Jim Froling

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A client operates a mobile tire replacement service. His primary GMB category was "Tire store". Yesterday, GMB changed his primary category to "Wheel Shop". The problem is he doesn't sell wheels, only tires. Apparently now, an SAB can be a "Shop", but not a "store". Doing a search of other "mobile" tire sellers, I found that virtually all have been re-categorized as "Wheel Shop"s.

My client (nor I) care whether he is categorized as a shop or store. But categorizing his business for a product he does not sell or support (Wheels) is irrelevant, misleading and confusing to the consumer/user.

In my view, this is not a support issue but a product management one. My hope here is that a Googler that trolls this forum or a Product Expert (hello Joy!) can explain to G's product management the difference between a Tire and a Wheel. And create a category for MOBILE TIRE...(Sales, Service, Replacement...etc.)

If anyone here has a work-around, I'm all ears. Except for suggestions to include a physical address via a friend's location, virtual office, real office... c'mon guys).

Personally, I'm still curious about the difference between a Store and a Shop.🤔
 

Professor M

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in which country is your client based?
As "shop" is normally used in UK and Ireland, instead of "store".
 

Jim Froling

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Client is in the US. Designation of Wheel Shop was made by Google.
 

Professor M

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normally Google My Business Categories with "Shop" in it are shown for UK/Ireland based profiles so it is very strange for Google to change it to "Wheel shop".

I would create a forum thread in the GMB Community Forum.
 

JoyHawkins

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Hey Jim,

"yesterday, GMB changed his primary category to "Wheel Shop". This sounds like you probably have a 3rd party app that is connected to GMB that you need to get rid of. "wheel shop" isn't even a category in the USA so it sounds like there also could be a setting you need to change in your browser. Check a few other browsers to see if you see it that way everywhere.

To find out what 3rd party app is changing it, go to: Sign in - Google Accounts. Look for things listed under the third-party apps section that say they have access to manage business listings. Remove anything you find that has access to GMB. Some common ones I've seen in the past include SEMRush, Yext, and Map Labs.

1625485572438.jpg
 

Jim Froling

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Hello Joy Ann!
I don't think that's the problem. Hope not anyways as I use Bright Local a LOT.

It's not just my client affected, but virtually every "mobile" tire dealer. Every mobile tire dealer that is properly categorized as a SAB is now a Wheel Store. The only ones who are still Tire Shops list a physical address, real or not.

1626278069662.jpg

I've checked other cities at random (Phoenix, Memphis, etc.). Same story.
:unsure:

Hope you and your family are well. God Bless!
 

JoyHawkins

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Hey Jim,

I'm not seeing that the Cubano Tires listing has "Tire Shop" as a category at all. They have the "wheel store" category instead. This listing has the tire shop category.

What happens when you go in and change the primary category from "wheel store" to "Tire shop"?
 

Jim Froling

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Hey Jim,

I'm not seeing that the Cubano Tires listing has "Tire Shop" as a category at all. They have the "wheel store" category instead. This listing has the tire shop category.

What happens when you go in and change the primary category from "wheel store" to "Tire shop"?
Hey Joy,
Cubano was a Tire Shop until last week, and had been for the past several years. The Wheel Store category replaced it. They, nor I, made this change.

When I attempt to correct it, nothing happens. No matter how many times I click Apply.

He called me this morning. Phone has stopped ringing. He usually gets 60 calls a month. Has had zero since Saturday.

He's not the only one. Every tire SAB is in the same boat. Wheels are NOT Tires.
 

JoyHawkins

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Hey Jim,

Have you contacted GMB support about it? If not, I would do that. Sounds like it might be a technical issue. You could also post this over at the GMB forum and I can escalate it and ask them.
 

Jim Froling

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Hey Jim,

Have you contacted GMB support about it? If not, I would do that. Sounds like it might be a technical issue. You could also post this over at the GMB forum and I can escalate it and ask them.
Thanks Joy,
I did both two weeks ago. Got no reply from the GMB Forum and a "standard reply" from GMB Support, which did nothing (support inquiry [9-5537000032071]). I have replied to the GMB Support email and will let you know what transpires from that by Monday.

I will also re-post on the GMB forum.

In the meantime I tried to add Tire Shop as a secondary category. That yielded, "Not available unless your business location appears on Google Maps".

The business does appear on Google Maps: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Cubano+Tires+Mobile+Shop/@33.8617886,-118.6010342,9z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dcd50d44b2066d:0x230afb2ba61ce82!8m2!3d33.8619163!4d-118.0405814?hl=en&authuser=0

Mobile tire dealers are not a unique business model. There are many in most metropolitan areas. Being "mobile" naturally means they do not necessarily have a "business location". Although Google has categories for "mobile hairdressers" and "mobile disco", a mobile tire reseller cannot be a "Shop" but it can be a (wheel) "Store"? There is little difference between a "shop" and a "store". But there's a big difference between a tire and a wheel.

This is crazy! Or, just plain stupid.
 

Joey Abna

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I am seeing a similar scenario for Mobile RV Repair Services. For those businesses that hide their address their Primary Category was changed by Google from RV Repair Shop to RV Supply Store. Even though according to Google Guidelines an SAB business is not eligible to use the RV Supply Store category.

If you do a search for Mobile RV Repair, businesses that hide their address are showing RV Supply Store for their primary category and to make things worse you can't change it in the GMB Dashboard or with Suggested Edits.

The only way to have the right category show up is to show your address and for most of these mobile repair businesses that would make their homes exposed online.
 

JoyHawkins

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I'll post back here when we hear. Helmut has sent it to Google already :)
 

Jim Froling

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I'll post back here when we hear. Helmut has sent it to Google already :)
Helmut has no idea how long it will take Google to react. Can I call in that luggage favor from the Orange County airport and ask you to "nudge" one or more of the product managers you may know? I hate to ask, Joy, but this is really hurting his business as well as other mobile "Tire Shops".
 

JoyHawkins

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Hey Jim,

I talked to Google about it on Friday but I don't have a way to speed up their response. You aren't the only person experiencing this. There are a bunch of other threads on the forum that are noticing the same thing and cannot add categories to listings that aren't showing an address. I will let you know (as will Helmut) when we hear back.
 

JoyHawkins

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Hey Jim,

So I heard back from Google today. They said this is working as intended. Some business categories are no longer supported for businesses that have their addresses hidden (set up as service area businesses). This is to help prevent spam.
 

Joey Abna

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I hate that "working as intended" stance. So the intent is to give searchers less accurate results I guess. I really hate it for the Mobile RV Repair guy that now has to live with the category RV Supply Store.
 

Jim Froling

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Hey Jim,

So I heard back from Google today. They said this is working as intended. Some business categories are no longer supported for businesses that have their addresses hidden (set up as service area businesses). This is to help prevent spam.
Hey Joy,
Thanks for the update. It blows my mind that Google cannot discern between a tire and a wheel. They are, of course, very different products.

It's disappointing that they would not create a new category for "Tire Store" since a "store" can be an SAB with hidden address (per the guidelines). Mobile tire shops/stores/whatever is not a unique business model. There are several in nearly all metro areas.

Thanks for trying
 

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