Summary: Listings on Google My Business can only be created for businesses that either have a physical location that customers can visit, or that travel to visit customers where they are. Creating a successful listing that won’t be suspended requires avoiding prohibited content, accurately reflecting your business, and complying with the rest of the policies below.
We’ve come up with a list of guidelines for local businesses to maintain high quality information on Google. Following these guidelines helps avoid common problems, including changes to your information, or, in some cases, removal of your business information from Google.
For best results using Google My Business:
Represent your business as it’s consistently represented and recognized in the real world across signage, stationery, and other branding.
Make sure your address is accurate and precise.
Choose the fewest number of categories it takes to describe your overall core business.
Note: Brands, organizations, artists, and other online-only businesses should create a brand page instead of a Google My Business listing. Brand pages must follow the Google+ page content guidelines.
Learn more about the difference between brand and local pages
In order to qualify for a Google My Business listing, a business must make in-person contact with customers during its stated hours.
Exception: ATMs, video-rental kiosks, and express mail dropboxes are permitted. If you add these locations, you must include contact information for customers to get help.
The following businesses aren’t eligible for a business listing:
Businesses that are under construction or that have not yet opened to the public.
Rental or for-sale properties, such as vacation homes, model homes or vacant apartments. Sales or leasing offices, however, are eligible for verification.
An ongoing service, class, or meeting at a location that you don’t own or have the authority to represent.
Only business owners or authorized representatives may verify and manage their business information on Google My Business. If you wish to share management access to your listing with others, you can add a manager.
Additional guidelines for authorized representatives
Any individual or company that manages business information on Google My Business for a business that they don’t own is considered an authorized representative. Examples: a third-party SEO/SEM company; a friend of the business owner; an online ordering, scheduling, or booking provider; and an affiliate network provider.
Authorized representatives must:
Never claim a business listing without express consent from the business owner.
Never make false, misleading, or unrealistic claims.
Never use harassing, abusive, or untrustworthy tactics with potential or existing customers.
Always work directly with the business owner to complete verification. Learn more about verification
Always ensure that the business owner understands what Google My Business is and where Google My Business data is used. Authorized representatives should share the following resources with the business’s owner:
Google My Business: Be Found
About Google My Business
Edit your business information
How Google uses business information
Someone else verified my business
Always keep the business owner informed about which actions the authorized representative will take on the business listing.
Always follow Guidelines for representing your business on Google. Note that the phone number and website for a listing should always be the single, authoritative phone number and website for the business and be verifiable by the business owner. Website content must be owned and managed by the business owner.
Always respond to management access requests promptly, and always transfer listing ownership to the business owner immediately upon request. Authorized representatives must, whenever possible, encourage the business owner to create an account, own the listing, and add authorized representatives as managers. Learn more about transferring ownership
Failure to adhere to these policies may result in a suspension for the listing and/or account.
Your name should reflect your business’ real-world name, as used consistently on your storefront, website, stationery, and as known to customers. Accurately representing your business name helps customers find your business online.
Add additional details like address, business hours, and category in the other sections of your business information.
For example, if you were creating a listing for a 24 hour coffee shop in downtown San Francisco called Shelly’s Coffee, you would enter that business information as:
Business name: Shelly’s Coffee
Address: 3247 Poppy Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
Hours: Open 24 hours
Category: Coffee shop
Including unnecessary information in your business name is not permitted, and could result in your listing being suspended. Refer to the specific examples below to determine what you can and can’t include in your business name.
Use a precise, accurate address to describe your business location. PO Boxes or mailboxes located at remote locations are not acceptable.
Website and 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 central, call center helpline 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, including pages created on social media sites.
The phone number must be under the direct control of the business.
Provide your regular customer-facing hours of operation. If applicable, you may use your current seasonal hours as your regular hours. You may also specify special hours for particular days, like holidays or special events.
Categories help your customers find accurate, specific results for services they’re interested in. In order to keep your business information accurate and live, make sure that you:
Use as few categories as possible to describe your overall core business from the provided list.
Choose categories that are as specific as possible, but representative of your main business.
Do not use categories solely as keywords or to describe attributes of your business.
Do not use categories that pertain to other businesses that are nearby or related, such as a business physically contained within your business or an entity that contains your business.
There are two kinds of menus:
A menu for an eating and drinking establishment (like restaurants or cocktail bars) that lists the complete set of food and drink items that are available at the business.
A menu for a service business like a barber, spa, or car repair shop that lists the complete set of services that are available at the business.
Chains, departments, and individual practitioners
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.
Departments within other business, universities, or institutions
Departments within businesses, universities, hospitals, and government institutions may have their own listings on Google.
Individual practitioners (e.g. doctors, lawyers, real estate agents)
An individual practitioner is a public-facing professional, typically with his or her own customer base. Doctors, dentists, lawyers, financial planners, and insurance or real estate agents are all individual practitioners. Listings for practitioners may include title or degree certification (e.g. Dr., MD, JD, Esq., CFA).
An individual practitioner should create his or her own dedicated listing if:
He or she operates in a public-facing role. Support staff should not create their own listings.
He or she is directly contactable at the verified location during stated hours.
A practitioner should not have multiple listings to cover all of his or her specializations.
Other items of note
Fraudulent or illegal activities aren’t tolerated on Google and may result in account suspension and removal of business information from search results.
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.
Note: Google reserves the right to suspend access to Google My Business 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.