There is nothing more valuable online than visibility, says Steven C. Wyer. In this brief question-and-answer session, the Violated Online author answers questions about Google My Business and why it’s such a valuable tool for business owners.

Q: Does Google offer any services specifically geared toward business?

Steven C. Wyer: Yes, Google offers businesses both large and small a Google My Business account. This is a free program that allows business owners to manage how their information appears across the spectrum of Google search products, including on mobile devices. Once established, the account must have some sort of activity every few months in order to remain active.

Q: What are the benefits of maintaining an active account?

Steven C. Wyer: Businesses that remain active with Google My Business can ensure their customers and potential customers receive accurate information regarding their location, hours of operation, services, and more.

Q: What happens if my Google My Business account becomes inactive?

Steven C. Wyer: If your account becomes inactive, customers may look elsewhere for service providers who are keeping up with their business.

Q: Is it possible to restore my verified business status?

Steven C. Wyer: Once you’ve been inactive for six months, Google may un-verify the account. If this happens, Google may attempt to contact you to confirm your information is still correct and see if you wish to keep your listing active. If you fail to respond within a reasonable amount of time, Google may deactivate your account, making you less visible on the Internet.

Q: Who should I contact if I have questions or need to restore my account?

Steven C. Wyer: Google’s customer support, which is available exclusively online, offers business owners the opportunity to rectify a mistakenly deactivated listing. Account holders may request either a callback or online chat session.

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