Suite vs STE vs # In Your Citation Addresses

Mike Wilton

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Sep 24, 2012
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IMPORTANT UPDATE FROM LINDA: See critical Map Maker changes re suite formatting added by Andrew in post #20 below.

We all know that NAP consistency is key when it comes to local citations. However, we've noticed that many sites force you to use a certain format for suite numbers for a location. The question I have is, what impact, if any, would this have on NAP consistency? There seem to be two schools of thought on this where some seem to think that Google is smart enough to figure it out, other feel it could hurt you.

For example, Localeze forces STE, HealthGrades forces "Suite", Tupalo forces #, and Mapquest forces "Suite".

Thoughts? Feedback? Any insight you may have is appreciated.
 

Linda Buquet

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Have lots of opinions about this and have a significant part of training that covers this because it's important and complicated.

Late so can't go into it now but just wanted to mention the other issue besides citation issues, is that conflicting address formatting can contribute to dupe problems.

I've seen people say too that Google is pretty good at figuring out basic address variations. But what I always come back with is, we know she's not GREAT at figuring it out or we would not have dupes where the only diff is # vs Suite, etc.

But the whole address thing is tricky and there are a bunch of other suite issues that make this even more complicated.

Thanks for raising the issue Mike. I'm sure there will be a good discussion. So sorry but I'm in rush, will be gone a couple days.
 

Flash

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If anyone ever goes down the street of your client in Map Maker fixing all the listings up, they will spell it out in full. Nothing on the Maps database is abbreviated. When it is displayed, it is often abbreviated on the fly, but will be in full form on the database.

That said, they will also likely move it's position, as Places does not pass addresses to Maps properly. If you have a suite in the address, Maps will not understand your address or, as of more recently, it will alternatively drop the suite.
 
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Of these options, which should I be putting in the second address field in PLACES if a client has a suite?

Suite 200
Ste 200
#200
200

Travis


If anyone ever goes down the street of your client in Map Maker fixing all the listings up, they will spell it out in full. Nothing on the Maps database is abbreviated. When it is displayed, it is often abbreviated on the fly, but will be in full form on the database.

That said, they will also likely move it's position, as Places does not pass addresses to Maps properly. If you have a suite in the address, Maps will not understand your address or, as of more recently, it will alternatively drop the suite.
 
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Of these options, which should I be putting in the second address field in PLACES if a client has a suite?

Suite 200
Ste 200
#200
200

Travis
I'd use "Suite 200" or "200" as a backup. I'd never use #200 or Ste 200 as the latter is abbreviated and # is not a permitted symbol in the Address Line for Map Maker.
 

Linda Buquet

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If anyone ever goes down the street of your client in Map Maker fixing all the listings up, they will spell it out in full. Nothing on the Maps database is abbreviated. When it is displayed, it is often abbreviated on the fly, but will be in full form on the database.
Gregg said always spell out and that would be my recommendation. Suite 200.

In training I always tell folks that even though the majority of citations will often be in Ste format due to the fact that that's the way the USPS often abbreviates it, I don't believe Google likes that one. I've never seen her scrape a dupe or create a listing with Ste even if there were thousands of matches.
 
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Thanks guys! And I hope you all had a Merry Christmas. I was gone for a few days so I'm just now getting back into the swing of things. Looking forward to the new year!

Travis Van Slooten
 

Linda Buquet

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Hey Travis, Merry Christmas to you too.

I was out for my daughter's surgery then got sick for Christmas so I'm just starting to get back in the swing too.

You didn't miss much because luckily everyone else took time off too. :)
 

Mike Wilton

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Thanks to everyone for the feedback, you mention spelling out "Suite", but now Google seems to be displaying everything as # on the live listings. Do you foresee this being an issue?
 

Linda Buquet

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Hey Mike! Happy Holidays!

Here is what our 2 map experts said in posts above.

I'd use "Suite 200" or "200" as a backup. I'd never use #200 or Ste 200 as the latter is abbreviated and
# is not a permitted symbol in the Address Line for Map Maker
.
If anyone ever goes down the street of your client in Map Maker fixing all the listings up, they will spell it out in full. Nothing on the Maps database is abbreviated. When it is displayed, it is often abbreviated on the fly, but will be in full form on the database.
 

Mike Wilton

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Thanks Linda. I understood that, so maybe I wasn't clear in my question. What we have noticed is that since the introduction of Google+ Local, even if your dashboard says Suite 200 it now displays as #200 in the actual live listing. Just curious is this is the direction Google is going in terms of "preference".
 
