Trying to bring satellite offices into compliance with guidelines


Todd McCall

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I have a personal injury client with listings for a handful of satellite offices in addition to their staffed primary offices.

Although some of them rank well in local, we know that these aren't compliant with Google's guidelines and want to avoid a disaster:

http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-local-important/26844-busted-warning-attorneys-regus-non-compliant-offices.html

The firm is thinking about staffing the ones that matter most in such a way that would hopefully be above board and focusing just on them.

They are willing to have someone there, perhaps full time, who would be 100% equipped to provide in person service. And they would be there and available during the normal stated business hours.

Below is my understanding of the guidelines we need to meet and how we're hoping to do so.

  • The office needs to be staffed during your normal stated business hours.
  • The office needs to have in-person contact with clients at that location.


Here is how Google states it in their guidelines:

"In order to qualify for a local Google+ page, a business must make in-person contact with customers during its stated hours."

"If your business rents a temporary, "virtual" office at a different address from your primary business, do not create a page for that location unless it is staffed during your normal business hours."

"Make sure that your page is created at your actual, real-world location."


Here is how we believe our staffing solution meets those two requirements.

  • We can state what hours the office is really staffed right on our Google+ listing. For example, 10 am - 3 pm Monday, Wednesday & Friday. We could even have office staffed full time.
  • We can say that we do provide services in person at the office when asked. We don't give out confidential info about exactly what volume of clients we serve, but, when potential clients come in, we're equipped to serve them.

Does this sound a sensible strategy?
 

Linda Buquet

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Re: trying to bring satellite offices into compliance with guidelines

Yes, that would make them compliant.

Just realize there is some risk because Google has no way of knowing they are staffed so still could be guilty of association or assumption.

So I would make sure you send other clear signals for a moderator to see.

On the location page of the site I'd put we are available to meet you personally at the following hours and maybe in the G+ description say we are available to meet with you personally at this location at the hours above. Something like that.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Re: trying to bring satellite offices into compliance with guidelines

I echo what Linda said 100%.

I would try and add some photos of the staff and the interior of the office for some added value and trust.
 

Todd McCall

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Re: trying to bring satellite offices into compliance with guidelines

Thanks for your input Linda & Colan.

Between your answers, poking around in the forum and working through Linda's excellent training course, I'm starting to feel like I halfway understand this.

I do have a follow up question that's closely related enough to add something to this thread for people with similar issues.

While the client will likely be staffing a couple of satellite offices, this will leave a handful of true virtual offices that I need to address. These are listings that have already been claimed, verified and spruced up a bit.

I know these listings need to go but am unclear on the best way to get rid of them. I think I've seen some advice that you should delete these from your dashboard and wait for them to show up again on their own before using Report a Problem.

When using Report a Problem for virtual or satellite offices, which option is more helpful: Permanently Closed or Doesn't Exist?

Is this the preferred route to contacting Google directly?
 

Linda Buquet

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Re: trying to bring satellite offices into compliance with guidelines

Hi Todd,

Will PM you the answer. :)
 

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