Google My Business Verification Without a Postcard: 2021

Google My Business Verification Without a Postcard: 2021

If you’ve found this article then you’re almost certainly asking “is there a way to verify Google My Business without a postcard?” It is 2021 after all… 

The answer (unsurprisingly) is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’, and you can either skip straight to the details, or find out more about verification first…

What Do I Need to Know?

For the most part, Google keeps product and service registrations as straightforward as possible. 

You can set up a Gmail account in seconds. Ditto for Google Ads. And on the face of it, setting up Google My Business follows the same principle. 

That is until you’ve registered but aren’t able to make changes to your GMB listing straight away. What gives? 

Verification. It’s a pain, we get it. But until you prove who (and where) you are, you won’t be able to do any of these things:

The verification system ensures that only authorized representatives of the business, and genuine businesses, can create and manage listings, which ultimately safeguards your business. 

What’s the Standard Google My Business Verification Process? 

Google says that most local businesses will need to verify their listing by post. This means they will send you a postcard containing a verification code which you then enter to confirm your listing. 

The downside is that this method can be slow—you could be waiting upwards of a week for your postcard to arrive. 

Google warns that this delay has also been exacerbated by the pandemic, and some business owners have reported postcards that have gone missing en route:

Verification code help

All of which can be frustrating when you’re ready to take control of your local SEO and optimize your Google My Business listing.

What If I’m Tempted to Skip Google My Business Verification?

Quite simply: don’t.

If you skip verification, there’s very little point in actually claiming your Google My Business listing in the first place. You won’t be able to use your profile in any meaningful manner. 

Do I Have to Verify by Postcard?

Here’s the bottom line:

  • If you’re a service-area business operating within a specific geographic area, or a hybrid business that both serves customers at your place and visits them at theirs, you may be given the option to complete verification via email, phone or through Google Search Console.
  • If you aren’t given an email, phone or Search Console verification option, you must verify by post. 
  • For businesses with multiple locations (such as a chain of stores or restaurants), there is also a bulk verification option. If you’re eligible for this option, you’ll be asked to complete a form, including a telephone number for verification and a business manager email, to confirm you are an authorized representative. 

The only way to find out your available options is to register and see which ones come up.

How Do I Verify Google My Business?

This is your starting point:

Check your verification status

Verify with postcard:

  1. Log in to Google My Business and click ‘Verify’.
  2. Ensure your address is entered accurately, with full street name and zip code.
  3. Include your floor, suite or building number.
  4. Add a contact name.
  5. Click ‘Request Postcard’.
  6. Wait for your postcard to arrive, then log back in to Google My Business and enter the verification code. This code will expire after 30 days so it’s advisable to verify as soon as possible after you receive the postcard.

Verify over the phone: 

If your business is eligible for phone verification, you’ll see a phone option when you click ‘Verify’. 

  1. Log in to Google My Business and click ‘Verify’.
  2. Click the associated phone number.
  3. The code will be sent via an automated phone call or text message.
  4. Return to Google My Business and enter the code you were given.

Verify via email:

Some businesses may be given the option to verify by email, rather than postcard.

  1. Log in to Google My Business and click ‘Verify’.
  2. If you see the email option, click this.
  3. Go to your email and follow the instructions provided in the message from Google.

What If My Business Has Already Been Verified?

You may be offered no verification options, and instead see a message saying that someone else has verified that profile:

Verify Google My Business someone has already verified this listing

  1. Use the ‘request ownership’ option to send an email to the other party asking them to contact you. 
  2. They can confirm or deny your request. 
  3. If the present owner doesn’t reply, your ownership request email will contain a link which will then walk you through a verification process. 

Google My Business verification processes are subject to change, so we’ll keep a close eye on any changes to keep this article up to date. We wish you luck for a smooth verification! 

Mark Crowe
About the author
Mark Crowe is the Content SEO Executive at BrightLocal. With an interest in all things search, his past lives include work both in-house and agency-side for companies around the world, such as American Express, Microsoft, Yahoo! and Vodafone.

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