Friday, January 16, 2015

Updated Google My Business Guidelines

In December 2014, Google made some changes to Google My Business quality guidelines, including adding specific rules for multi-location businesses.

In February 2014, Google announced that it would allow the addition of a single "descriptor" to the business name in Google listings. As of December 2014, Google abandons the use of descriptors and only the real world business name (legal business name) is permitted for use, again. This point is emphasised by Google: “Represent your business as it’s consistently represented and recognized in the real world across signage, stationery, and other branding”.

Other point to highlight is that as of October 2014, you are able to add other users as managers to a business account and these managers will be able to manage locations in the business account simply by logging into their own accounts, which is good news for multi-location businesses. In December update Google clarifies it by saying “Only business owners or authorized representatives may verify and manage their business information on Google My Business. If you wish to share access to your local page with others, you can do so by adding a manager.”

The update also includes guidelines for:

- Business information (Address, website, phone number, categories…)
- Service area businesses vs. Storefront businesses
- Chains and brands
- Departments within other business, universities or institutions
- Individual practitioners (doctors, lawyers…)

We suggest you check out the Google quality guidelines for business pages as soon as possible, as you may discover you need to make some edits to your Google My Business account to be guideline -compliant.

As we know, these guidelines are generally considered rules, not guidelines, as failure to comply can cause your listing to be suspended or removed.

If you’re new to Google My Business, check out our blog post about why you should get Google My Business and how to get started.

If you would like to discuss about your local marketing strategy with a professional, you are always welcome to give our Digital Strategists a call on 01202 678777.

Author: Aysegul Yigitbasi


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