Google Rolls Out Major Update to Google My Business Guidelines

Google has rolled out a major update to their My Business (ie Places) Guidelines. The new Guideline offers much more concrete examples and clarifies a number of situations particularly multi-practitioner listings and their naming.

Some obvious highlights:

  • Descriptors of any sort are NOT allowed
  • Categories should be the more specific category and NOT the overarching, general category
  • Increased name and category consistency amongst multi location chains
  • Two or more brands at the same location must pick one name
  • If Different departments are to have their own page they must have unique categories
  • Practitioner’s pages, in multi location practices should have their name only and not the name of the practice
  • Solo Practitioners only can use the format of Practice: Practitioner
  • Virtual Offices are NOT allowed unless staffed. (If they are staffed then they aren’t virtual are they?
Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Rolls Out Major Update to Google My Business Guidelines by

59 thoughts on “Google Rolls Out Major Update to Google My Business Guidelines”

  1. I’m not expecting Google to police these descriptors, many spammy competitors are getting ranked in local easily, by stuffing keywords in their name.

    I’ve found that submitting corrections in Google maps to the name is simple to do, and often is resolved within 24 hours.

  2. Some of our senior living community names actually legally carry a descriptor and advertise that way (example: Redwood Retirement Residence). Does Google allow for this?

    1. If the locations actually go by that name in the real world (ie signage, answering phone, website) then it is allowed. If you are concerned I would 1)file a DBA for that name and 2)Use it for your full citation campaign at the primary data suppliers, 3)be sure that staffers answer the phone that way.

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