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  1. #1
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    Virtual Office Question/issues

    Hi, has google cracked down on virtual offices? a friend of mine tried to list his business with one of these services and google banned him saying that there is already a business listing for this address. The actual virtual office company has taken the listing. No other businesses can have this listing. Virtual offices are not really making this clear to their costumers that sign up, I guess google wants a biz to be legit these days Right?

    If an address is in a business plaza for example where there are other multiple business operating next door to each other such as a business complex, how does google tell the difference that this is its own address in the complex??

    What I mean is. what's the difference? these business get a little mail box just like a virtual office would. The business in the complex are essentially sharing the same building space but just a little office space is what separates them within the building.

    Why is this seen as legit for google???

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  3. #2
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    Re: Virtual Office Question/issues

    Is the space in a Regus building? Or one of the big-brand mailbox places like the UPS store or a similar one? It's been said here that Google an identify Regus locations and will not accept those.

  4. #3
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    Re: Virtual Office Question/issues

    Quote Originally Posted by seonerd View Post
    Hi, has google cracked down on virtual offices? a friend of mine tried to list his business with one of these services and google banned him saying that there is already a business listing for this address. The actual virtual office company has taken the listing. No other businesses can have this listing. Virtual offices are not really making this clear to their costumers that sign up,
    Hi seonerd,

    Google cracked down on virtual offices quite awhile ago, they are just getting better recently at policing it.

    Virtual offices don't make it clear because they probably don't know. Businesses usually have other business reasons for a virtual office besides just trying to game Google.

    Quote Originally Posted by seonerd View Post
    I guess google wants a biz to be legit these days Right?
    They always have. One of the main rules has always been: Do not set up a listing at a location where the business does not physically exist. The business owner does not sit there and work at the virtual office. Customers can not walk in to get service. It's just a mail drop and a general receptionist.

    Quote Originally Posted by seonerd View Post
    If an address is in a business plaza for example where there are other multiple business operating next door to each other such as a business complex, how does google tell the difference that this is its own address in the complex??

    What I mean is. what's the difference? these business get a little mail box just like a virtual office would. The business in the complex are essentially sharing the same building space but just a little office space is what separates them within the building.

    Why is this seen as legit for google???
    "What I mean is. what's the difference?"

    The difference is a real business that's really working at that location every day. Google wants a searcher that finds a business on the map and drives across town to actually be able to talk to the business or buy the service when they get there.

    The physical difference is that if I walk into a big medical building. There is a directory listing each independent business and their suite #. Each office has a separate door with their name on the door. And they are really there. I can walk in and get help instead of getting a shared receptionist that can only take a message.

    "Why is this seen as legit for google???"

    Legit businesses with a legit separate office that's staffed, get a listing.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

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  5. #4
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    Re: Virtual Office Question/issues

    To add on what Linda said, Google wants to create a positive user experience. How annoyed would you be if you found that business via maps, drove all the way to get help, but were disappointed to find a UPS store or a generic office suite (regus) with no one from the business actually there? Pretty annoyed right? That could mean the user leaves Google Maps and uses another search site to find a business (Yelp anyone?).

    Instead of losing that potential customer (ad customer for Google), they would rather tighten up the rules so their product doesn't create a bad experience and you keep coming back to them.

    If you don't staff the office full time with someone from your company that can help potential customers (or current customers), then you're better off using the real physical address (eg: your home).

    What kind of business does your friend have? I've seen this happen a lot with Lawyers trying to rank in cities they don't physically have an office in, or service area type businesses that are using them strictly to gain an advantage in a city's map results (spam). I'm interested to know what vertical we're talking about here, so maybe we can provide some alternatives to help.
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