Important Updates to ‘Google My Business’ Guidelines

Recently, Google has made some important changes to the way certain types of business are listed on their ‘Google My Business’ product – which is worthy news for companies trying to optimise their presence for localised search queries and appear more prominently on Google Maps and the Google local map pack which appears in organic listings.

Google seems to be forever tinkering with its local business / maps related products which has, over the years, been much to the frustration of small to medium sized business trying to optimise their presence across organic local search results. Back in August 2016, Google removed the company descriptions feature from Google My Business listings, which we wrote about on our blog over here.

More recently, there has been an update made to the Google My Business guidelines which has been rolled out to clarify the correct usage of listings incorporating the addresses of virtual offices.

Google now insist that virtual office addresses must be staffed during the business opening hours listed on Google My Business, which is highlighted within the following.

The following information update has been added under the ‘Address’ heading:

“Service-area businesses—businesses that serve customers at their locations—should have one page for the central office or location and designate a service area from that point. Service-area businesses can't list a "virtual" office unless that office is staffed during business hours.

Some businesses, like pizzerias that have both restaurant seating and deliver pizza to customers, are hybrid service-area businesses. These businesses can show their storefront address and designate a service area in Google My Business. If you serve customers at your address and want to set a service area, your business location should be staffed by your team and able to receive customers during its stated hours.

Google will determine how best to display your business address based on your business information as well as information from other sources. Learn more about service-area businesses

Make Sure Your Business is Compliant with Google’s Updated Terms and Conditions

If you’re unsure about whether you’re listing your business and its service locations correctly on Google my Business, or you simply want to ensure that you’re getting the most out of a local search strategy, Contact our team today for any advice on the above.

Listing your business in such a way that breaches these updated terms could result in account suspension which would ultimately mean your business listings no longer appears in the local results or on Google Maps.

The Digital Marketing Team at Ascensor can help with creating and optimising Google My Business pages; including geo-locating imagery for maximum local search success and ensuring you’re on-page content is sufficiently set up to improve the relevance between your website and those locations in which wish to do increased levels of business! Our team also have extensive experience in setting up, optimising and managing updates across multi-location businesses which legitimately list multiple business in the most effective way possible.

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