All Regus Offices Prohibited on Google+ Local? New Policy?

Linda Buquet

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Jun 28, 2012
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13,308
Regus offices have long been a slippery slope since Regus offices are often abused and used just to rank in cities a business is not really located in.

BUT but there are also thousands of legit businesses that have full-time walk-in offices at Regus too. I had one 30 years ago when I started a small company. And trust me when I say I sat and physically worked there 12 hours per day, like many other small business owners do.

Sharing a developing thread from the Google and your Business forum from a business owner that "says" support told him Regus offices are not allowed period, due to a new policy. He 'sounds' credible and says he spoke with the rep twice who told him the policy was non-negotiable. However we don't know the circumstances and it could be the OP was using a virtual office or he misunderstood something.

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I've escalated to Google to try to get confirmation or an official statement.

Cm 1960 said - Google Places - New Policy?

Re: Need Confirmation of Google Places New Policy Against The Use of All Regus location address (temporary office and virtual office service provider worldwide) to advertise for its subleased tenants and virtual office clients.
Hi - I've been informed by someone at Google Places that there is a new policy to disallow Regus business location businesses to advertise using Google Places. What it means is only Regus' address will be listed, no other businesses will be allowed to advertise that address.

If this policy is true, it will literally put thousands of Regus location business owners out of business who rely on Google as the #1 advertising to locate their service. I was told Google Places has chosen to view all Regus leased offices, (thousands of offices around the world) as virtual based and therefore is unwilling to provide advertising for them.

For instance, Regus has multiple locations in San Francisco that incorporate hundreds, if not thousands, of subleased space clients who use their business address as their own. What this new policy will mean is no one can be considered a real business by Google and there is no "gray area" to debate according

The Google Places rep, Travis, was spoken with twice about this and he says this new policy is non-negotiable, that it is a black and white issue.

I question if this is true why I didn't receive an email outlining the new policy and why Google is denying me advertising.

Please advise on this new policy being in effect. Thank you.

I replied:

It's been long known that virtual offices are not allowed and Regus offices are often abused just to rank in cities a business is not really located in.

But I was not aware an official policy had been made that was that black and white.

I do know many businesses really have official offices at Regus for cost sake and operate out of them full-time. It's the ones that are gaming the system and not really there that are a problem.

I'll escalate this post and ask Google to see if we can get official confirmation.
If this is correct and not misinformation from a rep OR misunderstanding by the OP, then seems like lots of babies will get thrown out with this bath water.

 
Joined
Aug 9, 2012
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393
Yikes. Yes, a LOT of babies would get thrown out. If this is indeed a new policy, my guess is that they'll reverse the policy once they get an uproar from the thousands of legit businesses using Regus.


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Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,558
Whoa.

Makes me glad I steer people away from Regus offices.

But I'm thinking this is all bark and no bite. Google's unlikely to go after just Regus without also going after the egregious mapspam.
 

Linda Buquet

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Jade did some double checking, then replied in the G forum post above.

"@cm1960, our policy regarding business location has not changed. Please read more here: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177?hl=en

In specific:

- Do not create a listing or place your pin marker at a location where the business does not physically exist. P.O. Boxes are not considered accurate physical locations.Your business location should be staffed during its stated hours.

- Exceptions to the above are self-serve businesses such as ATMs or video-rental kiosks. If adding these locations, you should include contact information for customers to get help.

How did you contact the Google Places team the two times you mention above?"


So it sounds like misinformation from the rep or misunderstanding by the SMB.

Virtual offices no - fully staffed walk-in location, yes, even if Regus. But just realize that if you are in certain industries that tend to be spammy AND are in a Regus office you have 2 black eyes and your listing will be under extra scrutiny and still could be misconstrued as spam.

How can Google tell that Plumber A in that Regus office is never there, really works from home, the next town over and is just gaming the system. But Plumber B in the same set of Regus suites really physically works there. His wife is there all day doing the books and answering the phone and clients come there to go over plans, get quotes and pay bills?
 

Linda Buquet

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Not sure if anyone is still following this Google thread...

But it totally went south and devolved into crazyland!

Partial comment to Flash

"Discrimination Complaint of Femaile (Minority) Owned Business - Lying about Alleged New Policies and Then Covering-up..." ...and on and on and on.

