Getting Listed on Google My Business is Key
SEO is an important element to any modern business and getting listed on Google My Business is key to increasing your company’s SEO standings. But what do you do if you have several different businesses all operating out of one address? Can you list two businesses in one location or multiple businesses from one address in Google My Business? And will your SEO take a hit from doing so?
Wonder no more! We’ve taken a look at all the most commonly asked questions about this, specifically related to multiple businesses tied to a single address. Hopefully the answers you need will be found in this article.
While most of these answers can be found in Google’s own guidelines on how to properly showcase your business on their service, that doesn’t mean that finding these answers is easy. In many cases, Google does not provide enough detail, instead offering up rules that are confusing and difficult to interpret.
Questions That Come up Over and Over Again
Luckily, we’re here to do the digging for you. Here are some of the questions that come up over and over again from people who own businesses that they are trying to advertise through Google.
Can You Have Multiple Google My Business Listings for Different Businesses That Are Located At The Same Address?
Creating a new Google My Business for each legally distinct and legitimate business operating out of a single address is allowed. Multiple businesses based at the same physical address are relatively common these days. There are some caveats to be aware of, however.
What Makes A Business Distinct Enough That Having A Separate Google My Business Listing Is Allowed?
There are a few ways to determine whether your different businesses are distinct according to Google. First off, each business should be properly registered with various federal and provincial agencies. Each business should also have its own specific tax identification code and should file taxes separately. And finally, each business operating from the same address should also have its own separate phone number. If your different businesses meet each of those criteria, you should be set to create your own Business listings.
Lets looks at two examples:
Two dentists operate their businesses out of one address and they both are in the same business. The clinic is operation with a business brand name, The Dental Clinic. The practice has one phone number and reception books appointment with each dentist. In this case each dentist may be registered as separate business entity for tax purposes and share admin expenses. However this is not an example where having two Google Listings would pass and actually may cause confusion for local residents. There should be one listing using the name of the clinic.
Now lets say the location has no commercial branding and each dentist is simply listed on a lobby sign or on the main door door to a building with one civic address. They both are in the same business of dentistry but both are separate business entities. They may even share the same administrative staff, to share expenses. In this case, each dentist could have their own Google Listing. They would need different phone numbers and each Google Listing must be unique without mention of the other, except for the address. Often we see the Google My Business listing name, for this type of set up, would be the name of the dentist. Each dentist is operating independently at the same address, so in this case, it should pass.
What If My Businesses Are Service Area Businesses Rather Than Brick-And-Mortar Businesses?
If your businesses operate within a specified service area rather than meeting customers within your physical address, then Google is going to treat you a little differently. Let’s say you run a locksmith business and a plumbing business out of the same business mailing address. There are no set rules against having multiple listings at one address for these service area businesses, but you run some risks. In the past, Google has suspended some My Business profiles for multiple service area businesses that are listed at the same address, even in situations where they were clearly separate businesses. As such, you’re probably better off avoiding this strategy altogether.
An example of this would be one business creating different location entities to try and gain map listing for a wider spread area or a combination of smaller local areas. In other words the business is trying to look like more than one business.
Are There Other Things That Would Make Me Ineligible for Listing More Than One Business On Google At The Same Address?
If you don’t have separate phone numbers for each business or if they are not legally distinct, you cannot have separate listings. You should also avoid doing multiple listings if the “different” businesses are actually just separate services or product lines that exist under the same core business. For example, if you offer repair services for both air conditioners and water heaters but under the same general company, you cannot create two separate Google My Business listings for those two services. You also should avoid creating listings for remote mailboxes, P.O. boxes, or virtual offices — your address in Google My Business must be a physical location that customers could, in theory, visit you at.
What Are the Penalties for Listing More Than One Ineligible Business At the Same Address?
Google has the authority to suspend or remove as many of your listings as it deems necessary should it discover that you have multiple listings at the same address that are not supposed to be there. Getting suspended also means that reviews and other information included in your profile will be removed.
Can I Trick Google Into Allowing Me to List Multiple Businesses at One Address Using Suite Numbers?
Nope! Even if you list completely legitimate suite numbers, it will not make a difference, as Google does not take suite numbers into account when looking at address listings. Whether real or made up, suite numbers are not going to convince Google that your different businesses have unique addresses.
Can My Business Address Be a Co-working Space?
You can have your business address as a co-working space under limited circumstances. First, you must have a phone number at the space that goes directly to you, and you must make sure the space is staffed by you or people working for you at the hours you list on your Google My Business profile. If both of these criteria are satisfied, you should be safe to list your business. It’s worth noting, though, that other businesses that share the co-working space’s address may compete for your SEO, particularly if those businesses are in the same field.
What Do I Do If My Address Hosts Different Seasonal Businesses?
Google has strict requirements regarding seasonal businesses. Let’s say your address is a lot that sells Christmas trees in the winter and fruit in the summer. Your physical location must have signage for each of the seasonal businesses for the whole year. Each business must set its hours at the start of each season and remove them at the end of each season. If you take these steps, you should be set to have a listing for each seasonal business.
What are the Rules for ‘Business Names’ regarding Multiple Businesses Located At The Same Address On Google My Business?
There are 5 basic rules regarding your business name on Google My Business when located at the same address as another business.
Keep these in mind in order to avoid suspensions or other SEO penalties:
- If a business is located ‘inside’ of another business, its name should be totally separate. For example, if you’re creating a profile for a Starbucks that is located inside of a Target, the names for the businesses should simply be “Starbucks” and “Target.” Avoid listing it as “Starbucks in Target” or any other similar variant.
- Never combine the names of multiple businesses or brands. For example, if one physical addresses houses both a KFC and a Taco Bell, you should either give each business a separate listing or just a single listing with one of the brands.
- You are allowed to have separate listings for different departments within a single business if those departments have their own phone numbers and exist under different categories. An example of this would be a car dealership that has one department that handles sales and one department that orders parts.
- You should never include the name of other brands that you sell if that branding is different than the actual store name. For example, a Payless Shoes that sells Nike brand sneakers should not include Nike within its GMB name. The only exception to this rule is if a business is a licensed and fully authorized seller of a specialty branded product, such as a specific cell phone provider.
- Different businesses at the same address should ideally have distinct names and branding. For example, if you’re running a laundromat, a pet store, and a gas station out of the same address for some reason, don’t name your businesses Joe’s Laundromat, Joe’s Pets, and Joe’s Gas-n-Go. Even if the businesses exist under different categories in GMB, give each business its own unique name and branding to avoid any potential issues with Google.
Creating multiple GMB listings for different businesses under the same address is not a problem and often even a good idea. If you’re smart about how you do so or if your marketing service provider is smart, it won’t negatively impact your SEO rankings. You just need to be aware of the rules, both the ones Google is clear about and the unspoken rules. Think carefully about how each business you’re creating a listing for is branded and whether it is distinct and eligible, and you’ll be off to a great start.
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