If you are a local business and want to be found on Google Maps, you will want to make sure you are listed first of all. Along with that, you might also want to pay close attention to some new guidelines Google has issued regarding their goal to keep Google Maps a great source of information for users and business owners alike.
The items listed outline practices that could result in your business listings being permanently removed from Google Maps. And while they cover the most common practices to avoid, keep in mind that Google may also respond negatively to other practices not listed here. Basic idea is to not “spam” or try to take some kind of advantage that would be considered unethical.
New guidelines are as follows:
- Represent your business exactly as it appears in real life. The name on Google Maps should match the business name, as should the address, phone number and website.
- List information that provides as direct a path to the business as you can. Given the choice, you may want to list individual location phone numbers over a central phone line, official website pages rather than a directory page, and as exact of an address as you can.
- Only include listings for businesses that you represent.
- Don’t participate in any behavior with the intention or result of listing your business more times than it exists. Service area businesses, for example, should not create a listing for every town they service. Likewise, law firms or doctors should not create multiple listings to cover all of their specialties.
- Use the description and custom attribute fields to include additional information about your listing. This type of content should never appear in your business’s title or address fields.
If your business is not listed in Google Maps, what are you waiting for? You can do so at http://www.google.com/local/add. If you need to edit your listing(s) in order to comply with the new guidelines, use the “Edit” link found within your listing.