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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

Google Maps – What is an acceptable business name under Google Guidelines?

Update: Poll closes in 3 Hours. Please provide your input.

Google recently revamped their Business Listing Guidelines and has provided much more detail about what is acceptable practice in listing a business on Google Maps.

Despite their efforts to formalize what is spammy and what isn’t, the discussion in the comment section of the announcement post last week clearly indicated that at least in the small business arena, there is still a fair bit of ambiguity on what is appropriate in naming a business for local ecosystem in general and Maps in particular. This ambiguity closely resembles my real world experience where many businesses will have one name on their legal documents, a second on their literature, a third on their website etc.

Here are the specific sections from the new Google Guidelines that apply to business naming:

Represent your business exactly as it appears in the offline world. The name on Google Maps should match the business name, as should the address, phone number and website.

Do not attempt to manipulate search results by adding extraneous keywords into the title field, and do not include phone numbers or URLs in the title along with your proper business name.

Let us know what you think is acceptable under Google’s current policy. I detailed some arbitrary hypothetical examples (as suggested by Stever of GeoLocalSeo). Please indicate which name below best exemplifies how far away from a smb’s legal name you would consider acceptable in a Google Maps context.