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Service Area Businesses Suffer Major Attack Through Local Service Ads Loophole

March 4, 2024 /
All industries  /   Google Business Profile 

Google Local Service Ads (LSA), also known as Google Guaranteed Ads, are at the top of the results page above the local pack and are an advertising product intended for service area businesses. Their intent is to promote trusted and immediately accessible contractors, plumbers, repairmen, and other local service providers. There was however a vulnerability in this ad space that resulted in many businesses seeing their LSAs totally disappear!

While LSAs are a separately managed entity to a business Google Business Profile, one is linked to the other to ensure accuracy in their information. However, in this same attempt to ensure accuracy, Google would take down ads that erroneously had multiple LSA ads linked to the same GBP. While intended to link only ads to their connected business, bad actors have been exploiting this verification to totally remove competitor’s LSAs.

When more than one Local Service Ad is linked to a Google Business Profile, the ad becomes invisible, killing off all leads. This could potentially be done by any user and there is no warning when a third-party links ads to the wrong GBP. This means that the only way to know if your business is affected by this loophole, is checking to see if your ads have suddenly stopped generating leads. At this time, resolving this issue required consultation with a Google support representative.