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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is Google Blocking Listings with PO Box Addresses?

Posted by @ 10:06 pm

Although the 2011 year has only just kicked off, Google is already making headlines.

There are reports that Google holds bias in its Google Maps against business not showing a proper address in their listing and have even removed some businesses listings.

Local businesses like building contractors, painters and electricians who prefer not to show an exact address (because they generally work out of a home office) have all been alienated by Google Maps. Also, businesses who list a PO Box number as their address are being frowned up by Google.

This is contrary to the statements issued by Google’s Michael Jones and Carter Maslan who noted that business without an address can get a listing on Google Maps by renting local post boxes. Now, come December 2010, Google released a statement on their official blog that left many businesses in a jam. Google’s Lina Paczensky outlined the following:

Google Places is meant to facilitate customer interaction with brick-and-mortar businesses and service providers. Therefore, the business owner or employee who is officially authorized to represent their particular business location must have a physical address in order to comply with our quality guideline. P.O. Boxes are not considered accurate physical locations. Listings submitted with P.O. Box addresses will be removed.

Confused yet? I sure am.

While we can see that Google is trying to keep out spamming websites from listing in Google Maps as a legitimate business, this decision to remove PO Box addressed businesses is likely to only make the spammers more innovative. They are likely to get fake addresses to get listed. This move by Google has left many small businesses experiencing sudden drop in their ranking or removal completely from Google Maps.

What’s the solution? At this stage it’s not known what Google’s plan is. But we do believe it better hurry up and work out a concrete solution.

Has your business listing been blocked in Google Maps?

Courtney Mills Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.

View Courtney Mills's profile

Discussion (8 - comments)

[...] Read Original Story at [...]

By Is Google Blocking Listings with PO Box Addresses? | RM2 Project - January 6, 2011

[...] Click Here To Read Original Post on SEO | SEM News [...]

By Is Google Blocking Listings with PO Box Addresses? « Miami Beach Web Designer - January 7, 2011

I work with around 300 UK businesses – many of which were wiped off the face of Google page one on 1st Novermber 2010 when google changed their algorithym.

To get ranked, in the top 7, on google page one it’s now all about the 3rd party places that google check to validate you listing – they even check your phone number now.

It’s therefore essential to post plenty of links on all the sites that google check to ensure the listings they rank are valid.

Interestingly, many of our customers who spend £20-30k on Pay per click saw a 50% drop in enquirey rate when their maps listing dissapeared.

Drop me a line if you’d like instructions on how to fix.


By dan - January 8, 2011

I predicted this loophole would be closed by Google Local eventually. Sad really because it’s going to hurt a lot of small operators. To fix, select a location address with a service that provides conference room space for rent and that accepts incoming mail deliveries. This physical address will be recognized by Google.

Read more here

By NJW - January 11, 2011

RE: Google Places & their new guidlines wiped all 14 of my small business clients off the map and yes they did have legitimate addresses & had been listed for several years & were using the coupon service also. ZIP GONE no amount of redoing the listing works. Google Forum is a joke – it is not help – they are not paying attention to anything you say. There are hundreds of small businesses they have wiped out and all the weeping and gnashing of teeth on the Forum go without any response.
One of the Guidelines: the title of your business must be your real business title and you cannot under any circumstances include any word that is in your title in your description. Wait, just think about that a minute. For instance – if you do landscaping or tree service or stump removal – and that is part of your name – what kind of description can you use? How think of any other business name you know – describe it without using any words that are included in the business name. Unless the name has no association with the business (some do but most do not) – where does this leave you?
You can submit changes 3 times, get rejected 3 times & be out of luck. You can close your account & start over – consider how long it took you the first time you put up this listing w/all the categories, description, photos etc – is this a solution really?
Or you can say shove it & go to Bing, Superpages free, HotFrog, YourLocalDirectory, & any other directory you can list for free & forget Google – foot in mouth Google!

By HOLDSTILL - January 11, 2011

why is my site viable to thousands

By Frank - January 17, 2011

I’m one of the small business owners affected by this. I checked my listing, where I have been in the middle of the 7 pack for years, and everything was GONE! If anyone has advice on how to make it better, without just trying to forget Google, I’d be very interested to hear about it. Thanks

By Sandi Masori - January 19, 2011

[...] Use a physical address instead of PO boxes if possible. This is especially important now that Google is currently blocking listings with PO Box addresses. [...]

By Top 7 Tips to Get Your Local Listing Above Your Competitors | ineedhits - January 24, 2011

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