Google Local Business Center Categories – The Complete List

Update 02/11/10: These Google LBC categories have now been placed in a searchable database too located on the Google LBC Categories page of my website.

Picking the right category with the Local Business Center is one of the keys to success in Google Maps. Categories are critical to being considered relevant on any given search and should be chosen carefully to meet your short and long tail priorities. Since a business may only enter 5 they become very important.

Given the way that they are presented, it is difficult to plan ahead which categories might be the most appropriated for you or your client’s listing.

Here is a complete list of every category and synonym that Google currently provides within the Local Business Center. At some point in the future, I will provide the information in a searchable database to make it more useful for planning purposes:

Google Local Business Center Complete Category and Synonym List

On the list you will find 2239 categories which includes plurals ie lawyer and lawyers as well as certain geographic place categories like “estuary” and other geographic phrases. The fact that the categories include both singular and plural should reinforce the sense that you need to pick the ones you need for your listing carefully.

When the Local Business Center was first released Google only offered a choice 450 categories and no custom categories. At the time if you used any of the limited categories offered in the LBC, Google would use those to supplant any that had been provided by the Superpages. So the upshot during that timeframe, was that you had to remove ALL categories from the LBC to get into a given Superpages category in Google maps results.

In March of 2008, Google subsequently went to a more free form, expanded categorization structure, initially not requiring the use of any of their categories. This summer, Google started requiring that a user select one preset category and then allowing for 4 additional preset or custom categories.

I would love to hear how you use this list.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Local Business Center Categories - The Complete List by

63 thoughts on “Google Local Business Center Categories – The Complete List”

  1. Google has confirmed some of the category problems as a bug in the Maps forums. If you report it there, they might take care of it.

  2. Great thank you i will try and post somthing,… any other views on what i am trying to do with my footer homepage links.

  3. Just found this blog, awesome stuff. That list of synonyms is quite interesting (and thanks for explaining it Mike, was a bit confused on how exactly to interpret them)

    Nice to hear that google might work on those bugs, kind of annoying to not have your category show up.

  4. This is an awesome list. Thanks!

    Though I did try to use the word “Attractions” and it didn’t work. I don’t know if that’s a bug or not.

    Thanks, again. This is a huge help.

  5. Your list is terrific but …….
    I have a laser cutting and engraving business, for which Google does not have a category for either Laser Cutting or Laser Engraving.

    I had a scan through your Google Category List and low and behold there is the primary category that would do “Laser Cutting Service”. Unfortunately Google does not acknowledge its existence.

    Is this entry in error or is it something to do with the high and mighty dictator? Can you shed any light?

    Ours being something of a niche service business, although there are plenty of us here in the UK and in the States, so Manufacturing really doesn’t do the job and it is nigh on impossible to find a realistic substitute. I would very much appreciate any pointers that you may be able to offer.

  6. Hello Mike, thanks for that. After some further digging, I also discovered that, according to Google, the UK does nothave any use for laser equipment other than for those three entries.

    I managed to speak to a real, and helpful, human at Google today. He was as surprised as I was at this situation. Even more surprising is that, although my dashboard indicates that Laser Cutting Service is an invalid category, the Tamar Laser Craft public listing page is showing that this category is live and valid. Unfortunately, because it is deemed invalid in the dashboard, I cannot add secondary categories. Not very consistent.

  7. @john
    Google used to allow custom categories under the old dashboard. They do not allow them with the new dashboard. Most but not all listings have migrated but a few still have the old dashboard and custom categories.

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