GMB category named "POI Establishment" - what is that?

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,557
My theory is it's a weird catch-all category. Something applied to listings Google isn't yet sure how to categorize, perhaps based on sparse third-party data, or on citation/aggregator categories that don't match up with GMB's list of categories.

Type in "POI establishment near me," and look at the map and you'll probably see what I mean. My guess is you'll see a combination of (1) hard-to-categorize businesses with unclaimed GMB pages, and (2) unclaimed GMB pages with basic info (e.g. phone #) missing.

All or nearly all of the "POI Establishment" listings I've run across are unclaimed, and many seem new.

I'm not sure why Google would add the "POI Establishment" category to a claimed listing, though my hunch still is that it's just a catch-all category added when Google "thinks" you need another category on your listing, but isn't sure which category to add. (@Tim Colling, that's where I would have been interested to hear about those troubleshooting questions.)

Again, just a theory.
 

Steven12

Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
61
My clients have experienced the same results. I have only researched this for about an hour, but I am of the opinion that these POI's are to be used in designing smart cities. They are necessary for advanced mapping, much like Plus Codes, and Google has chosen businesses that appear to be trustworthy & stable. Either that or Street View finally got around to taking pictures of the business and they matched your pictures. lol Read Wikipedia and follow the links. I am of the belief that it is helpful to be considered a POI, especially in the future.

Point of interest (POI) or POI Mapping is referred to data set that is quick, easy and accurate way to populate the mapping project with important places of feature/buildings/ landmarks. POI data supports a range of application including digital mapping enhanced routing products and validation of databases. POI also known as feature of interest data supports a range of application including digital mapping, enhanced routing products and validation of private databases. POI mapping is very useful and efficient in digital map creation because it gives detail route information with picture of target site. It acts as a tool in navigation system.

Sounds like it was written by a bot...
 

Steven12

Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Messages
61
Hey Phil,
That is very weird. I live in Gastonia, NC (Near Charlotte) and 100% of the POI's came up "Claim this business." Even the Chamber of Commerce was unlisted, but came up. Here's a money maker: "Act Now, Your Business has been Chosen by Google as a "Point of Interest", yet your GMB listing remains unclaimed. Hurry, this is Important..." lol
 

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Joined
Jul 26, 2012
Messages
1,557
@Steven12, interesting. Seems to show up for claimed and unclaimed listings alike.

Many of the listings in my GMB account have "POI Establishment," especially (1) older listings and (2) listings in the legal and medical fields. I do see that weird category to a lesser extent for newer businesses (with even-cleaner citations) and for businesses in other categories and oddball categories. Still, there seems to be a little pattern.
 

stankolev

Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Messages
50
I think the "Point of interest" (which is set to uncategorized listings and is something like failsafe) is different from the current bug because POI Establishment is GMB Category with GCID: establishment_poi
 

BenFisher

Local Search Expert
Joined
Nov 19, 2015
Messages
299
I am seeing this on 90% of GMB profiles. I noticed that even though this is a category update, that in list view there is no indication that an update is awaiting approval.

Interestingly, I do not see it on any rehabs? Anyone else seeing it on a rehab (or restricted category) profile?

I am with Jason here, this is an unintentional mistake (at least for us to be able to see the data). Kinda like how we say category deprecated a few months ago.
 

BisnarChase

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
19
Did any of you notice that Google added a POI to your categories? I noticed today when I was in there and after a quick search, saw that Rusty Brick had just written on it yesterday. They're not sure yet what it means but some are assuming its a Point of Interest" category because you've had enough Maps and image views that Google has deemed it a POI. Interestingly, I would assume parks, libraries, amusement parks etc to be a POI but I didn't think a local law firm. Leaving it for now until I learn more.

 

SaraGarrison

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
3
I'm noticing a possible pattern here. Is Google rolling out an update in GMB that separates out the primary and additional categories in the main Info tab view (before clicking to edit)? For the listings I've checked in my account that don't have those separated out yet, I'm not seeing the POI Establishment category. For the listings that do have the primary and additional broken out in the main Info tab view, I'm seeing POI category appended. May be a botched roll-out.

Categories listed together, no POI Establishment:


Separated, POI Establishment:
 

freerunr

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2013
Messages
75
Might be onto something, @SaraGarrison. I just checked several of ours and the logic follows yours. The "Primary category" vs. "Additional Categories" labels before clicking into them to edit are indeed new-ish, aren't they? It's such a minor change that I don't recall when I first saw them.
 

SaraGarrison

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
3
I'm not sure when the change started @freerunr. However, I took multiple screenshots of that example photographer listing in GMB on 4/16 and the categories weren't broken out yet on the Info tab like they are now.

Screenshot from 4/16:
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2018
Messages
79
That makes a lot of sense if that is the case. My question would be what about the ones who only had 1 category and no additional categories? We have a good-sized handful of clients who only have a primary category, and the POI Establishment was tacked on as their only additional category.
 

Zhivko

Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
Messages
51
I also have this for two dentist listings in Bulgaria. A bit surprising, because it usually takes some time for changes to reach this end of the world.

The "POI" is in the "additional categories" section.
 

AndySimpson

Local Search Expert
Joined
Apr 6, 2016
Messages
174
We're leaving as it is until we know more.

Interestingly, I tried manually adding "POI Establishment" to some of the other listings we have that didn't get it automatically added, and you can't manually add it. It simply doesn't show up as an option for a category when I try. That makes me wonder if there's some hidden benefit, even if it's very minor, to having it added on since it's something Google attaches to the listing themselves.

Curious to hear what Joy finds out.
Thanks Cordell, I plowed through and removed all ours but I do have slightly less than you to deal with.
 
Last edited:

Jon Rothemich

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2019
Messages
2
Thanks Cordell, I plowed through and removed all ours but I do have slightly less than you to deal with. We know how unnecessary / irrelevant categories can effect your local listing.
Cool, I'm also going to remove ours. I'm tired of looking at it.
 

JoyHawkins

Administrator
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
Messages
2,999
Hey All,

I heard back from Google on this and they confirmed that POI Establishment is not actually a valid category which is why you can't select it. In the meantime, feel free to select a different category (valid one) from the drop down or simply delete this one.

Personally, I'm just leaving it. Google will roll out a fix for it at some point and in my opinion, it's a waste of time to manually go in and update tons of listings since it doesn't accomplish anything.
 

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