What are “Phantom” Google My Business Listings, and How Will They Affect My Dealership?

September 20th 2018 by Director of SEO

Google rolled out a new update that may affect your business’s Google My Business listing.

Google can now drop additional pins for relevant services your business offers. For car dealerships, this means additional Google My Business listings for different departments at the dealership, such as the Service department and the Parts department. Only Google can drop these pins, so the bonus is on you to find out if your business listing has any of these “phantom listings” out there.

How Do I Find Phantom Listings for My Dealership?

Thankfully, finding out if your dealership has any phantom listings is quite easy. You will first need to go to Google Maps and do a simple search for your dealership. After searching your dealership name, you will zoom in on the map until you see any additional pins dropped at your dealership for Service and/or Parts. If you do not see any additional pins, Google has not dropped them yet.

Phantom Listings

How Do I Claim a Phantom Listing?

If you do see additional pins after searching for your dealership in Maps, go ahead and click on those pins, which will bring you to those individual listings for Service, Parts, etc. Once in the listing, click the link that says “Claim This Business.” Once you have claimed the listing, you can update the listing information and make any edits or changes.

You will want to ensure all of the information is correct on the listing after you have claimed it, in order to fully optimize the listing. This includes adding or updating the website link, updating the phone number, updating the categories for the business, updating the hours, and adding photos.

The default name for phantom listings is the manufacturer name, followed by “Parts” or “Service.” (For example, “Toyota Service” is what Google would name the phantom Service department listings for all Toyota dealerships) Because this will be the same for all dealerships, you definitely want to make sure you change the name on your phantom listing to include the dealership’s name, to separate your listing from the numerous others that have been created.

How Are Phantom Listings Beneficial?

Phantom listings are an incredible opportunity to differentiate between the different departments within a dealership. These separate Google My Business listings allow you to show unique hours, categories, or information pertaining specifically to one department, which helps potential customers differentiate between different departments. This lets your dealership provide the most accurate and up-to-date business information to potential customers searching for your dealership online.

A new initiative from Google for Auto Dealers, phantom listings are an excellent way to provide customers with the most relevant information pertaining to your dealership. Make sure you take advantage of this great opportunity to provide a better user experience for your potential customers, and enhance your overall digital presence.

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