I often tell folks in my Advanced Places Training that you need to read (or re-read) the guidelines, then read again with a fine tooth comb and play detective and try to read between the lines and find the deeper meaning.

Google does not clearly spell out "ALWAYS do this and NEVER do that" or it would just give the spammers a road map to follow.

PLUS you need to read the guidelines often, because things change and sometimes they are subtle changes. BUT trust me when I say, if she changes or adds to the guidelines you NEED to pay attention.

From my experience, if she adds a new rule to the guidelines she usually gives a couple months of leeway before she starts penalizing for it.

The exception being the HIDE YOUR ADDRESS rule for home-based, service area businesses. She gave no warnings at all initially and just immediately starting deleting listings in violation. She deleted THOUSANDS of small business listings. Some of those businesses have had their listings missing for over 2 months and still can't get them back.


So I can't stress enough, read, then read again OR regret it.

Google Places Quality Guidelines

I save a copy in Word so I have the exact content. Then if I suspect any changes I can go back and verify with my original. For instance, she just changed wording on the "Hide Your Ass" (I mean hide your address) rule.

I also have an alert set up so I know immediately when there are changes and will post them in this thread. But if they are major, I'll be blogging them as well.