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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

Google Places Updates Quality guidelines – Now Allows Business Names with Punctuation

Google has recently added a new “best practice” to their business listing quality guidelines:

  • Use standard capitalization & punctuation, unless your business name or address in the real world contains unusual capitalization & punctuation.

The guideline makes it clear that you can only uses non standard capitalization and punctuation if in fact your real business name includes those attributes. The change in and of itself is not that big of deal. One assumes that a business should be allowed to use their name as it exists in the real world. But this change to the rules is also accompanied by a companion upgrade that no longer prevents the use of these attributes in entering the business name in the Places Management (LBC).

For those businesses, like mine ( that included a punctuation AND effectively a URL, we were not allowed to use the actual name  in the Places Management area (LBC) as the filters there would “reject” the listing. Until the punctuation was removed (ie changing to blumenthals) the listing would not be approved and would not show in the index.

An example of this problem was most visibly demonstrated by McDonald’s who had been unable to get their standard name approved. It has resulted in an incredible variation from corporate standards in the representation of their name in Maps (and a touch of spam?):

I wrote about this problem (Google Maps + MickyD’s =s McIrritating) in September of 2009. It is nice that it appears to have been finally resolved.

Please let me know if you 1)have experienced this problem and 2) if it is not rectified for you.