Google+ Local Quality Guideline Update Allows for Multiple Departments

Google has just rolled out an update to the local business listing guidelines that once again allow for support of individual departments within hospitals, universities, local governments AND businesses as long as they have unique phone numbers and a unique forward facing presence. In other words the emergency room no longer needs to be listed via the main number or the Community Development agency can now have its own forward facing presence. And the men’s clothing deparment at Macy’s can now be the Men’s Clothing Department at Macy’s. This policy is actually a return to the original policy that was upended about a year ago vis a vis hospitals but opens up a new opportunity for multi department businesses. It also opens up the possibility of spam and new enforcement from Google.

The additional update in regards to individual practitioners is a formalization of a policy that has existed in Places but not in MapMaker. If you are a practitioner that works out of several offices you are now formally permitted to have a practitioner listing at each location but for just the hours that you are actually present there. This statement from below: “The practitioner should be directly contactable at the verified location during stated hours.” if not followed to a T could lead to the listing being rejected for non compliance if Google were to call or find that you show yourself as being in two places at once.

  • Do not create more than one listing for each business location, either in a single account or multiple accounts.
  • Individual practitioners may be listed individually as long as those practitioners are public-facing within their parent organization. Common examples of such practitioners are doctors, dentists, lawyers, and real estate agents. The practitioner should be directly contactable at the verified location during stated hours. A practitioner should not have multiple listings to cover all of his or her specializations.
  • Departments within businesses, universities, hospitals, and government buildings may be listed separately. These departments must be publicly distinct as entities or groups within their parent organization, and ideally will have separate phone numbers and/or customer entrances.

Compare the New & Old Guidelines:

Old Guideline New Guideline
Do not create more than one listing for each business location, either in a single account or multiple accounts. Individual practitioners may be listed individually as long as those practitioners are public-facing within their parent organization. Common examples of such practitioners are doctors, dentists, lawyers, and real estate agents. The practitioner should be directly contactable at the verified location during stated hours. A practitioner should not have multiple listings to cover all of his or her specializations.
Businesses with multiple specializations, such as law firms and doctors, should not create multiple listings to cover all of their specialties. You may create one listing per practitioner, and one listing for the hospital or clinic at large. Departments within businesses, universities, hospitals, and government buildings may be listed separately. These departments must be publicly distinct as entities or groups within their parent organization, and ideally will have separate phone numbers and/or customer entrances.
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Google+ Local Quality Guideline Update Allows for Multiple Departments by

53 thoughts on “Google+ Local Quality Guideline Update Allows for Multiple Departments”

  1. Hi Mike,
    How should I name the listing of my practitioner?
    For instance I have a business named “business one” under “location1″ so I create a Google business listing for it. Then I want to make a listing for Dr. Adibi under “location1″ and the same phone number. The listing name should be “Dr. Adibi” or “business one: Dr. Adibi”? Also is that possible to make 5 listings for my five doctors but under the same location and phone? Won’t the pages be merged by google?
    Thanks,

  2. Hello,

    My question is I have multiple locations for my business one in one city and one in another.

    Those multiple locations both have seperate phone numbers and addresses and SEPERATE WEBSITES targeted at those markets in that city.

    Would I be under violation if my business name under all of those listings were my Main business name even with seperate websites.

    Or could you think of any other problems with that?

    Thank you

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