Google Maps Revamps Quality Guidelines For Local Pages

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Google Maps has updated their local pages quality guidelines last night. Jade Wang from the Google team posted the news in the Google Forums saying:

We’ve updated and clarified our quality guidelines for local pages. Please read the new version here, and, as always, feel free to contact our support team with any specific questions about your account.

There are a couple local SEO experts that have dug through the old guidelines to compare it to the new guidelines. I saved a screen shot of the old guidelines, which you can see over here.

Mike Blumenthal documented the “obvious changes” including:

  • Descriptors of any sort are NOT allowed
  • Categories should be the more specific category and NOT the overarching, general category
  • Increased name and category consistency amongst multi location chains
  • Two or more brands at the same location must pick one name
  • If Different departments are to have their own page they must have unique categories
  • Practitioner’s pages, in multi location practices should have their name only and not the name of the practice
  • Solo Practitioners only can use the format of Practice: Practitioner
  • Virtual Offices are NOT allowed unless staffed.

Google Maps local have always been somewhat of the “wild west” of the search space. So many are asking, despite these guidelines, will Google actually have the man power and resources to actually enforce these rules?

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