The new list is designated as Google English (US) (PfB) to distinguish it from the list for the old and still predominant dashboard. Note that the new categories themselves DO NOT have synonyms in the new dashboard but where there was a 1 to 1 match with the old category we have added them from the existing list to facilitate searching.
We have also made the country selection default to the previous country choice selected to make additional searches easier.
In analyzing the category differences between the two lists, the most obvious change was some clean up work with a number of plural categories having been removed. Approximately 243 categories were removed from the old list. These were mostly either plurals of already existing categories or non-compliant categories. An example of the former was the removal of the category “bakeries” while the category “bakery” remained. An example of the later was the category “rv”. Here is the complete list of categories removed in ascii text: in-old-not-in-new1.
There were 88 additional, non restaurant categories added to the new Google Places for Business list: in-new-not-in-old-others1.
Some were minor changes like “personal injury attorney” became “personal injury lawyer”. Some were cleaned up to be in compliance with the Google Quality Guidelines standards. For example “jewelry” became “jewelry store”.
Given the clean up in some categories, it was odd to still see newly added categories that do not comply with the Category guidelines like beauty, car rental. culture, hair care, laundry and logistics showing up in the new list.
The biggest change in the new list, as I have noted previously, was the inclusion of 168 new restaurant categories, many of which are quite unusual like “kushiage and kushiyaki restaurant” or “okonomiyaki restaurant”. Here is the list new restaurant types added: in-new-not-in-old-restaurants1.
Regardless, the restaurant list is intriguing. Either Google is attempting to create a master list of restaurants for world wide use (as opposed to just the US) or they have broader plans for the list in existing or new restaurant related products.
Hopefully the tool will continue to be useful to you. Please visit the newly updated Google Places for Business Category Tool and let me know what works and what doesn’t in the tool and how you are using it.