Google Category Tool Updated – Third Party Categories Added

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Updated 2/5/2014

With Google’s rollout of new international categories, we are in the process of updating the Google Category Tool. Thanks to those that have helped out; Mohammed Alami, Chris McCreery, Eduard de Boer & Courtney Rogers. I want to give a special hat tip to Keenan Glass who showed me how to gather categories in other countries.

We have also updated the tool with a number of third party categories that are commonly used in the US. Let me know if you find the additions of Localeze, Yelp, InfoUSA, Bing and NAICS categories helpful.

Here is the current status of the updates


Have the following categories and will be added/updated soon

Need help getting the categories for:

  • Any other country you would like to see added (let me know which ones).

Other new categories added to the tool

Google Bulk Upload Categories

If you would like to help in the gathering of categories here are the instructions to do so:

Go into the new dashboard (if your current email only goes to the old dashboard then create a new gmail account)

1-Select “add a listing”
2-Search for a business type in the city/country you want to gather the categories for. IE Car Repair Quebec , Quebec
3-Pick any unclaimed business from the list presented. If it is already claimed you will get a message.
4-When presented with the choice to verify, select “continue and verify later.
5-Select “Edit information”
6-Select Category: Edit
7-View Source code
8-search for GCID (the categories)
9-Select all
10-strip away useless HTML
11-then return to the dashboard and cancel the edit box
12-Select the gear in the upper right of the screen and “remove this listing” from your dashboard.


Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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15 thoughts on “Google Category Tool Updated – Third Party Categories Added”

  1. Thanks Mike!

    Just curious, where do the synonyms come from? I am noticing a competitor name listed 3x in my client’s category.

  2. It’s a shame Google still hasn’t grown up in terms of it’s interpretation of child care terms… for a bunch of clever people it’s taking them far too long to get the difference between a babysitter and a childminder in the UK:
    Childminder – Anyone who looks after other people’s children in their own home for more than two hours at a time for payment or reward must, by law, be registered as a childminder. And anyone who looks after children from three or more families on any domestic premises for payment or reward must, by law, be registered as a childminder. Generally self-employed.
    Babysitters – Babysitters generally work in the child’s home and do not need to be registered, insured or trained.

  3. Mike,
    have you ever figured out how can we get Google to improve their list of categories.

    Just a sample:
    the German list of categories for lawyers is still ridiculous restricted to only three “sub-categories”:
    while at the same time in the US list there is reasonable the general category “lawyer” . I’m sure there are much more such discrepancies.

    1. @EHG
      There has been little willingness to listen to suggestions… perhaps if we could do a better job of crowdsourcing suggestions in one place, vetted them and advocated for them, it might help

  4. Hi here in Australia I have found that the accommodation listing category barely exists please. The variations of what is termed accommodation are manyfold. For instance I rent short stay but I rent self contained accommodation which is also known as self catering. This is different from BnB or hotel or serviced accommodation which is the only category I could find apart from holiday rentals which is just one sector of my custom-executive rentals being another. I only service the accommodation weekly rather than daily which is what is implied by the term ‘serviced accommodation’. Thanks for your work! Ruth Howard

  5. I can safely say that Google doesn’t give a crap about category suggestions. It’s their way or the highway. Although they’re created a specific tool on the MM Issue Tracker for crowdsourcing category suggestions (, it’s not often that they actually implement those suggestions: (Not that they spend much time listening to the users in general, much less updating the status of issues on the tracker.) One of my favorites is the lack of a Primary category (and the requisite symbol on Maps) for Trailhead. Yes, Trailhead, three years, nothing done: and I suppose they can’t really sell you trail gear while you’re at the trailhead (unless Amazon can delivery some trailmix via one of their drones), and most Googlers are probably only theoretically interested in walking/nature, so their understanding of this issue and their desire to fix it is pretty limited.

  6. I also have had problems with non-existent categories for what would seem very common business types in Australia. Automotive categories are ridiculously limited. No where can one describe a (vehicle) Fleet Management business and this is a huge business type worldwide. All Google provide are Car categories so I am forced to say this business is a Car Service or Car dealer which is misleading. Ironically the have “Car factory”, something that Australia will no longer have in the near future! Also “Car Sunroof Installation Service” and “Car upholster”, really, how many of these around now days? Anyway as Google does not take suggestions this comment is for the sake of personal frustration.

  7. I am trying to add my business on google business but I cannot find any relevant category to put it in. There seems to be no category for “Promotional Products Supplier”…..Please help!

  8. Hello;
    Here in the UK I have a recreational angling (fishing) centre that caters for Carp, Coarse and Trout Anglers alike. We also have self-catering holiday accommodation consisting of static-caravans (that overlook our 6 lakes) and holiday cottages. It is almost impossible to use Google’s categories to describe our UK business accurately and correctly.
    Things like Fishing Shop (which we are not)
    self-catering accommodation (which we have)
    The act or art of Fishing – impossible
    Fly-fishing – impossible
    Coarse-fishing – impossible
    Carp-Fishing – impossible
    Static-caravans – impossible
    Holiday-cottage – impossible
    Need I go on?
    As there are thousands of businesses like mine here in the UK, isn’t it about time that you considered talking to some of us to help us use Google’s services to best effect.
    There poor categories are doing us all an injustice. PLEASE, PLEASE do something about it SOON!!!!

  9. Bill

    I can’t fix or change Google. But I would point out that even though Google’s formal category structure is limited, they present local queries with local results in many, many topics beyond what their categories allow for.

    They do this by looking at your site, your reviews, user searches, categories at other sites and behaviors on other sites to show these types of results.

    So my suggestion to you is
    1 – be sure that you are categorized correctly at the sites that feed google
    2- Be sure that your website accurately portrays what you do and where you do in clear English with keyword rich links into the topic areas
    3- Get lots of reviews at popular review sites highlighting what you do.

    If you do that Google will understand it and show you in those areas where you think it should.

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