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Google Maps Revamps Quality Guidelines For Local Pages

By Author: Mike Warwick
Total Articles: 5

As of December 1, 2014, Google rolled out an entirely new set of Google Maps quality guidelines for local pages. According to a forum post made by Jade Wang of Google, an updated version of the guidelines was dispersed in order to promote improvement of the Google Maps experience for end users.

Because the Google team released an entirely new set of guidelines, the old and new versions are vastly different. While most of the guidelines saw significant changes, there were many primary changes that were immediately noticeable:
1. Descriptors are no longer permissible. Essentially, anything other than the business's real world name cannot be used in the "company name" line. For example, "Mike's Designs Graphic Design Agency" would need to be truncated to simply, "Mike's Designs."
2. Categories must be quite specific. Google wants businesses to use very little categories when categorizing; and they now require that categories are as specific as possible. As you would assume, this will help users get a more refined set of search results when searching for a particular type of business.
3. Locations that have more than one brand must pick a single name. In order to create a simpler, less confusing experience for users, Google now requires consolidation of multi-brand locations into one name. For example, businesses that operate under larger entities at a single address must choose a single name to go by.
4. Practitioners can no longer use multiple pages for each of their specializations. In order to reduce clutter and refine searches for users, practitioners must consolidate all of their specializations into one page. Also, if there are multiple practitioners present at one location, the organization of the location must provide their own separate page.
5. Virtual offices can no longer have local pages designated to them. As local pages move toward a more organized and easy-to-use design, remote/virtual offices have been excluded from being able to use the feature.

Will Google Enforce the New Guidelines?
Because Google has become such an immense entity, it's often difficult for such massive corporations to micro-manage small operations such as local page quality for Google Maps. For example, many cyber criminals are often observed taking advantage of programs such as AdSense without being seen on the radar for long periods of time. Many users are left with one question on their minds - does Google possess the resources and manpower to effectively enforce the new guidelines? Only time will tell.

Search Optics Inc is a leader in digital marketing solutions for the automotive industry. Search Optics interactive marketing services include custom websites, search engine optimization, paid search and mobile solutions that generate leads which result in sales opportunities. Search Optics specializes in automotive digital marketing and automotive marketing services.

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