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    Setting up Multiple Physical and Service Based Locations from a Head Office

    Very happy to find this forum! Think I might hang around for a while, there's gold in them thar posts!

    I wonder can someone advise (or point me in the direction of decent doco for) best practice with a new client set up I'm managing? The business has multiple physical and service based locations plus a head office for which a local page isn't required.

    The locations are spread across the country, and for want of a better description are best looked upon as franchises. Some of the service businesses are nearby a physical location, but are a separate entity (albeit trading under the same company name.)

    Been trying to figure this one out from different angles for a little while now, don't want to step on any review triggers from the get-go, so any help is much appreciated!

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    Re: Setting up Multiple Physical and Service Based Locations from a Head Office

    Hey Dan, welcome to our world! Glad you found the gold in them thar posts!
    We have a couple good ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by danrippon View Post
    The locations are spread across the country, and for want of a better description are best looked upon as franchises. Some of the service businesses are nearby a physical location, but are a separate entity (albeit trading under the same company name.)
    Sorry but that's a little vague for me to give any advice. I can envision so many similar scenarios and yours may be the same or different.

    Can you get a little more specific about the general business category. And then especially the locations that "are nearby a physical location, but are a separate entity."

    Paint me a picture of one example location without giving away the company if you aren't comfortable sharing.

    Need to know how far away the SAB might be from the physical location. What type of location is the SAB? Home based or? Same name? Same or different phone #s? What's the relationship? For example one is like a store and one is a delivery service or whatever...

    As you may know there are a bunch of issues around SABs re guidelines, spam patterns G looks closely at and then there is also a possible concern about merging. PLUS the issue of whether G would see this nearby SAB with same name as separate enough to even qualify for a page. A lot of it is really gray, hence hard to guess in general terms without seeing and analyzing the actual situation.
    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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    Re: Setting up Multiple Physical and Service Based Locations from a Head Office

    Wow, thanks for the fast reply Linda - must have gotten the time differences in sync!

    Dang, and there I was thinking I was getting all descriptive... ah well.

    The company is a new national brand auto mechanic. There's one city in particular where they are more popular than others, and have a mix of locations that for example may consist of a workshop in one suburb, and an SAB two suburbs over, with the SAB being home-based.

    The businesses have different phone numbers, but trade under the same national brand.

    Hopefully that explains it a bit more? It certainly is a grey area!


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    Re: Setting up Multiple Physical and Service Based Locations from a Head Office

    Hi Dan,

    If you have 10 or more physical locations you can do a bulk upload to Google Plus Local. I strongly advise this if you fall into this category. The interface is much easier to use & once you verify the account, you can add more businesses on without having to go through the postcard or phone call verification option. Its a lot easier & saves a ton of time.

    I work in this interface everyday. Let me know if your going that route & I can help walk you through it. Best of luck.

    Jason

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    Re: Setting up Multiple Physical and Service Based Locations from a Head Office

    So you are saying drive in auto repair service with physical shops.
    Plus some separate locations that are mobile repair services that go out to customer?
    When you say different suburbs do you mean different cities, or different suburbs within same city?

    If same city is in the address, then I'd say maybe best not to try it because they would just compete with each other and both would likle not rank. Plus if in same city, then for sure I would not overlap any categories.

    The reason this is all a little dicey and gray is these parts of the guidelines.

    - Do not create a listing or place your pin marker at a location where the business does not physically exist.

    - Businesses that operate in a service area, as opposed to a single location, should not create a listing for every city they service.


    So for example one problem Google deals with, with service area businesses is let's say a plumber that is located in a main metro, but then sets up G+ L listings in different cities at his relatives and employees addresses. That's gaming the system and not allowed.

    I bring at up because even IF your situation was totally above board, the above example is the type of thing G fights all the time that makes it hard for legit cases to avoid scrutiny.

    In your case and again it's little hard without seeing the situations and investigating more, but there is a good chance Google will see the ABC Auto (that does mobile repair) as an extension of or service of ABC Auto the drive up repair shop in the same city OR next city over.

    I mean you can try it. But good chance if a mapper or Googler does a sweep of that industry or that city, they will either delete the SAB or merge the 2 locations.

    So IF the client is ONLY doing this as a ranking strategy and they would really not represent these additional locations in the brick and mortar world - I would advise against it. If this is a legit business set up, that does not really violate the guidelines, then I would still be upfront with client about the risk and let them know there is a chance some locations may be deleted or get merged.
    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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    Re: Setting up Multiple Physical and Service Based Locations from a Head Office

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    If you have 10 or more physical locations you can do a bulk upload to Google Plus Local. I strongly advise this if you fall into this category. The interface is much easier to use & once you verify the account, you can add more businesses on without having to go through the postcard or phone call verification option. Its a lot easier & saves a ton of time.

    I work in this interface everyday. Let me know if your going that route & I can help walk you through it. Best of luck.
    Thanks SO much for pointing that out and offering to help Jason. I don't work with bulk at all, so maybe we'll call you our Bulk Upload Expert!

    However I'm consulting for a consultant on a big complicated case right now and when we inquired Google Support told him bulk was not supported for service area businesses and some of Dan's locations will be SABs.

    Do you know if it's true that SABs can't do bulk? It seems like some big chains/franchises like big national Plumbing companies like Roto-Rooter would be using bulk, not doing each location manually???
    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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    Re: Setting up Multiple Physical and Service Based Locations from a Head Office

    Jason - Unfortunately I don't yet have 10 locations to upload, but I'm pretty sure there will be in the future. I can see how it would've made the job much easier though!

    Linda - Thank you again for your help, invaluable!

    Yes, the suburbs are in the same city so would indeed share that part of the address. I was starting to lean towards the idea of creating entries only for the physical locations - and your reply heads that way also.

    I'll speak to the company about making accommodations for the mobile services internally. As you point out, it's probably best not to chance it!

    Enjoy your weekend!

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