Monday, May 10, 2010

Google Places - Multiple Professionals in One Street Address Can Have Multiple Places Listings

Just picked up off of a new Blumenthal's blog on Understanding Google Maps and Local Search

In an interview with Google
I decided however, to get Google’s “official” opinion on the matter so I asked Ari Bezman, Google’s product manager for the Local Business Center Google Places as to how Google thought this situation should be handled.
MB: What is Google’s recommended practice in regards to handling the multiple listings that most professionals and clinics end up with?
Should we endeavor to have one listing for the practice Place and merge all of the doctors (or whatever) into the one listing or should a we endeavor to keep the individual doctor listings?
Ari: Each doctor (or other independent professional) should have their own listing, with one more listing for the clinic.
MB: A related question is that often the Doctor listings come into Google with a format of Dr Name: Speciality . Is that the preferred business name or is just the Dr. Name preferred?
Ari: The name should just be Dr. Name. The specialty should be in the category and/or the description.
 There followed a lively discussion on what this means.  Does or should this only apply to professionals?  What about businesses with widely different product categories or services?  At least for the moment, we have it from the horses mouth, professionals operating out of a single business location can list themselves one at a time.   As to the issue of how to name each professional, I noted that Ari said "should be."  I doubt if that is true.  I believe that the Dr. Could surely add a specialty, but I would stop at Dr. Jones Heart Surgeon unless I had a DBA for a longer name.

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