Martin John

Sep 30, 2014
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I may be nitpicking a bit here, but I'm a stickler for details so I can't help myself.

How consistent or perfect should we make the NAP / citations in terms of formatting?

Business Name

Happy Earth Organix
Happy Earth Organix Foods
Happy Earth Organix Foods Ltd
Happy Earth Organix Foods Limited
Happy Earth Organix Ltd

Does google see all of these as the same business entity? I understand that listing something as "Organix Foods by Happy Earth" is a bit more out there and muddies the water. But the examples I listed above are all just slight variations on the business name.


#22-85881 Mountain Rd
22-85881 Mountain Rd
85881 Unit #28 Mountain Rd
Unit #28 85881 Mountain Rd

^ More concerned with this than the abbreviations below

Mountain Rd
Mountain Road

^ I had read somewhere before, I believe Phil Rozek said it was a myth to believe the small variations in abbreviations was a problem. So not so much worried about that.

Phone Numbers

(390) 544-4432

^My guess is this isn't too big of a deal, can't see google having troubles clustering all that information together properly.

Google Plus Page & Website

Should we generally try and harmonize with the way the NAP is formatted on our google plus page?

Final Thoughts

Obviously not all directories will format the info the same, so we only have so much control over the situation anyways.

But just how important is this consistency? How much of a priority is it? If I have a client with existing citations do I need to go in and clean up all these little formatting inconsistencies or are they just good to bear in mind if building them from scratch?

First post here.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read it.


Phil Rozek

Local Search Expert
Jul 26, 2012
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Hey Martin,

Yep, I said that :)

My best advice is to be as consistent as possible in how you enter the NAP info. You can't help how the various sites burp it out, and that's OK.

For the names I'd try to have them all be "Happy Earth Organix Foods" or "Happy Earth Organix." Wouldn't say the "Limited" matters.

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Hi Martin,

Thanks for making your 1st post. You even posted in the right forum, so gold star. :)

I just got back in and am wiped out. Citations aren't really my specialty either.
So I'll wait and see if one of our citation Pros weighs in on this tomorrow.


Aug 8, 2012
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Hi Martin,

I like that your thinking about how things actually work and asking questions about it. As Phil said always be as consistent as you possibly can.

Here are also few notes to add that might be helpful in understanding how things work - this is mainly referring to how Google locates and factors information for business entities.

? The phone number is the most important and should have all 10 digits on every listing.

? The phone format with spaces, dashes or parentheses is fine. I'm not sure about all together such as: xxxxxxxxxx, but very few sites even allow it to be formatted that way.

? For the address the longest matching prefix(es) is used. So the most important is the building number and street name being the same, but it's good to stay consistent with Road and Street as well. Visit Google Maps and input the address to see how/if they reformat it - usually the abbreviated version: Rd, St, Ave, etc. A suite number generally doesn't matter because there are many variations across different sites/platforms and it is rarely if ever used in these processes.

? For the business name, I'm pretty certain it is also the longest matching prefix that is used, but also near and partial matches can be pulled in - this is because many people when posting reviews and things about a business use a varied or shortened name for the company.

? Common punctuation such as periods, commas and dashes in a business name don't make a difference.

So the different variations of business names you listed below all have the first 3 words matching and should all be picked up, as long as other info on the page (phone, address) also matches. As you thought, the other example of "Organix Foods by Happy Earth" is much more difficult to identify and may or may not be pulled in.

I would check and update the existing listings for your client. Add some extra photos and new content while you are at it for some nice extra SEO benefits.

Hopefully that helps answer most or all of your questions on this. But if not ask more.

Eric Rohrback

Oct 3, 2012
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I'll echo what everyone else said - Consistency is key. A good piece of advice I got a long time back was to make sure the address you're using is what Google is showing on Maps. If it's "street" or "st" in maps, then make sure the address you're using is consistent with how Google's displaying the address.

Martin John

Sep 30, 2014
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Hi All,

Thanks for the replies, very much appreciated.

Everything makes more sense now and I feel a bit more confident with these. Not as worried I'll mess something up ;)


Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Oops sorry Phil, you and I posted at same time so I didn't see your post and posted right over you.

Thanks everyone for weighing in!
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