Google Places brings users and their local businesses together, both online and in the real world. To best serve our end users (and your potential customers), we’ve come up with a list of guidelines for your Google Places account and listings.
Your Google Places Account
Ownership: Only business owners or authorized representatives may verify their business listings on Google Places.
Account Email Address: Use a shared business email account, if multiple users will be updating your business listing. If possible, use an email account under your business domain. For example, if your business website is www.google.com, a matching email address would be firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Business Listing
- Your title should reflect your business’s real-world title.
- In addition to your business’s real-world title, you may include a single descriptor that helps customers locate your business or understand what your business offers.
- Marketing taglines, phone numbers, store codes, or URLs are not valid descriptors.
- Examples of acceptable titles with descriptors (in italics for demonstration purposes) are “Starbucks Downtown” or “Joe’s Pizza Restaurant”. Examples that would not be accepted would be “#1 Seattle Plumbing”, “Joe’s Pizza Best Delivery” or “Joe’s Pizza Restaurant Dallas”.
Business Location: Use a precise, accurate address to describe your business location.
- Do not create a listing or place your pin marker at a location where the business does not physically exist. P.O. Boxes are not considered accurate physical locations.Your business location should be staffed during its stated hours.
- Exceptions to the above are self-serve businesses such as ATMs or video-rental kiosks. If adding these locations, you should include contact information for customers to get help.
- If you need to specify a mail box or suite number within your physical location, please list your physical address in Address Line 1, and put your mail box or suite number in Address Line 2.
- Use the precise address for the business in place of broad city names or cross-streets.
- Do not create more than one listing for each business location, either in a single account or multiple accounts.
Individual practitioners may be listed individually as long as those practitioners are public-facing within their parent organization. Common examples of such practitioners are doctors, dentists, lawyers, and real estate agents. The practitioner should be directly contactable at the verified location during stated hours. A practitioner should not have multiple listings to cover all of his or her specializations.
Departments within businesses, universities, hospitals, and government buildings may be listed separately. These departments must be publicly distinct as entities or groups within their parent organization, and ideally will have separate phone numbers and/or customer entrances.
- Businesses that operate in a service area should create one listing for the central office or location and designate service areas. If you wish to display your complete business address while setting your service area(s), your business location should be staffed and able to receive customers during its stated hours. Google will determine how best to display your business address based on your inputs as well as inputs from other sources.
- If you don’t conduct face-to-face business at your location, you must select “Yes, this business serves customers at their locations” under the “Service Areas and Location Settings” section of your dashboard, and then select the “Do not show my business address on my Maps listing” option.
- Do not include information in address lines that does not pertain to your business’s physical location (e.g. URLs, keywords).
- Anytime the address for your business changes, you’ll have to verify again. You also won’t be able to update the business’s name until the verification process is complete.
Website & Phone: Provide a phone number that connects to your individual business location as directly as possible, and provide one website that represents your individual business location.
- Use a local phone number instead of a call center number whenever possible.
- Do not provide phone numbers or URLs that redirect or “refer” users to landing pages or phone numbers other than those of the actual business.
Categories: Select at least one category from the list of available categories.
- Categories should depict what your business is (e.g. Hospital), not what it does (e.g. Vaccinations) or products it sells (e.g. Sony products or printer paper). This information can be added in your description.
Other Items of Note
Illegal activities: Fraudulent or illegal activities aren’t tolerated on Google and may result in account suspension and removal of listing information from search results.
Ineligible Business Models
- Only businesses that make in-person contact with customers qualify for a Google Places listing.
- Businesses that are under construction or that have not yet opened to the public are not eligible for a listing on Google Places.
- Rental or for-sale properties, such as vacation homes or vacant apartments, are not eligible to be listed on Google Maps and should not be verified. Instead, verify the listing for your sales or leasing office or offices. If you have a property with an on-site office, you may verify that office location.
- You can’t create Places listings for stores which you do not own, but which stock your products.
- You also can’t create a Places listing for an ongoing service, class, or meeting at a location that you don’t own or have the authority to represent. Please coordinate with your host to have your information displayed on their Place Page within their Description field.
Marketing, promotions, or other contests
- Any promotion, marketing, contests, or other giveaways should clearly link to the terms of the activity and provide clear guidelines and qualifications. All such promises, given or implied, should be adhered to.
Disclaimer: Google reserves the right to suspend access to Google Places or other Google Services to individuals or businesses that violate these guidelines, and may work with law enforcement in the event that the violation is unlawful.