In November, Google began supporting the option to specify when the business opens in the future. So if you are a new business and you want people to find you in Google local before you open, you can set a future open date for your business. But some are using this to hurt competitors, competitors that have been open for years and years already.
As Tim Colling pointed to in the Local Search Forums, one such business had their in business since date edited to change it from opening in January 1994 to opening in the future, some time this month in 2019.
Tim said “Some bad guy suggested an edit to their GMB business profile, saying that the client was opening in the future. In reality, this client has been in business since 1994. Doing this caused them to completely disappear from the local pack.”
A business that has been servicing customers for 25 years to all of a sudden be seen as a new comer can be damaging to some.
We know people have been editing business listings on Google to say they are closed. But Google tries to validate those. Maybe Google doesn’t have a solid process for managing future open dates yet?
Forum discussion at Local Search Forums.