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Google Updates Local Listing Guidelines

Posted on 2.18.2013

Google has updated its local business listing guidelines to include support for individual departments within hospitals, universities, local governments and, of course, businesses; that is, as long as each department has a unique phone number and “forward-facing presence.” This means that, for instance, a large clothing store’s Men’s Department can now be listed on Google separately from the rest of the store.

Some readers may remember that this “new” policy is actually a return to an original Google policy that changed around a year ago, and it should open up many opportunities for multi-department businesses.

In addition, this update will formalize a policy that has existed in Google Places, but not MapMaker, that officially allows practitioners with several offices/locations to have a unique listing for each one; however, they’re only listed for the hours that the practitioner is actually present and “directly contactable” at a specific location. Individual practitioners must also be public-facing about their relationships to their parent organizations. If these rules aren’t followed, the listing(s) could be rejected for non-compliance.


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