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Google Places Rules

Four Iron-Clad Rules You Can’t Break

There are two rules you do need to be aware of, up front.  Many businesses have had their Google Places listings removed for violation of these rules:

  1. You must have a physical mailing address
  2. You cannot list more than one business for your physical location
  3. Have outdated information. Be sure to delete any old information as well as adding new.
  4. Put in only the name of your business – no keywords, no location information. That used to be acceptable (or at least ignored) in Google Places, but now it’s an infraction. In fact, be careful not to stuff keywords or location into any part of your listing.

What does that translate to, in the real world?  Does it mean that if you are a house painter who works out of your house, you don’t qualify for a listing in Google Places because you don’t have a storefront. No.  Not at all.  You just need to enter the address where your business bills come to and your invoices ship out from.  If that’s your home – that qualifies. But, be sure it is a physical location and not a PO Box. I recommend to my customers that they use a local Mail Box store like UPS or PakMail. These stores allow you to have a physical location and suite # rather than a PO Box.

But you don’t want people arriving at your front door…  No problem.  Simply specify your service areas (and hide your “business address” after doing this, if you like).

And what exactly does Google mean about listing more than one business for your physical location?

Say you run two businesses – Monica’s House of Hair and Wigs R Us, both out of your storefront at 123 Elm Street… Google Places absolutely will not allow you to create a separate business listing for Monica’s House of Hair and another one for Wigs R Us.

The key is the physical mailing address you enter:  If more than one business operates out of it – pick your primary business and list that.

More on Google Places Best Practices.

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