Google investigating ‘brutal’ LSA tactic killing leads for businesses

Google is investigating a devastating Local Service Ads (LSA) tactic that could “nuke competitors out of existence.”

When more than one LSA is linked to a Google Business Profile (GBP), the ad becomes invisible, killing off all leads. Alarmingly, competitors can use this loophole to intentionally create an LSA linked to your GBP without your knowledge, preventing your ad from reaching consumers.

Why we care. If your GBP has unexpectedly stopped generating leads, it may be due to someone else linking an LSA to your GBP. Identifying this issue requires consultation with your Google support representative.

Drop in leads. The initial complaint surfaced when a business owner shared their experience on the Google Business Profile forum. They reported that their LSA was performing well initially. However, overnight, their leads and even spam abruptly ceased, leaving them puzzled about the root cause of the issue. They elaborated:

  • “I finally got a rep to look into it and he told me that our Google my business profile has two LSA’s linked to it, which is causing our ad to be invisible. When I check our GMB there is only one account linked to us, and it’s the one that I set up. I’ve only ever set up one LSA account, and I’m the only one with the access and credentials to do so.”
  • “I’m being told that I cannot unlink this other unknown LSA account because I don’t know any of the credentials of that other account. Their solution was for me to unlink our 10 year old account with established reviews and start a new google business profile from scratch. This is a horrible suggestion in my mind. Why would an unknown entity get to force us off of our own Google listing.”
  • “There must be a way where we can re-verify our account and eliminate any LSA’s we don’t approve of. We did hire a company to run a website for our owner (the GMB account is the same as the company’s), but they aren’t running LSA’s for us.”

‘Brutal tactic’. Commenting on the flagged issue, Ben Fisher, Co-Founder/Lead Consultant at Steady Demand, urged Google Ads Liaison Ginny Marvin to investigate the loophole on X. He wrote:

  • “This is a brutal new tactic that competitors are doing on LSA. A competitor makes a new LSA for a competitor and because the link to GBP is automatic the system will essentially nuke the competitor out of existence.”
  • “@adsliaison this is wrong on many levels.”

What Google is saying. Marvin responded shortly after to confirm Google was looking into the issue.

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Deep dive. Read the Google Business Profiles forum, where the issue is being discussed,  for more information.

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