If you’ve claimed your Google My Business listing (now rebranded as ‘Google Business Profile’) and have begun to receive emails with the subject line “You’ve received an ownership request”, you may be wondering what it’s all about and if you should respond.
Is it a real email from Google? Do you open it and click the link, or ignore it?
In this post, you’ll learn exactly what these emails look like and what to do if you’re receiving them.
TL;DR You want to respond to each ownership request within 3 days to protect your Google My Business from being taken over/claimed by someone else. Do not ignore these emails.
What does an ownership request email look like?
Below you can find two examples of these ownership request emails. They are delivered from the email address firstname.lastname@example.org with the sender name “Google Business Profile”. Another version of the ownership request emails will be delivered from the email address email@example.com.
The body of the email will contain the contact details of the individual requesting to be an owner of your Google My Business listing.
Example #1 of GMB Ownership Request Email
Example #2 of GMB Ownership Request Email
Regardless of which version you’ve received, it’s very important that you continue to read below so you’ll know how to respond accordingly to your own ownership request emails.
Why do I get these? Should I respond to ownership request emails?
Yes — it’s very important you respond to each ownership request email within 3 days. But before we go over that in more detail, let’s discuss why you could be receiving these ownership request emails.
The first possibility is that a real person filled out a Google form that specifically requested ownership of your Google My Business listing. The second (and more likely) possibility is that a bot has scraped thousands of Google My Business listings and mass-requesting ownership requests to all of them. Your listing is just one of the thousands on their list that the bot has requested ownership of.
Usually it’s easy to tell if it’s a legitimate request by reviewing the contact details. You’ll typically see random letters such as “asdsdvj sadkfd”, or even names and phone numbers that appear real but are actually just bogus information (as you can see above in example #2).
Not expecting an ownership request? Be sure to respond with a rejection
Regardless if the contact details are real or not, if you’re not expecting any ownership requests for your Google My Business listing, you want to be sure you reject the request within 3 days.
To reject an ownership request, just open each email and click the blue ‘Respond’ or ‘Review Request’ button. After clicking the blue button a new window will open with two options of “Grant ownership” or “Reject request”. Select the “Reject request” option and then click the blue “Reject” button to submit the form. That’s it, just make sure you do this for each request you receive.
What happens if I ignore the emails or don’t respond within 3 days?
According to Google’s Help Center, failure to respond to the request within 3 days may give the requester the ability to claim your listing.
If they requester successfully claims your listing, they must wait another 7 days before they can manage all the features, such as the ability to delete/remove other managers and owners (like yourself), transfer primary ownership to themselves or another user, and even delete the listing altogether.
This is why it’s extremely important you protect your Google My Business listing by rejecting/denying each ownership request you receive as explained above.
Why are bots spamming everyone with ownership requests?
In short, they are relying on a certain percentage of the Google My Business listings to not respond. As stated above, failure to respond will allow them to claim these listings and take over ownership, which they can then use for their own purposes.
While the people running the bots see your Google My Business listing as just one of the many that they may be getting ownership of, for you, it’s much more damaging. You’ve worked for years to establish your listing with many customer reviews, and if you rely heavily on Google for customers, losing access to your listing can be detrimental to your business.
If you want to be absolutely certain you do not lose access to your Google My Business listing, you’ll want to monitor your inbox for these emails and reject/deny the requests as they come in.
If you are currently a marketing client of Top Speed Marketing, we already monitor and deny/reject ownership requests on your behalf.