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  1. #1
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    Does Suite number before street address cause problems?

    I wondered if anyone could lend some input on whether it would cause problems for the suite number to be displayed before the street address in a Google place page.

    On one of my client's listings, a Google rep moved the suite number before the street address instead of after the st. address.

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    Sandy, the Google rep stated...

    Hi Kristen,

    After looking further, we've determined that '#345 1234 Kirkwood Court Anytown, Ca'‎ is an appropriate way for your listing to be displayed.

    Our systems automatically format addresses this way, if we change your suite number after your street name, like you've requested, our systems will not be able to read your listing's data clearly and could cause possible data presentation issues in the future.

    Thanks for understanding and have a nice weekend!

    Cheers,

    Sandy M.
    The Google Local Team
    Last edited by Linda Buquet; 11-11-2012 at 02:48 PM. Reason: (Linda changed street # and city, state to make generic)

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  3. #2
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    Re: Does Suite number before street address cause problems?

    Oh dear....

    Is it OK if I move this thread to the public forum? (If you need me to I can change the address if you want to keep the client data private)

    I need our MapMaker experts to weigh in and they don't have access to the private forum since they aren't clients. But I REALLY want to get their input.

    In a nutshell in case you were unaware, MapMaker formats addresses with Suite 1st because that's how's it's done in the rest of the world. I guess the US is unique. So normally this problem only happened in the past if a MapMaker editor from overseas ended up working on your listing. If it happened we were normally able to get support to fix it.

    HOWEVER an address formatted like that in US LOOKS BROKEN AND WRONG to US customers PLUS I worry it would mess with citations.

    I've raised a big stink about this before and at one point Places and MM were going to try to standardize or compromise or something to make this right for all. I HOPE the reply you got from Sandy is not the new standard!

    After I get Gregg and Andrew to weigh in with anything new they might know, then I'm going to escalate this to Google again!
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  4. #3
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    Re: Does Suite number before street address cause problems?

    Absolutely, please feel free to move this to the public forum. I would love their input! Sounds like a mess. :-(

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    Re: Does Suite number before street address cause problems?

    OK, moved to public and made address generic in case you wanted to keep private.

    Gregg and Andrew are pretty good about checking in but maybe not on weekends. So hopefully they'll weigh in by tomorrow night. If not, please PM and remind me to follow up and I'll email and ask them to share their insights. (Wondering if something has changed and this is a new requirement or something.)
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  6. #5
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    Re: Does Suite number before street address cause problems?

    Actually just remembered this issue came up before with Colan. SAME support reply. See thread below.
    Suite # Address Format - A Google Employee Response

    Plus see post #3 in that thread for the MapMaker posts where I created the big stink about the issue.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  7. #6
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    Re: Does Suite number before street address cause problems?

    Thanks for the resources Linda. So basically, I should leave it as is? Did you see any drop offs in citations when this happened with your client?

  8. #7
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    Re: Does Suite number before street address cause problems?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristen View Post
    Thanks for the resources Linda. So basically, I should leave it as is?

    Did you see any drop offs in citations when this happened with your client?
    Well thing is if support REFUSES to change it, then there is nothing you can do. If it's right in dash and they won't change the live listing you are stuck.

    And no was not my client, it was Colan's. There is no way that I know of to see how many actual citations Google is really counting for a business. You can search Google as I taught you to see how many POTENTIAL citations are out there. But whether or not she'll count them, if suite is in wrong place is anyone's guess.

    Tomorrow hopefully Colan will weigh in too and we'll see how it affected his client.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

  9. #8
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    Re: Does Suite number before street address cause problems?

    Our client that I used in the example was having trouble ranking well before the address was switched to the format with the suite# displaying at the front of the address. It's really hard to say with any certainty how much the address format was contributing to the clients ranking issues.

    This particular client had some duplicate issues that were causing some problems as well.
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
    Connect on Google + and Twitter

  10. #9
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    Re: Does Suite number before street address cause problems?

    The answer you received back from support is correct. When data is stored on a database, each element should be stored in a separate field. The street number, street name, city, province/state, country, etc. are all stored in separate fields. That is how the various tools, including Map Maker, record them and how Maps can distinguish between them. It also makes sure that the data can be understood; for example, there would only be one South Main Street in the database and every property along it would be connected to that one road, rather than having addresses that have South Main Street, S. Main Street, S Main Street, South Main St, South Main St., S Main St., S. Main St., S Main St and S. Main St (plus every possible misspelling). The map is a computerized item, and it needs consistent data to work right.

    You can then take the information stored in the fields and custom display it for the region you are in. So it would be possible to display the suite in the standard US position; but at this point that functionality has not been added to Maps. Linda was correct to state that they currently are using the most common addressing format in the world.

    The problem is that Places does not follow the Maps convention, despite the fact that they are not a separate product, but rather are a subset of Maps. They allow a freehand address, and then just store it in the fields "Line 1" and "Line 2". There is no attempt at error checking it or validating it. Even worse, it seems to pass the address Maps as just a single field, and Maps usually cannot understand it. Your suite number will appear to be right because Maps will have a mangled address, with the most common one being the street is now Kirkwood Court #345‎. This means that Maps actually does not have any idea what street your listing is on, since there is no such street in the database, and is what leads to markers suddenly relocating or duplicate merges with listings that are on the other side of town. The issues can be even worse, I've often seen the entire freehanded address from Places all shoved into the Address Line field (which is where the suite number and nothing else belongs), and the the street, city, state, etc. are all blank. But even though Maps can't recognize the address, everything is still in the order it was entered into Places and so no one ever suspects.
    So it is not actually a good thing when you see your address entered the standard US way.

    Basically, in Map Maker there are specific fields for each element, and there are strict guidelines as to how they are used. If Places Support did not follow them, you can expect that a mapper (employee or volunteer) will come along later and correct the edit done by Places Support.

    Also, there is actually no way for them to put the name in as you wish. Places Support does the edits within Map Maker, and within Map Maker you have to fill in each field one by one, with everything after the building number being from drop down lists that just give you what is close to the marker. They would only get Kirkwood Court as an option, there would be no street named Kirkwood Court #345‎ in the dropdown list of choices.

    One thing you should know, USPS considers the suite in either position to be valid.

  11. #10
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    Re: Does Suite number before street address cause problems?

    Thanks SO much Gregg...

    Still leaves 2 problems and I wonder what your thoughts are.

    1) CITATIONS - We are in the business of helping folks rank and it's been drilled into us that Citations MUST be consistent across all platforms for them to potentially count. SO...

    A) Suite 1st is going to screw up all our existing citations

    B) We can't make any other citations match up because every single US yellow page and directory PUTS SUITE IN THE RIGHT PLACE FOR US BUSINESSES - WHICH IS AFTER STREET! (sorry to yell but this is just maddening to me!)

    C) PLUS Google often throws up a dupe when address formats are just slightly different. So I get if SHE changes the listing to suite 1st and then continues to see listings all over the net with suite last, bet she's going to throw a dupe!

    D) PLUS as we know even the slightest NAP change can cause lost reviews.

    2) CUSTOMERS - The address looks broken, stupid, backwards or like a typo to an average person in the US.

    I'm going to bring this up to Jade again and see if I can get any answers.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

    Don't Miss Important News & Tips! Subscribe to Daily Email Digest Here

    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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