Seasonal Businesses in G+Local: Suggestions Welcome!


BCLocal

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So I manage a few locations for a very seasonal business (holiday lighting) and I'm debating whether to put them in Google+ Local or not. They are all home-based, service only businesses.

But, a lot of the business owners have other business ventures tied to the same address.

My fear is Google will merge any other businesses at that address with this seasonal one, creating the merged listing from home-based business Hell! But, if I do create a listing I'll have to adhere to Goog's quality guidelines and hide the address anyways.

What do you all think? Is there value in adding them to Google+Local?

Most of my efforts are focused towards the SEO of their websites, but I'm entertaining the idea of expanding to Google+Local (if the cons don't out weigh the pros of course ;)

Look forward to your suggestions!

Brandon
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Brandon,

Technically in the purest sense one listing per location. (exceptions in some cases like Drs and lawyers.)

But with these small home business that have multiple business Google really frowns on it usually. But it's a little gray.

So one example that maybe would fly it was totally diff business, different phone #s. Example: the husband owns a landscaping business, the wife a secretarial service. He answers his phone. She answers hers. Totally unrelated cats. (No guarantee that one will even fly.)

What would not fly is like a web design company, graphic design company and photograpy biz. 3 listings but all really owned by the same guy, same phone, he answers no matter which business you call and he provides all the services.

I've seen Joel comment on sitations like the above.

But above I'm talking more IF it's allowed which is iffy. Then the other part is will they merge. If same phone and similar industries likely. Even if not - maybe.

Additionally I don't believe Google really wants part time or seasonal businesses that aren't open year round - even if address hidden.

All of the above apply too even if address hidden. Because it's only hidden on live display, the algo still knows the address in dash.

So in nutshell if I was me I sure wouldn't bother with it especially for such a short season. I'd just go organic.

Anyone else have thoughts or experience with this?
 
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This is so strange...I could have sworn the Google Places Guidelines specifically prohibited the inclusion of seasonal businesses in Places, but nope, I can't find that anywhere in reading them over. Where did that go???

However, our own Nyagoslav Zhekov wrote about the Map Maker Guidelines a few months ago here: Google+ Local vs. Map Maker. Is Your Business Eligible? | Local Search Marketing Blog by NGS

He writes:

According to the Map Maker guide ?seasonal businesses without a permanent, recurring location?, ?temporary, one-time events?, ?meeting places? are prohibited from being listed on Google Maps. However, the following types of businesses are permitted: ?farmer?s markets?, ?recurring performances?.

I don't have this guide bookmarked and couldn't surface it by searching for it, but I thought the old Places Guidelines had something like this in them.

So, Brandon, while the business you're referencing is seasonal, it does sound like it has a permanent location...but, like you, I'd be worried by too many businesses within the same building.
 

BCLocal

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So I've been doing some sleuthing and found that quite a few permanent locations just optimize their existing listing to cover this super seasonal type of business.

For instance-


A sprinkler store that installs holiday lighting!? So I think this is the route I'm going to take as most of the locations I am dealing with have a separate permanent listing for another industry. If a sprinkler store can rank locally my locations should be able to as well. Right?
 

Linda Buquet

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Yes I think that's the best strategy. Especially if their other business is one that Google could see as somewhat related, like the lawn care listing.
 

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