Searchable Google LBC Category Preview Tool Beta Test

We have put on line a simple, searchable interface to the Google Local Business Center (LBC) categories and synonym lists. The idea is to to assist in early planning and judicious picking of the most appropriate categories for your LBC listing. At this point, the categories included are for the US LBC only.

Late last year I published the Google LBC Category list as an HTML page of all the categories but I wanted to make the list more manageable so I have placed it in a database with a simple search interface.

Google LBC Category Preview Tool

Your feedback and suggestions would be welcomed!

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Searchable Google LBC Category Preview Tool Beta Test by

24 thoughts on “Searchable Google LBC Category Preview Tool Beta Test”

  1. Hi Mike,
    Nice tool, however, why do we see every keyword twice or more?
    & more interesting- how does a “flagged” keyword (such as Locksmith, for example) affect the other synonyms or related keywords? should we assume that those words are flagged as well?

  2. Great tool. What are the odds you can add the category ID? That would be a huge help. Thanks again for all of the great information.

  3. Mike – has anyone else commented on Google slipping the County into the LBL page? I’ve seen this with a couple of my clients listings — it may be there for a few days and disappears.

    No big deal, I suppose, except for when they said the Westminster, CO was in Delaware County. No such county in Colorado!


  4. Hi Mike

    Nice little tool – I will have a good play with. I’m based in the UK so if you do a version covering UK GLBC categories give me a shout.

    Good stuff…

  5. Hi Mike

    Great tool, thanks for putting that together.

    I’m also seeing dupes in the synonyms, search for “dental” and in the synonym list for some of the categories I see “….dental, dental, dental….”


  6. @Reuben
    Abby sent along a screen shot and I saw what she was seeing.

    Somehow along the way, we doubled up all of the data and when we purged the double categories forgot to purge the doubled up synonyms…thanks for the heads up…as soon as the programmer can get back on it, we will get it fixed.

  7. Mike – Thanks for creating such a great tool.

    Let me make sure I understand your approach:
    1) Use the Google LBC Category Preview tool.
    2) In the Google LBC – Use the “Categories” that best matches the type of service/product I put in.

    For instance, if I need a category for “Home Improvement” (for a home improvement contractor), I should choose the category “Sunroom Contractor” as I’m not a home improvement store? Is this correct?

    Do the keyword phrases that are used most to find the site not work as well as the Pre-Existing Categories that Google already lists?

    Or is it that the Pre-Existing Categories will actually alow our 7-box listing to show up for more terms? This woud be an awesome reason to use the pre-existing categories.

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer these questions.

    1. My approach
      1)Pick 7 to 10 words/phrases that describe the category of thing that you do
      2)Search on the 10 phrases + your city in google and see if they show a 7 pack
      3)Of the ones that show a 7 pack, take those words and check them in the Adwords Keyword tool to determine the relative number of searches on those phrases
      4)Then and only then use the keyword tool to find a primary category that properly describes your business. In your case you are, I assume, a home improvement contractor. Rather than search on home improvement, search on contractor ( ) . If “home improvement contractor” is not a formal category pick the category that is the most comprehensive of what of you do…ie “contractor” rather than “Sunroom Contractor”.
      5)Regardless of whether they are categories or not, put your next 4 top phrases in order of volume.If there is a category that is very, very close to your phrasing, choose that over your phrasing if it does equally well in your Adwords research.
      6)Test to see how well you rank for those 4 additional categories. If you are not showing up, pick a phrase further down the list for which you do show up….a less popular word that is less competitive is better than a more popular word for which you do not show up
      7)Measure the value of the phrase that you chose and track the traffic from Google Maps
      8)Determine if you need to go for more competitive or different words that generate more traffic/business.
      9)Develop a plan to do so and then start over.

  8. @Mike – Thank you for taking the time to layout such a great step-by-step formula to choosing the correct categories.

  9. Mike, this may be obvious to others, but I’m unclear about the advantage of using an existing category for a list.

    In the video by Don Campbell, and presumably the basic driving force for this tool, you are suggesting that we not create categories that don’t exist in Google’s database.

    If my client is a therapist that only does marriage therapy or couples counseling, why would I want to compete with all of those in the larger categories of counseling and therapy and not create my own category of couples counseling — for which a 7-pak shows — and for which there is much less competition enabling me to rank?

    I apologize if this is a very remedial question that has already been thoroughly discussed, elsewhere, but it is a sticking point for me right now. You can point me elsewhere to save time, if needed!



  10. I am not sure I understand you question.

    Google requires that you use at least ONE category from their list. Google does not have a category for “marriage therapy” or “”couples counseling”. So before you will be allowed to use your “long tail” category you need to provide Google with an overarching category. They will not let you proceed unless you do so.

    If your client does only “marriage therapy” and “couples counseling”, you would then enter “Marriage Counselor” or “Family Counselor” (search: into the first category field and then “marriage therapy” and “couples counseling” into fields two and three. I would then try to find either a category or a phrase that works well for spot 4 and 5 based on your research.

    The use of Google’s formal categories are neither good nor bad in slots 2-5. The measurement criteria as to whether you use their or your category is whether they get you properly qualified clientele.

  11. Mike,

    That clears it up. For some reason, I took Don’s comment in his video to mean that we should never use a category not in Google’s list, which is obviously not what you’re saying.



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