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Thanks Linda. I understood that, so maybe I wasn't clear in my question. What we have noticed is that since the introduction of Google+ Local, even if your dashboard says Suite 200 it now displays as #200 in the actual live listing. Just curious is this is the direction Google is going in terms of "preference".
You shouldn't infer the output is what Google wants for input. Likely Google is standardizing output to just show "#200" to differentiate from the street number. # would not be an appropriate symbol for the address line given the Address Line help center article in GMM.

Also, Google outputs "N Rd." Instead of "North Road," inputting "N Rd." Just because Google outputs it would be unwise as Google wouldn't be able to differentiate between "North" and a street named "N."

Not exactly the same situation, but inputting based off what Google puts out is a mistake. I'd wait to see if the policy actually changes on using "#" in the Address Line.
 

Linda Buquet

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Mike the reason I re-quoted what both Andrew and Greg said is following but I was sick and didn't have the brain power to explain further a theory I have - and it's only a theory.

They both said she likes things spelled out (or in MM actually forces it) but then may display something diff.

So I'm thinking of it like cats and hidden addresses for SABs. She's READING what's actually in dash (Suite, all 5 cats or home address) even if the info is not fully showing live. Then like some other things she truncates or changes on the fly for display purpose, sometimes maybe even to fit better and shorten a long address - but it's really what's inside dash that counts.

At lease that's a THEORY of mine. Not saying it's true for sure, just a fairly new theory.
 

Flash

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It does not always happen, but I have had many a Google employee remove the "Suite" and say that since the blank is the place to put the suite number, that only the number should be entered.

It makes sense from a standardization point of view. After all, the choices are not:

Suite 200
Ste 200
#200
200



but rather:


Suite 200
Ste 200
#200
200
Unit 200
No. 200
Apt. 200
Apartment 200
Store 200
Office 200
Room 200
etc.


Also, I think the inclusion of "Suite" or "#" is to set the unit number off from the street name in the US system of putting it at the end of the line. Countries where it is put at the beginning of the line normally have nothing but the number in their standardized addresses. (That is, since it is in a weird place when you think logically; I think that was added as a hint as to what it represents).
 

djbaxter

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Fine Details: Optimize Your Suite Number In Google Maps

A Google Maps Help thread has one business owner asking how he should set up his suite number in his Google Business Local listing. He asked which format for his suite number should he use so Google recognizes it best. Formats include:

  • Suite #100
  • Ste. 100
  • #100
  • Suite #100

So which should he use?

The consensus in the thread is to use Suite 100 and not use a # (pound/number) sign.
 

Cleaner44

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Aug 31, 2012
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I have noticed that Google+ pages, meaning the pages built off of the Google+ personal profiles, are very particular. They prefer everything to be written out, such as Suite 200 or Street or South. I have noticed that the best results come from clicking on their suggested address format as opposed to leaving it typed by hand.

This of course matters most when it is a verified Google+ page that is merged to the Google Places/ Google+ Local page.
 
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I have noticed that Google+ pages, meaning the pages built off of the Google+ personal profiles, are very particular. They prefer everything to be written out, such as Suite 200 or Street or South. I have noticed that the best results come from clicking on their suggested address format as opposed to leaving it typed by hand.

This of course matters most when it is a verified Google+ page that is merged to the Google Places/ Google+ Local page.
Have you actually noticed G+L suggesting non-abbreviated names? I'd love to see this in the wild because this has not been the case in the recent past. I have always seen suggestions that abbreviate words when I've spelled them out when using Community Edits. If you see this could you take some screen shots and indicate the location in the world you saw it. (If it's only in Canada it is likely a test of a new UI tweak).
 
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I'd use "Suite 200" or "200" as a backup. I'd never use #200 or Ste 200 as the latter is abbreviated and # is not a permitted symbol in the Address Line for Map Maker.
My advice (quoted above) has changed as the MapMaker Help Center article Address was modified on January 11, 2013, The help center article now reads (emphasis added):

Address line said:
Use this attribute to enter the parts of the address that are not captured in the fields provided, such as the suite number, block name, building name, phase, shop number, or stage number.

Suite number can be added to the address line field using this format: #suite number, street number (example: #16, 10)
It now reads that the proper format is to use just the "#" symbol directly in front of the suite number.
 
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