Local Business Center: Same listing in multiple languages is OK

Can a Canadian business that is required by law, post two listings in the LBC? One in French and one in English? Can a Lawyer that services both English and Spanish clientele from a San Diego office have a listing in both languages? Can an English guest house that services European clients have a listing in 6 languages?

The question of whether a business could create the same listing in multiple languages comes up from time to time in the forums and in this blog. It was assumed that the Business Listing Guideline that stated: Create only one listing for each physical location of your business meant that having the same listing in several languages was not acceptable. Apparently, that is not the case  and it is acceptable under Google’s guidelines to have the same listing in as many languages as appropriate.

Here is what Google had to say when asked if it was OK for a business to list in multiple languages:

Yes, users can do this. The thing is, there isn’t a feature currently available, but there is a workaround. What users can do is first create the listing in English. Then they can select the appropriate language from the drop-down menu in the upper right-hand corner of the Local Business Center and create the same exact listing in that language.

We hope to make this easier for users in the future.

Creating the same listing in a different language doesn’t violate our guidelines. Our policy states that a business owner can’t create 2 different business listings at one location.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Local Business Center: Same listing in multiple languages is OK by

19 thoughts on “Local Business Center: Same listing in multiple languages is OK”

  1. Hi Mike

    That is great information as I know of a couple business’s who could benefit from having a listing in Spanish. Does Google display local results
    for foreign languages in the USA?

    I did a search for “used cars Chicago IL” and got a 10 pack
    did a search for “coches usados chicago IL” and did not get a local result?

    Maybe nobody has a listing in Spanish for used cars but unlikely. Have you seen a foreign language listing in the USA?

    Andy

  2. Thanks for that mike.

    Just so I understand, are you saying that Google will return a local result
    after X number of searches for a certain term.

    I had understood that if the search term matched what was in their local
    database it would give that result.

    Your insight make me question what I know. Which is a great!

    Andy

  3. Oh, nifty tip here, Mike! Very good to know.

    I’ve seen Spanish results for ‘panaderia san rafael ca’ and they are being categorized under the English categories ‘bakery’ and ‘bakers’. The 10 pack results all yield the world panaderia in the business title. Mike, does this mean to you that they are simply being pulled because of their business title and not because they are in a foreign language category? I find that a bit confusing.

  4. @Andy

    Google tracks queries and responses pretty closely. I have seen 10 Packs disappear where they once were. The patents talk of user logs being used so I assume that when there aren’t sufficient queries nor sufficient click thrus Google will modify the results that they show.

    @Miariam

    Yes I assume so

  5. Good news

    Very important for Touristic websites. An hotel in Florence or in Venice (Italy) or in Paris (France) must have several description in several language.

  6. Hi,

    I know this is a fairly old post, but I came across it during some research I’ve been doing for a client, and I have a few questions.

    The client I’m working for is an attorney who does significant case work for spanish speaking clients. We’ve followed the advice you gave here to create two local business center listings — one in English and one in Spanish. I was very conservative about the listings, being careful to abide by Google’s written rules (making the title on the business name, for example).

    The issue is that while we’re starting to get very good rankings on the English listing (thanks to a concerted effort on IYP and other directory listings) we’re getting nothing on the Spanish one.

    Knowing what I know about how we’ve made the English one work, particularly through citations that are carefully constructed to mirror the LBC listing, I’m wondering what the best practice is to get a listing in another language (but linked to the same address) to show up in results. I don’t think I can create duplicate entries in all the IYP/indexes, in particular because they don’t offer spanish keywords/categories. Also, I don’t think they would accept duplicates.

    I’m flummoxed about how to go about building a citation bank for the spanish listing that is built on spanish language key words, phrases, and categories.

    Two other things: I only got the spanish listing optimized and working about 2 weeks ago. Perhaps I need to wait a bit longer. (Although, I’m doubting this is the issue because i KNOW I haven’t been able to build much in terms of citation).

    My client is thinking about obtaining an additional physical office location. I’m wondering if when that happens we should tune the listing for the new location to spanish and leave the original in English. Maybe this is my best bet?

