Guidelines for Representing Your Business on Google

Google has come up with a list of guidelines for local businesses to maintain high quality information on Google. Following these guidelines helps avoid common problems, including changes to your information, or, in some cases, removal of your business information from Google.

For best results using Google My Business:

  • Represent your business as it’s consistently represented and recognized in the real world across signage, stationery, and other branding.
  • Make sure your address is accurate and precise.
  • Choose the fewest number of categories it takes to describe your overall core business.

Brands, organizations, artists, and other online-only businesses aren’t eligible for Google My Business listings.

Your Business Name

Your name should reflect your business’ real-world name, as used consistently on your storefront, website, stationery, and as known to customers. Accurately representing your business name helps customers find your business online.

Add additional details like address, business hours, and category in the other sections of your business information.

For example, if you were creating a listing for a 24 hour coffee shop in downtown San Francisco called Shelly’s Coffee, you would enter that business information as:

  • Business name: Shelly’s Coffee
  • Address: 3247 Poppy Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
  • Hours: Open 24 hours
  • Category: Coffee shop

Including unnecessary information in your business name is not permitted, and could result in your listing being suspended. Refer to the specific examples below to determine what you can and can’t include in your business name.

Address

Use a precise, accurate address to describe your business location. PO Boxes or mailboxes located at remote locations are not acceptable.

Website and phone

Provide a phone number that connects to your individual business location as directly as possible, and provide one website that represents your individual business location.

  • Use a local phone number instead of central, call center helpline number whenever possible.
  • Do not provide phone numbers or URLs that redirect or “refer” users to landing pages or phone numbers other than those of the actual business, including pages created on social media sites.
  • The phone number must be under the direct control of the business.

Business hours

Provide your regular customer-facing hours of operation. If applicable, you may use your current seasonal hours as your regular hours. You may also specify special hours for particular days, like holidays or special events.

Categories

Categories help your customers find accurate, specific results for services they’re interested in. In order to keep your business information accurate and live, make sure that you:

  • Use as few categories as possible to describe your overall core business from the provided list.
  • Choose categories that are as specific as possible, but representative of your main business.
  • Do not use categories solely as keywords or to describe attributes of your business.
  • Do not use categories that pertain to other businesses that are nearby or related, such as a business physically contained within your business or an entity that contains your business.

Finish reading these guidelines at Google Support.

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