What is an acceptable business name under Google Guidelines? Poll Results

There was a fair bit of comment about small business naming practices for the internet in general and Google Maps in particular after the recent upgrade to their listing guidelines. The discussion revolved around the ambiguity that exists in the naming practices in small businesses and how that should best be projected into Maps to comply with Google requirements and best represent the business.

Here are the results of the poll on what you think is allowable under Google’s new Map’s business listing guidelines and you would recommend for a client (click for a larger image):


Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
What is an acceptable business name under Google Guidelines? Poll Results by

7 thoughts on “What is an acceptable business name under Google Guidelines? Poll Results”

  1. I wonder, for the majority of visitors to Mike’s website, how much bias (or “want”) was applied to voting. The top result included the city name. As a search marketer and one who understands how Maps does it’s rankings, for the most part, I would certainly want to include such a keyword loaded tag line. But I also feel that that one is right smack dab on the very grey line, maybe crossing over it. From a maps perspective the city name is pretty much implicit and including it in the keyword loaded tag line may just about cross the line.

    I’m also surprised the official name itself came in 2nd over the other 2 tag line options that just skipped on the city name.

    The decision, i guess, to include the city name may come down to competition levels for that business in that city. If service/product keywords alone can’t quite get you into the top 10, or high enough within them, then opt for including the city name to give it that little extra boost. But remain fully aware of the risks should Google crack down on you.

  2. @Stever

    I am sensing that Google has deprecated the value of city name in the listing.. although I could be wrong about that.

    Clearly the survey was not very scientific but it is interesting. If you add up answers from 3 + 4 results you come to 10 as well….subtle legal differences between the two. That may have skewed the results somewhat.

    I used to do “Dallas Plumbing and Heating” but have stopped as the rules have gotten more rigorous.

    It would be useful to hear from Google on this but I doubt that we will.

  3. Another though, If keywords in business titles had zero influence on rankings I would still want to put a tagline like that for the sake of visitors recognizing what the business might actually do, when the name alone gives no clues.

    P.S. adding the keywords in the title has cross over benefits in PPC ads inside Maps. Your Adwords ads inside Maps use your business name for the ad headline, you can’t customize the copy like you can in normal text ads, then you bid on the keywords you want. Your ad then is less relevant to the keywords, does not stand out so much and gets a lower click through rate without some keywords in the title.

  4. @Stever

    I am with you. From where I sit a business name needs to communicate minimally the what and possibly the where depending on the context…when I engage a new client it is an initial part of any discussion.

    “”Option House” or “Option House Restaurant & Lounge”? Given that you are starting a new business and the previous owner had a bad reputation to say nothing about the names ability to communicate to someone outside your immediate market whatever the medium…”

    My point on the using Geography in the name is that it might be redundant…and may not offer significant ranking benefit…Google knows where the business is located….and it seems to be moving perisously close to the wrong side of the line

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