Close in knoweldge graph

Because the listing isn’t closed…

Okay, so that makes no sense right?

Let me start from the beginning. We have a client that has a Ford dealership. When doing searches for Ford + geo, we were seeing the above “permanently closed” business showing up in the Knowledge Graph panel.

So we had a team member investigate the issue by calling GMB support and asking why a closed listing was showing in the KG. Apparently the listing was showing up because “it wasn’t marked as closed”.

I will say that again in case you think you misread:

The permanently closed listing was showing up in the Knowledge Graph because it wasn’t marked as closed.

Google My Business ladies and gentlemen, where up is down, left is right and cats and dogs play together.

In all seriousness, I think the problem may be related to the recent issues with Google MapMaker. Specifically, the GMB data for a business, which shows it as closed, was in conflict with the business’ MapMaker data, which showed it as open. And since the MapMaker database has been locked down, that conflict is resolving in this really weird edge case. A few reasons why I am leaning towards this explanation:

1) We have seen an increase in these types of issues in the last couple of weeks, so the timing kinda works out.

2) The GMB support rep made a comment about closing the listing in MapMaker. While it’s is sometimes hard to take GMB support reps comments about the product at face value the issue seemed to resolve itself after the GMB support rep worked their MapMaker voodoo to close the listing.

So what this means is, if you see something like this affecting a client of yours the only real solution is to call into GMB support.

And wouldn’t you know it, right as I was about to hit “Publish” on this post I decided to see how this SERP was looking now. Lo and behold the rogue closed listing is back in the KG. Coincidentally the MapMaker entry also has a pending change to re-open it:

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 1.45.45 PM

Also, we heard from a particularly helpful GMB rep who told us that the Knowledge Graph is going away because “it’s too confusing”. We can only hope!

Have any of you seen anything like this? Any other theories as to why this is going on?


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15 Response Comments

  • Linda Buquet  May 18, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    Good timing Andrew.

    There has been a pretty extreme uptick in complaints about closed listings over at the Google forum. So much so that 4 TCs including me have asked what’s up.

    No reply yet.

  • Andrew Shotland  May 18, 2015 at 3:08 pm

    Just another day in GMB-land Linda…

  • Russ Offord  May 18, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    I wonder if this could be a temporary form of POI sabatoge? With GMM edits closed… can edit suggestions to Google+ Local listings via Google Maps be made? I haven’t tested that.

  • Mark Goho  May 18, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Yes, Russ – you can still suggest edits via Maps on desktop and mobile, and they’ll be published if found to be true.

  • Dan Leibson  May 18, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    @Linda, it’s not one of Andrew’s 😉

    @Russ It could be. Although that would mean the auto/manual review of edits is even poorer then I thought. Some of these have been closed for over a year.

  • Linda Buquet  May 18, 2015 at 7:26 pm

    So sorry Dan. Mental block. Need to remember to check who wrote the post. 🙁

  • Dan Leibson  May 18, 2015 at 7:32 pm


    It just means I can seamlessly replace Andrew’s content and no one bats and eye 😉

  • Rich Owings  May 19, 2015 at 5:07 am

    I have a client who recently moved and his old listing just started showing up as “permanently closed” in the last couple of weeks.

  • Joe Goldstein  May 19, 2015 at 11:02 am

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I have a hard time believing they’re going to phase out the KG though – or that anyone at GMB support knows anything about where the whole mapmaker/GMB issue is going to land in the long term.

  • Dan Leibson  May 19, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks Joe, support doesn’t even have the best track record for knowing the ins and outs of a product they support.

    Rich – That sounds like users might be reporting it as closed because they aren’t at the old location.

  • Joe Goldstein  May 19, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    @Dan Wow, I didn’t even realize that Andrew didn’t write this one. So much for that “no guest posts” policy, eh? 😉

  • Dan Leibson  May 19, 2015 at 1:27 pm


    I don’t think it’s considered a guest post when I work here 😉

  • Joe Goldstein  May 19, 2015 at 1:32 pm


    We’ll just have to ask Matt Cutts, if he ever gets back from his vacay.

  • Sarah Perry  May 20, 2015 at 9:59 am

    I just dealt with this situation! I worked with Google support to claim and update the information – creating a duplicate -deleted the page from my account, then merge the shell page with the claimed listing.

    I am wondering if we should claim all listings we marked as closed in the past, update them and work with support to merge them. Thoughts?

  • Dan Leibson  May 20, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    @Sarah Funny, I had that same idea a couple of days ago 😉