Thursday, August 16, 2012

Google Places - Google+ Local: Your Address Might Get You Suspended…Or Worse

Linda Buquet, the Queen of Google Places Forum, and now the founder of the Local Search Forum, not to mention a wise and accomplished fellow consultant, has brought some serious clarity to an otherwise very muddy picture.  When MUST you remove your address from Google Places visibility and what are the consequences of failing to do so. 

Google, in it's every improving quest to get rid of the spammers, has for some time now ruled that those who work from home and/or do not see clients face-to-face in their place of business, should "select the 'Do not show my business address on my Maps listing.'"  According to Linda, massive numbers of businesses who have failed to follow this rule have been slapped, and slapped hard.  How hard?  Listing suspended for months with no info on when they will be back on line.  To read the entirety of Linda's thoughts on the subject, go to

Of course, this raises some very interesting issues.  A photography business might very well meet with brides or others in their home, but Google is likely to assume that they do not.  The business could put a sign outside the home, but even then it isn't clear if that will be enough for the Goog. 

For now, the rule should probably be to be safe rather than sorry.  If you THINK that you might be in a service business that Google will THINK doesn't meet face-to-face with clients, and you operate out of your home, choose to do not show my address option. 

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