Verifying Your Listing
Google contacts you to make sure that the Gmail account you use when creating your Google Places listing is the one that should be associated with your business data.
Google, unfortunately, calls this validating your listing in some places and verifying it in others. I like the word verify better, so I'm going to use it, but don't be surprised to also see the word validate used to mean the same thing.
Google can verify your listing in two ways: over the phone or by sending you a postcard. The phone technique is much easier—it only takes a few minutes. If you use the postcard option, it takes two to three weeks.
Follow these steps to verify your listing:
Follow the earlier steps to bring up the option to validate, or verify, your listing, as shown in Figure 5.7.
Figure 5.7 Get ready to verify your ownership.
For a business that is not yet in Google Places, follow the steps described earlier in this lesson. Alternatively, go to the Google home page, sign in to your account, and choose Settings, and then Google Places. Your Google Places dashboard will appear; click the Verify Ownership link.
For a business that already is in Google Places, find the business in Google Maps, as described in Lesson 2. Click the Business Owner link. Choose Edit My Business Information and click Continue. Edit the fields, as described in the previous sections of this lesson, and click Submit.
Choose a radio button for the update: By Phone or By Postcard (2–3 weeks).
Phone verification is very quick; a computer calls your business phone number and gives you a five-digit PIN code in just a few minutes. Postcard verification is very slow. (It's pretty secure, though; other people might see the code, but they can't log in to your Google account to get it.)
After you click Finish, your Dashboard will appear. If you are using the phone verification, just wait; for postcard verification, return to the Dashboard when you receive the postcard.
If you choose phone verification, a computer will call you and tell you the code. If you don't answer the phone, Google will not give you the entire code in a message; you have to answer the phone to get the whole code. Be sure to write it down someplace safe! For postcard verification, you'll get a postcard 2–3 weeks later. You will need the PIN only once; after that, your Google account password will serve as security for your information.
In the Dashboard, enter the PIN code.
The PIN will be accepted. You will have full access to all the functionality of Google Places for your business. Congratulations!
From this point on, your business information can be edited only by someone logged in to the Google account from which the listing was verified. No one else can change your business information.