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Reader Question: Who Owns My Google LBC Listings?

Here’s a great question from a reader that I thought deserved a blog-post-length reply. Reader, Amy, writes:

My issue is that I’ve recently joined a company (client-side) and there’s no trace of who set up the LBC listings for each of our hotels, whether it was someone internal or not.
So now that i need to edit the listings for the company, how can i do it without the login details? I’ve searched extensively for advice from Google… to no avail

I would imagine that many people run into this issue, and I’d like to give some advice to help get the ball rolling in resolving it.
How Did Your Google Local Listing Come To Be?
First of all, it’s important for you to understand that when Google created their local index, they scraped business data from many places (yellow pages, directories, etc.) So, in other words, the businesses listed in Google’s local results are not necessarily there because they were submitted to Google. A great many of them are there as a result of Google pulling them from third party sources.
So, the first thing for you to determine is whether your company’s hotel listings merely exist as a result of action on Google’s part, or whether they were created and claimed by a person at/for your company.
Go to GetListed.org.
This terrific little tool will enable you to enter the business name and zip code for each of the hotel locations. GetListed will crawl Google’s local index for you, and in just seconds, will tell you whether each of your Google listings has been claimed/verified or is sitting there unverified, and therefor, is simply the result of Google pulling information from elsewhere to create a listing for you (without you knowing about it).
Before I go further, let me explain the claiming/verifying a listing involves the business owner (or his Local SEO consultant) logging into Google’s Local Business Center and requesting that Google either phone you or send you a postcard so that you can verify that you are the owner of the business.
Here is an example from GetListed.org of an inn in California that has not claimed their business listing:

Business Not Claimed In Google

If the hotel listings show as having not been claimed, just click the link on the GetListed results page to ‘Claim Your Listing’. This will take you to the login page for Google’s Local Business Center, at which point, if you don’t currently have a Google account, you can create a new one. If the company already has an account (such as for Gmail or Adwords or something else) you can use that username and password to log in.
Then, simply follow the steps within Google’s LBC to verify your listing either by postcard or phone call, and this will also be a good time to make sure that that the data about each business location is as accurate and thorough as possible.
I would suggest, Amy, that you try this step first with the hotel’s various locations. Then come back here and let us know whether you discovered that the hotel listings have already been claimed or not.