based in Tecumseh, MI, does not show up in search rankings when searching from its actual physical location.






Understanding Service Areas on your GBP

Adding service areas to your Google Business Profile serves primarily to illustrate the regions you cover on the service area map within your profile. It’s important to understand that this action is about visually defining your service boundaries and does not directly influence or enhance your ranking in those specific areas.

Understanding Service Areas on your GBP

Why is My Service Area Map in the Ocean?

It’s often thought to be a glitch with Google Business Profile, but in reality, if your designated service area is excessively large, Google might inaccurately display it in the ocean or extend it across state lines. It’s important to regularly check and update your service area to ensure it’s accurately represented on the map. Remember, to comply with Google’s guidelines, your service area should not span beyond a two-hour driving distance.

Map Pin Placement in Ocean or Across state lines


Mastering local SEO requires meticulous attention to detail, especially regarding your Google Business Profile (GBP). By diligently reviewing and updating your GBP information, addressing common bugs such as map pin discrepancies and ensuring accurate service area mapping, businesses can enhance their chances of ranking prominently in local searches.

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