Home Forums All things Google+ Local Google Places for Business Dashboard & Bulk Upload Issues & Tactics Account suspended for multiple businesses at same address

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    Mike Blumenthal

    Well several thoughts…
    1- that some of the listings are not really forward facing (ie dealing with customer) locations

    2- the other being that for a listing at a location to be a department they need different entrance, phone number AND categories

    Mary Bowling

    Google considers the company website(s) to be the most authoritative document about the business on the web. When I look at the website, there is nothing to indicate that these are indeed separate businesses. It displays one point of contact via phone, address and email for all of the divisions/departments/brands.

    Google has a complex set of rules as to how businesses like this one should manage their presence on Google Places, which I’ve copied and pasted below. I think if you’ll read through them, you can spot some of the violations that Google is sensitive to.

    If I were in this position, I’d talk to first to the client to determine what they are willing and able to do as far as fulfilling Google’s requirements before coming up with a plan. For example, they may wish to maintain one point of contact for everything and if that’s the case, then a single Google Places listing for the parent company is probably going to have to suffice.

    If they want separate listings, you need to convince Google that they are deserved. First, check the rules to learn what is possible and how it must be done as far as listing different locations and departments. As Mike pointed out, some of your divisions do not receive customers at the location, so they are ineligible for their own listings.

    If they want to gain as many listings as they are eligible for, I’d start by putting the unique business names, phone numbers and addresses for each on the website page about them – in full schema encoding. I’d also try to make them more like a typical location landing page by adding an embedded Google Map, testimonials, staff photos,/bios, hours, methods of payment, directions, etc, etc.

    You will also have to create citations for each entity in order to reinforce trust in those businesses at those locations.

    A single page about each of your business sections may not enable them to compete in the rankings for things like hardware store or the long tail terms that are normally associated with that, like deck screws. So you may need to build out valuable, unique content for each, along with citations and links.

    I think you can qualify for more than one listing, but it’s going to take some planning and elbow grease. Actually getting those listings to rank is going to take even more effort.


    “Chains and brands
    Maintaining consistent names and categories across all of your business locations helps users quickly identify your business on Google Maps and search results.

    All locations must have the same name unless the business’s real world representation consistently varies from location to location. All locations must also have the same category if they provide the same service.

    Learn more
    Name consistency
    All business locations within the same country must have the same name for all locations. For example, all Home Depot locations should use the name “The Home Depot” rather than “Home Depot” or “The Home Depot at Springfield”.

    There are two exceptions to this policy:

    If you have multiple types of business–sub-brands, multiple departments, or various types of operations such as retail and wholesale–these distinct entities may also have a distinct name so long as it is consistently applied to all locations of that business.
    Acceptable name variations: “Walmart Supercenter” and “Walmart Express”; “Nordstrom” and “Nordstrom Rack”; “Gap” and “babyGap”
    If some of your locations consistently use a different name in the real world – on their storefront, website, stationery etc. – these locations can use this different name.
    Acceptable name variations: “Intercontinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco” and “Intercontinental New York Barclay”; “PFK” (for locations in Quebec) and “KFC” (for locations in the US and rest of Canada)
    Category consistency
    All locations of a business must share the one category that best represents the business. If you have multiple types of locations (e.g. sub-brands, multiple departments, or various types of operations such as retail, distribution center, and office), this rule only applies within each of these sub-groups.

    All “Gap Kids” have the category “Children’s Clothing Store”
    All “Goodyear Auto Service Center” have the category “Tire Shop”; they also all have the category “Auto Repair Shop”
    All “PetSmart” have the category “Pet Supply Store”; some locations may have other categories (“Pet Store”, “Dog Day Care Center”)
    Two or more brands at the same location
    If your business location combines two or more brands, do not combine the brand names into a single page. Instead, pick one brand’s name for the page. If the brands operate independently, you may use a separate page for each brand at this location.

    Not Acceptable: “KFC / Taco Bell” or “Dunkin’ Donuts / Baskin Robbins”
    Acceptable: “Taco Bell”, “KFC”, “Dunkin’ Donuts”, “Baskin Robbins”
    If your business sells another business brand’s product(s) or service(s), use only the name of the business, excluding the name of the brand being sold, which cannot have a page for this location.

