Phone extension number for Google Plus and other directories

Martin Briggs

Nov 12, 2015
Hi everyone,

I've been lurking around here for a while and, usually, I find all the answers I need from you guys. But here's one I couldn't find an answer to.

One doctor client has a separate Google+ page to that of the medical practice. It's titled with just the practitioner's name and different suite numbers differentiate the addresses but they use the same phone number.

To make the pages more distinguishable, Phil Rozek gave some great advice for this scenario by using separate categories (if possible) and pointing the URL to the practitioner's profile page rather than the practice's homepage.

Is this enough or is a unique phone number necessary? And how about a phone extension? I've only found a couple of pieces of info on this.

According to a comment on a great post by Mary Bowling, using phone extensions is okay with Google (although he may just be talking about verifying a page with Google?).

Then in this very forum, Chris McCreery had spoken with a rep at Google who suggested putting an extension number in the second line of the address field (which seems odd).

So, is Google okay with using an extension number? And even if Google gives it the green light, what about other directories? In other words, is an extension number a smart way to go about citation building?


Linda Buquet

Jun 28, 2012
Hi Martin,

I came up with a strategy several years ago for "minimizing" practitioner listings. (I'm sure you've seen the post below but wanted to make sure.) Sounds like Phil was recommending some of those same steps.

All the consultants that have tried it tell me it works well. And I showed it to Google and they agreed the strategy makes sense.

Basically you MINIMIZE the Dr listings.

<a href="">Overcoming Google Practitioner Duplicate Listing Problems for Dentists, Attorneys</a>

However there is a little known exception to be aware of. If it’s a sole practitioner who owns the practice and plans to stay solo – you can contact Google phone support and they will merge the two.

I'm not sure about using phone extensions and that was bad advice from Google. You are not supposed to add anything extra in the address field.

Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Jul 26, 2012

That differentiation strategy is Linda's. I can't take credit for it :)

I would not say a unique phone number is necessary.

Martin Briggs

Nov 12, 2015
Thanks Linda and Phil for your input!

Seems I have some questions to ask of the client.

Now that I finally bothered to create an account here, I'll try and be more active!

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