"Get your dick out of my business!" (This comment to Flash was removed)

Partial comment to Jade

"Since you posted I've experienced typical male jealousy and attempt to completely mind control me. There is male gang network activity at Google and mind control and power plays. I wanted to know if you would please take this ticket because it is clear nasty cyber stalking men who have nothing better to do with their time then sit all day behind a keyboard on this forum while trying and put roadblocks up for a female owned business is a problem here...

You're just like a cyberstalker sitting behind a keyboard ruling over your victims. I'm not a scam, I'm a real business with hundreds of network contacts and I've notarized the mayor of San Francisco as well.
Get a life, you're like the borg."


I really wanted to comment that sexual discrimination is in no way any part of this whatsoever.
With a user name like cm1960 I didn't even know this was a female business owner.

The only comments made were related to her office location and Place page set up.

But I stayed out of it because TCs are supposed to take the high road and are not supposed to feed the trolls. :eek: Feel like any attempt I made to try to calm her down or get the topic back on track, would just set her off more. See <a href="http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Nob-Hill-Notary-Cheryl-Merrill/San-Francisco-California-94109/Nob-Hill-Notary-Cheryl-Merrill-At-Your-Service-LDA-Cheryl-Meril-NOTARY-RIP-OFF-AND-FRAU-548802">Scary Ripoff Report</a> (Accused of cyberstalking, death threats and more.)

Really makes you happy though, when you go to bat for a small business owner and escalate their plight to Google management - then after you get Google involved, they turn out to be like this. :rolleyes:
 

Carl B

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
14
Fun and games i see, however this entire serviced office thing erks me.
I mean we live in a technology age, legit folks in serviced offices should not get slammed.
 

Linda Buquet

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I think Priya gave a nice level headed reply that hopefully calmed that thread down.

Carl I think Jade's reply implies that as long as it's a real office the owner actually works from during stated business hours it's OK.
 
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Thanks for the shout-out Linda.

I was a bit concerned that I might inflame the crazy but seeing how much effort the Top Contributors (and Flash!) put into the forum for that sort of a response, I felt I had to say something.
 

Linda Buquet

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Well your post worked because she didn't come back with a retort, which people that inflamed often do. :)
 

Linda Buquet

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She's ba-ack! OMG.

I was pretty sure she would be.

I sooooo want to try to explain to her this is not sexual discrimination in any way, shape or form and Flash does not even know Trevor and no one is discriminating against her due to gender. Possibly discriminating due to location and name change which could be seen as keyword stuffing. Maybe discriminating due to her attitude. But NOTHING to do with being a female small business owner!!!
 
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Just saw her two new posts! Walking away very carefully now so I don't say something to her that I might regret later.
 

Eric Rohrback

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Oct 3, 2012
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998
That's a pretty ridiculous thread. I've seen things like that pop up now and again in that forum... crazy that these people think they're going to get help when they act like that.
 

Eric Rohrback

Moderator
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Oct 3, 2012
Messages
998
So how can Google even check up on this? If they're going to allow it but only allow if it meets criteria X, Y, and Z, how will they verify that? I get that they're trying to be vague to allow for a wide variety of circumstances, but it's still pretty screwy.
 

foxxr

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Nov 30, 2012
Messages
13
Bringing life to this old thread, I have a situation with a client using Regus. They are listed at the same address (suite 200) along with multiple businesses. If I search for the address, about 10 companies come up.

I called support and spoke with a supervisor. He suggested to list as a Service Area Business since Google's policy is that only one business per Suite # can be listed.

I don't see how listing this client as a service area business will help if the address is still being shared with multiple businesses.

Any feedback would be appreciated.
 

Eric Rohrback

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Oct 3, 2012
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having the same address as other businesses exactly (including suite number) is a gigantic pain in the butt to manage. If your client is using a regus suite, then are they staffed during normal business hours every day? Why not use the home address and hide the location - set a service area - if your client actually works out of their house (mainly). It would make things a lot easier down the road
 

foxxr

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Nov 30, 2012
Messages
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Thanks for the advice Eric. This is an HR Consultant and using their home address might be a tough sell, even if we showed it as a service area. Still have the issue of other directories that don't offer the service area option.

They are talking about moving their location now that I brought up this issue. Let's hope that happens soon.
 

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