Update on Google Local Listings – Policy for Departments

With the return to its former policy, the guidelines for Google local listings are allowing businesses to include individual departments of larger businesses. Each department must have a unique phone number and “forward-facing presence,” which in Google language means that the location is not just a mail drop or an address of a business associate, but a real business office location.

Google Local ListingGoogle Local Listings

This update also creates a policy that has existed in the Google Local Listings, but not Google MapMaker, which allows professionals and firms with several offices or business locations to have a unique Google listing for each location. The guidelines specify that they only list the hours that the practitioner professional is actually present and “directly contactable” at a specific location. Individual practitioners must also be public-facing about their relationships to their parent organizations. Violation of these rules could result in Google Local Listings being rejected for non-compliance.

Eric Van Cleave is a Partner in Zenergy Works, A Santa Rosa, California Local SEO Services, Website Development and Online Marketing Firm.

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