    I’m surprised, honestly, about how little has been written about handling local search in multiple languages. Thanks for this article — at least it got me started!

  7. @Martha

    There is no easy path as you have identified. You think about claiming some of the many 3rd tier directory listings and converting those to Spanish language listings. I am sure that you have identified Spanish language hyperlocal sites and explored them as a citation source. Does the BBB have a Spanish speaking site?

    Another caveat that we are seeing/hearing about with having a listing at the same address in the same LBC is that all too often Google is merging the two listings for a spanglish outcome. Google’s suggested work around for that is place the second listing in a separate LBC.

  8. Mike — thanks for the response, especially on a relatively old posting.

    In the last week, I finally broke into the Spanish search but only by adding a spanish category to the English listing — the Spanish listing is still not getting hit at all. Interestingly, once I added the Spanish category, the Spanish search results started within 24 hours on the English listing. I wasn’t expecting such quick results.

    This happened after the English listing also seemed to finally break into some critical English searches that I’d be tuning it for. It was almost like once I had broken into that space, my listing was somehow optimized to the degree that other changes were noticed more quickly. Does that make sense? (Perhaps it was just a coincidence).

    So we’re seeing the Spanish search results but apparently NOT b/c of the spanish listing.

    What’s also weird is that in terms of citation nothing major changed (Even though I’d spent several weeks working on various highly-rated IYP and attorney directories). Before the results got better we had 44 citations; after we had 46. I can’t see any substantive difference. It’s a bit frustrating to see the results but not be really sure what you did to get them!

    I’m intrigued by the idea of converting some of the third-tier listings to spanish. . .might be a technique for getting some even better results on the spanish searches — and finally get some citations on that spanish listing.

    In any case, thanks again for this post and your site generally. It’s a wealth of information!

  9. I don’t mean to bomb this post, but I wanted to give one more update as it may help others who are dealing with multiple-language listings.

    Just after my last comment, this morning we discovered that Google had conflated our english and spanish listings. While we’re still getting good search results, all of the map links point to the spanish listing (which links to the spanish version of our Web site). This is, obviously, not ideal. As a temporary measure, we’re pointing both listings to our English Web site. But, still, the listing information is always in spanish, regardless of what search terms are used.

    I’m concerned that Google is flagging the two listings as “duplicate” and that’s why this is happening. Frustrating.

  10. @Martha

    To avoid the merging problem, google recommends that the listings be in separate LBC accounts.

  11. Hi Mike

    Thank you for sharing. I’ve searched for this particular answer for quite some time but another comments in this post have just led me to another questions. I’m to create listings in Thai and English. These two will point to the same domain name that has Thai as a major language but also provides English translation pages.

    http://www.mysite.com
    http://www.mysite.com/en

    The questions are;

    – Should I submit http://www.mysite.com/en to English GG listing?
    – Unlike Spanish and English languages that have mostly the same characters – that’s why Matha’s listings had been merged – Thai does not. Do I need two LBC accounts for creating listings in Thai and English so they won’t be merged (would they be at all)?

    Thank you for your help.

  12. You should submit the /en site to the English listing as it would provide the better user experience.

    I do not have specific experience with Thai but you would be best off submitting the listing from a separate LBC account so that Google’s algo perceives the two listings as two distinct location id numbers. Why take the chance that they would merge?

  13. Hi Mike

    Thank you so much for quick response. Yes, you’re right, why take the chance that they would merge |o|

  14. Hello I have one question also.

    The procedure of creating a multiple language listing is to go to the right angle and change the language, right (for example from english to spanish)? But this changes just the language in my google places account. My listings stays in english, and I don’t see where I have to type the keywords and description in spanish. My questions is do I have to edit my listing after I change the language, and fill in all the information in spanish or I should be looking for new fields.

    If is the first think, I don’t see any sense. Because this means that I don’t need to change the language in LBC I can just fill in my business information in spanish.

    One more thing… Is this just replacing my existing business listing in english with spanish…or is it creating a new listing is spanish and keeping the one on english.

    Also If I have to create it in a diffrent LBC account – does this mean one more verification?

    Thank you so much

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