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  1. #1
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    Exclamation GUIDELINE CHANGE - City or Keyword in Places Title Allowed Now

    HEADS UP! There has been a small, yet kinda major change to the Places for Business Guidelines.

    It used to be a violation of a sort of unwritten rule that you could not add city or a keyword to the business title of the Place page. It USED to be the biggest reason listings got suspended IMO.

    For some unknown reason Google has changed the quality guidelines to now allow business owners to add EITHER City or a single keyword descriptor to the listing (but not both.)

    Here is the update from Jade, then see more of my comments below. (Bold by me for emphasis.)

    Clarification of Places guidelines

    Just a heads up that today, we clarified our Google Places Quality Guidelines (https://support.google.com/places/answer/107528?hl=en).

    Business Name:

    - Your title should reflect your business’s real-world title.

    - In addition to your business’s real-world title, you may include a single descriptor that helps customers locate your business or understand what your business offers.

    - Marketing taglines, phone numbers, store codes, or URLs are not valid descriptors.

    - Examples of acceptable titles with descriptors (in italics for demonstration purposes) are “Starbucks Downtown” or “Joe’s Pizza Delivery”. Examples that would not be accepted would be “#1 Seattle Plumbing”, “Joe’s Pizza Best Delivery", or “Joe’s Pizza Restaurant Dallas”.
    (NOTE: Examples were edited later by Google and Linda updated 2/20 11 PM.)

    Some of us were sort of up in arms about this change and predict it will lead to even more keyword stuffing and spammy business names.

    The only reason I can see they would want to make this change is due to the fact that a lot of big chains and franchises do add city to the business name to differentiate locations.

    Additionally a little known map maker guideline I talked about previously said you could add a descriptor so this I think in part was to get the guidelines to be consistent across both products.

    But if it's allowed now, I say run out and do it! It will be a long time before the majority of other business owners (or even some consultants) catch on that it's now OK. So take advantage of this window of opportunity.

    HOWEVER, I'm wondering if changing the name in NAP would impact citations.


    Just remember you can only add city OR keyword and I don't think adding a long string of keywords would be allowed. A single one only. So for instance if the name is Alpine Services you could add Alpine Services Plumbing but not Alpine Services Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning.
    (That's my interpretation of what's allowed anyway.)

    What do you think? Anxious to hear the reactions.
    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".

  2. #2
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    Re: GUIDELINE CHANGE - City and Keyword in Places Title Allowed Now

    We must've posted at the same time.

    I can't believe they're actually doing this! I'm afraid of what spammers and the like will do.

    I must say that I'm still shocked. I may have to test it on a client or two.
    Scott Rawlins - Find Local Company in Atlanta GA
    Follow Me on G+

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    Re: GUIDELINE CHANGE - City or Keyword in Places Title Allowed Now

    Thanks Scott, yes I was still typing away so didn't see your other post.

    Yes, will be interesting to see.

    But in a way it will level the playing field. The spammers have been doing it and have not been getting slapped, so now the honest business owners can do it too!
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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

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    Re: GUIDELINE CHANGE - City or Keyword in Places Title Allowed Now

    Added a concern about citations to my original post. I thought it but forgot to add it in the original post, due to rushing to try to get the news out.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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

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    Re: GUIDELINE CHANGE - City or Keyword in Places Title Allowed Now

    Good point Linda!

    Was so stunned about the announcement, never thought of that scenario.
    Scott Rawlins - Find Local Company in Atlanta GA
    Follow Me on G+

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    Re: GUIDELINE CHANGE - City or Keyword in Places Title Allowed Now

    Lots of legitimate online marketing companies in my area have been using Geo indicators (south, downtown, west, city name) in their title pages anyway, and have had no issues.

    In regards to the citation effect, who knows. While having 'key' citations is important, I'm finding that they are having a diminishing effect, not necessarily like spammy back links, but I think it's moreso about overall website authority that helps clients rank and having appropriate categories listed in both your places / Google+ local page and directories.

    Having said that, I'd like to try it, but I'll wait for someone else to try this out on their own clients :P
    Andrew Forster | Online Marketing & Local SEO
    Adster Creative

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    Re: GUIDELINE CHANGE - City or Keyword in Places Title Allowed Now

    Maybe we should start referring to NAP as NCorDAP.

    Name, City or Descriptor, Address, Phone.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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

  8. #8
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    Re: GUIDELINE CHANGE - City or Keyword in Places Title Allowed Now

    What are your thoughts on what effects it could have of changing the business name in Google+ only.

    Would it be better to get the NAP identical across all the citation sites and then change the Google+ name?
    David White | The Client's Eye
    http://theclientseye.com

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    Re: GUIDELINE CHANGE - City or Keyword in Places Title Allowed Now

    Sorry David, running out door for Physical Therapy. LATE! Back around 7 PST will reply then.
    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".

  10. #10
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    Re: GUIDELINE CHANGE - City or Keyword in Places Title Allowed Now

    Very Very interesting. This could change my whole world. I work with several big brands with hundreds of locations. I had been using "Brand Name" on all the Google Local Listings. Now if I can use "Brand Name + Downtown + City" that could change everything.

    I am definitely intrigued but I'm not sure how changing all of my listings will affect NAP. I have worked really hard to get identical NAP all around the web and this would be basically un-dooing all that work. Is it worth it? Hmmm...

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