Google My Business Disables Select Categories for Service Area Businesses
Joy Hawkins

Several weeks ago, a thread came up on the Local Search Forum where Jim Frolling noticed a business had their primary category in Google My Business changed from “tire store” to “wheel shop”.  He noticed that this appeared to happen to every single listing on Google that did not have their address displayed publicly (known as service area business listings).

More threads started popping up about this topic on the Google My Business forum that were describing the same thing. On this thread, Helmut points out that he actually got an error message saying that the category was not available unless the business has a location that appears on Google Maps.

Today, we got confirmation from Google that this is working as intended and listings that are set up as service area businesses will not have access to certain categories.  They are doing this to help prevent spam on Google Maps which has been a huge ongoing battle for as long as Google My Business has existed.  Some of the categories we have seen that are no longer available to service area businesses include:

  • Auto dent removal service
    • This one will be accepting SABs at some point, likely later this year.  For now, use the category “auto painting”.
  • Auto glass shop
    • This one will be accepting SABs at some point, likely later this year.  For now, use the category “glass repair service”.
  • Auto repair shop
    • Google has suggested using the category “car repair”
  • Cremation service
    • This one will be accepting SABs at some point, likely later this year.  For now, use the category “Pet funeral services or ritual service”
  • Film and photograph library
    • Google has suggested using the category “photography”
  • Pilates studio
    • Google has suggested using the category “body shaping class”
  • RV repair shop
    • Google has suggested using the category “car repair”
  • Tire shop
    • Google has suggested using the category “wheel store”
  • Window tinting service
    • Google has suggested using the category “Auto window tinting service”