The latest change to Google Places was announced last week, and the update is sparking some consternation. Could this latest update to Google’s quality guidelines open the door to spam?
The update was made to clarify how attorneys and other business owners may name their businesses within Google Places. Before this change, Google strictly enforced a “legal business name only” policy. Now, the service will allow the legal business name to reside alongside a one-word descriptor. That single descriptor may be added via the Places dashboard for existing firms and business. The addition is intended to help people locate the firm or describe what the business offers.
Consider a firm with the legal name “Zonga Hardling, LLP.” Google now allows the firm to add a single-word descriptor to help potential clients to find the office or understand what it offers. Now, that listing could read, “Zonga Hardling Attorneys, LLP.” The revision of guidelines does not consider store codes, URLs, marketing taglines, keyphrases or phone numbers to be valid descriptors.
Google has offered examples of acceptable titles to demonstrate the modifications. Its descriptors are: “Starbucks Downtown” or “Joe’s Pizza Restaurant”. In turn, Google’s examples of unacceptable titles are: “#1 Seattle Plumbing”, “Joe’s Pizza Best Delivery” or “Joe’s Pizza Restaurant Dallas”.
Business Name: Zonga Hardling, LLP
Permitted: Zonga Hardling, LLP: Attorneys
Not Permitted: Zonga Hardling, LLP: Injury Attorneys of Dallas
Unfortunately, these examples may cause confusion, particularly for businesses with established names like “Joe’s Dallas Pizza Restaurant” or “Zonga Hardling Attorneys of Dallas”. Check back with us for resolutions and developments on these specifications.
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