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  1. #1
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    Let's talk about... Listings for Insurance Agencies

    So I was thinking we could discuss the interesting listing situation of an insurance agent that is also a broker for a major insurance corporation.

    Let say the true business name is:
    John Doe Agency, Inc.

    Meanwhile John is also a sole broker for State Farm Insurance.

    Now I would assume that the business name should not reference State Farm as his company is not State Farm, it is more of a product that he carries.

    I often see listings like this:
    State Farm Agent - John Doe

    Does anyone have any insight to a sitaution like this?

  2. #2
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    Re: Let's talk about... Listings for Insurance Agencies

    Hi Cleaner44,

    Does John Doe have his own:

    Phone number
    Dedicated street address
    Website

    Or is he working out of a State Farm building using their address, phone and website? Important questions.
    Local Business Website Design, Professional Copywriting and Consulting at Solas Web Design!

  3. #3
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    Re: Let's talk about... Listings for Insurance Agencies

    Quote Originally Posted by MiriamEllis View Post
    Hi Cleaner44,

    Does John Doe have his own:

    Phone number
    Dedicated street address
    Website

    Or is he working out of a State Farm building using their address, phone and website? Important questions.
    Typically John has his own office as he is a business unto himself, so yes he has his own independant address and phone number. Sometimes I see them with an indepedant website and sometimes it is a subdomain page of the corporate site.

    For purposes of the discussion let's go with the idea that John Doe is not an employee of said insurance corporation, but rather has his own company name as an agent.

    For example, the State Farm website says this regarding agents:
    As an independent contractor, it's your business.
    Become a State FarmŽ Agent

    This same situation often appears with real estate agents too.

    I understand that agents want to leverage the brand name of the big corporate name, but is that in line with Google Guidelines?

  4. #4
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    Re: Let's talk about... Listings for Insurance Agencies

    This scenario has already been discussed at lengths. State Farm agents, along with other captive agents like Allstate, Geico, Farmers etc only sell for 1 company. Their business name on their business license includes the words State Farm. I already cleared it with Google that appropriate business titles for these agencies would include titles like:

    State Farm Insurance - John Doe
    State Farm Agent - John Doe
    State Farm - John Doe
    John Doe State Farm

    etc.

  5. #5
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    Re: Let's talk about... Listings for Insurance Agencies

    Here is the post Joy is referring to. If you deal with Insurance agents you NEED to read it.
    Warning it's long and KNARLY!

    Be advised that what Google management tells Joy and I can differ from what mappers and Googlers on the Map Maker side of the house think is correct. (As you'll see in that thread.) So I would think it through carefully and weigh it on all sides.

    So if the name is really "John Doe Agency, Inc." then that should be the name on the listing for sure.

    But if the name on the license and DBA is really "State Farm Insurance - John Doe" then as Joy said, Google told us it's OK. But that does not mean someone on the maps side of the house or even a bot, won't change it, thinking it's KW stuffed.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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  6. #6
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    Re: Let's talk about... Listings for Insurance Agencies

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Buquet View Post
    Here is the post Joy is referring to. If you deal with Insurance agents you NEED to read it.
    Warning it's long and KNARLY!

    Be advised that what Google management tells Joy and I can differ from what mappers and Googlers on the Map Maker side of the house think is correct. (As you'll see in that thread.) So I would think it through carefully and weigh it on all sides.

    So if the name is really "John Doe Agency, Inc." then that should be the name on the listing for sure.

    But if the name on the license and DBA is really "State Farm Insurance - John Doe" then as Joy said, Google told us it's OK. But that does not mean someone on the maps side of the house or even a bot, won't change it, thinking it's KW stuffed.
    Insurance in "State Farm Insurance" is a keyword stuffed term as the name of the business is State Farm. As McDonald's Hamburgers would have the KW stuff term of hamburgers in the business name.

    If John Doe Agency is running his business as his own business and that's how people know his business then he (according to the current rules) have one feature for his agency John Doe Agency Inc and one John Doe. However, if he's a State Farm agent then he likely is not operating his own business as himself and should appear as State Farm for the business and John Doe for his professional listing (or John Doe - State Farm).

    In the end it doesn't much matter what's on the license, per se. It matters how his business represented in the "real" world. If people know the business as John Does Agency Inc then that should be the primary name. But if it is just a branded State Farm storefront like most are then the business name should be State Farm, even if he incorporates a business under John Doe Agency Inc, as the Agency and State Farm would be duplicates.

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