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Small Business Success Tip: Don't get rejected by Google Places

Did you ever list your business on Google Places?  I talked about this in a business success blog article.  If not, then go do it this week.  If you did, will you be rejected?  Pay close attention to what Google has to say about how to list your business on Google Places:

Google Places Policies: Quality guidelines:

Business listings in Google Places must have correct information about physical, local businesses, as they appear in the real world. Google reserves the right to suspend access to Google Places or to other Google Services to individuals or businesses violating these guidelines.

Ownership
  • Only business owners or authorized representatives may verify their business listings on Google.
Business Name
  • Represent your business exactly as it appears in the offline world. The name on Google should match the business name, as should the address, phone number and website.
  • Do not attempt to manipulate search results by adding extraneous keywords or a description of your business into the business name.
  • Do not include phone numbers or URLs in the business name.
Physical Location
  • Do not create listings at locations where the business does not physically exist.
  • PO Boxes do not count as physical locations.
  • Do not create more than one listing for each business location, either in a single account or multiple accounts.
  • Businesses that operate in a service area as opposed to a single location should not create a listing for every city they service. Service area businesses should create one listing for the central office of the business only.
  • Businesses with special services, such as law firms and doctors, should not create multiple listings to cover all of their specialties.
  • The precise address for the business must be provided in place of broad city names or cross-streets.
  • A property for rent is not considered a place of business. Please create one listing for the central office that processes the rentals. If you'd like, you can add your real estate properties to Google Maps so that they are available on our Real Estate layer.
URL & Phone
  • Provide a phone number that connects to your individual business location as directly as possible. For example, you should provide an individual location phone number in place of a call center.
  • Provide one URL that best identifies your individual business location.
  • Do not provide phone numbers or URLs that redirect or 'refer' users to other landing pages or phone numbers other than those of the actual business.
Custom Attributes & Description
  • Use the description and custom attribute fields to include additional information about your listing. This type of content should never appear in your business's title, address or category fields.
  • Please see this page of Google Places User Guide for examples of acceptable custom attributes.
Best Practices
  • Use a shared, business email account, if multiple users will be updating your business listing.
  • If possible, use an email account with a domain that matches your business URL. For example, if your business website is www.giraffetoys.com, a matching email address would be you@giraffetoys.com.
For more information about Google Places, please visit the Google Places user guide.

Lately there are reports of people losing a listing on Google Places.  Think about it.  If Google wants to be as dependable as the post office, how many addresses do you think they will list?  How important will it be to have credible information?  

Think carefully how you will use this free listing service.  Also think about the people searching for you.  Accuracy is everything.  You also can't be all things to all people.  In the days of the phone book you would say "Auto Repair".  If you use the general terms, you may lose out.  It may be time to think about how you will dominate a certain sector in your local demographic.  Then when people Google a specific term, your business will pop up on Google Maps and Google Places.

If 70% of the people doing searches online are using Google and it is possible that  businesses can be found on the first page in the maps, then one of your best resources is the Google help and support pages.

Here is a list of places to bookmark.  Add them to your calendar for reading.  

What you do you say?  "Mike I just don't understand."  Are you willing and able to spend at least the same amount of time reviewing it as you would sports, boating, fishing or your favorite hobbies? 
 
Let me buddy up with you so that you won't be left behind.
 
I have a personal online marketing buddy system:  Contact me and sign up for personal support and we will spend an hour a week getting your business found by using low and no cost tools.  There is no commitment and you will go away with a better chance of getting found.  This is important for your business.   The first 30 minutes are free so you have nothing to lose.  
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