    Not Acceptable: “Staples / UPS”, “America’s Tire / Firestone”
    Acceptable: “Staples”, “America’s Tire”
    However, if the business location is an authorized and fully dedicated seller of the branded product or service (sometimes known as a “franchisee”), you may use the underlying brand name when creating the page.

    Acceptable: “TCC Verizon Wireless Premium Retailer”, “U-Haul Neighborhood Dealer”

    Departments within other business, universities, or institutions
    Departments within businesses, universities, hospitals, and government institutions may have their own pages on Google.

    Learn more
    Publicly-facing departments that operate as distinct entities should have their own page. The exact name of each department must be different from that of the main business and that of other departments. Typically such departments have a separate customer entrance and should each have distinct categories. Their hours may sometimes differ from those of the main business.

    Acceptable (as distinct pages):
    “Walmart Vision Center”
    “Sears Auto Center”
    “Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Dermatology”
    Not acceptable (as distinct pages):
    The Apple products section of Best Buy
    The hot food bar inside Whole Foods Market
    For each department, the category that is the most representative of that department must be different from that of the main business and that of other departments.

    The main business “Wells Fargo” has the category “Bank” whereas the department “Wells Fargo Advisors” has the category “Financial Consultant”
    The main business “South Bay Toyota” has the category “Toyota Dealer” whereas the “South Bay Toyota Service & Parts” has the category “Auto Repair Shop” (plus the category “Auto Parts Store”)
    The main business “GetGo” has the category “Convenience Store” (plus the category “Sandwich Shop”) whereas the department “GetGo Fuel” has the category “Gas Station”, and the department “WetGo” has the category “Car Wash””


    Thanks for that awesome response, Mary!

    I should have pointed out that each business has its own website:
    Corporation: http://www.pbzinc.com/
    Lititz hardware store: http://www.paulbhardware.com/
    Belleville hardware store: http://www.paulbhardware.com/belleville/belleville.php
    PBZ LLC: http://www.pbzmfg.com/
    Keystone Koating (both locations’ contact info is on this page): http://www.keystonekoating.com/contact.php

    All locations get customer foot-traffic. And each address is using unique categories for each business (regardless of suite numbers).

    I’m wondering if Google is getting confused about the corporation listing.

    -Justin Mosebach

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by YDOP.
    Mary Bowling

    I’d still think about turning the pages on the corporate site into what I’d call local landing pages. They will help to serve as a citation for that location and may help Google to understand the relationships better.

    If this was my project, I think I’d try to tackle each business individually and once I got that squared away, move to the next one. You’ll probably have to set up a new Google account to do so. I imagine the hardware stores might be the easiest to “sell” Google on and are the most public facing of the businesses, so I’d probably start with those.

    Some of your sites, like the Wholesale one http://www.paulbwholesale.com/, don’t show a street address or map or really provide any reason for Google to believe that they interact with customers in person there. The very name wholesale is generally not thought of as a place that is open to the public.

    Also check over the sites for content that may be confusing anyone checking it. On http://www.pbzinc.com/companies/pbz.php for example, this is stated: PBZ LLC is the company’s metal manufacturing division . If that’s what the company considers it to be, then the way you list it on Google should support that.

    Keep us posted as to your plan and your progress, Justin. I run into a lot of bigger companies who are in similar situations. They take a while to sort out and normally that has to start with a plan that keeps everyone on track going down the same path.

    Mike Blumenthal

    Setting up a new account only works if you have confidence as to which listings were being punished. Reason being in Local, Google flags phone numbers and the stink of suspension will follow it.

    Also suspension implies that they see account wide abuse not just a single listing.

    So several questions:
    1- As divisions of a company do they have unique categories from each other?
    2- why is the corporate hq set with the address hidden?
    3- Do any of the phones despite being different ring to the same answering person/message?

    I think you should assume that Google isn’t confused and that they are in fact annoyed about something. You need to figure out exactly what that is and then request reinclusion.

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