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  1. #1
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    Custom service categories in places

    Is it a good or a bad idea to add service categories to you places page that aren't auto populated when you type in a word? I don't remember being able to do this before, but it seems to be an option now. I don't mean anything spammy just something like "plumber" when it auto populates "plumbing service" I would always use the top three auto populated categories for my business, but it seems I can add two more.

  2. #2
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    Re: Custom service categories in places

    It's fine to use all 5 including custom cats. Just be sure they comply with the "is not does" rule. Read the guidelines and it will explain what that means.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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  3. #3
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    Re: Custom service categories in places

    Categories that aren't auto-populated, AKA custom categories are certainly not a bad thing. As long as it isn't spammy and describes what your business IS and not what it DOES, you should be fine.(Do not include product names either)
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
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  4. #4
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    Re: Custom service categories in places

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Buquet View Post
    It's fine to use all 5 including custom cats. Just be sure they comply with the "is not does" rule. Read the guidelines and it will explain what that means.
    Appreciate the response! I ended up learning a couple of other little tweaks I needed to make based on the quality guidelines. I had read them before but had never read them while actively looking for something.

    My originally custom categories would not have been alright, but I added in a couple of different things.

  5. #5
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    Re: Custom service categories in places

    For anyone reading this in the future, not spammy and not repetitious is also important not only for how the algorithms rank you, but also because Maps editors, both employees and volunteers, will end up editing/removing any such categories.

  6. #6
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    Re: Custom service categories in places

    Great point Flash!

    When optimizing a business for Google Places, one has to not only think how Google will interpret the information, but also how Google employees and maps editors will view it.

    It's like trying to please two similar (both want end results to be relevant) but different (robot vs human) authorities. A fun game indeed
    Colan Nielsen l GMB Top Contributor
    Vice President, Local Search at Sterling Sky
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  7. #7
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    Re: Custom service categories in places

    You mean I can't use Plumber, Plumbers, Plumber Service, Plumbing Service, Plumbing Services?
    Scott L Smith: We've Got Your Customers
    We've Got Your Customers: When You Absolutely, Positively Have To Be Found!!

  8. #8
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    Re: Custom service categories in places

    Don't forget plumbing company and plumbing contractor.

    Yep some folks get carried away.

    One of the things I teach early on in my course is that you have to learn to think like Google. Learn what she likes so you can give her more of that AND what she hates and what trips her spam filters so you can avoid those things.
    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".

  9. #9
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    Re: Custom service categories in places

    Interesting stuff! I bet some of this lesson could be applied to on site optimization and also link building.

    does it provide a benefit in ranking to hit your main service with a couple of custom categories involving derivatives of the term? I have been kind of spread out picking up long tail keywords (which is helping, but would way rather rank in my primary SERPS)

  10. #10
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    Re: Custom service categories in places

    Hi WineCountryCarpetCleaning,

    If you're in the carpet cleaning business, there is a pre-set category which would be your obvious pick for your first category. That category would be:

    Carpet Cleaning Service

    ...according to Mike Blumenthal's category tool.

    Unless I'm missing a category, the rest of yours will, by nature, have to be custom categories that say what you are...not what you do.

    I would try to reverse engineer the scenario and see if there are other searches apart from 'carpet cleaning service' that are bringing up blended/local results and are not too nearly duplicating of your main category. Perhaps Steam Cleaning Service or something along those lines. There are a lot of ways in which you can figure out desirable custom categories. This is just one of them.
    Local Business Website Design, Professional Copywriting and Consulting at Solas Web Design!

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