Jul 25, 2012
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I believe that Linda generally suggests to standardize on the version of a company's NAP that is found most frequently online (or perhaps most frequently in authority venues.)

I have a client who wants to update all of their NAP listings to use their DBA name instead of their legal business name. So, for example (fake names here), instead of "All Beautiful Colors LLC" they want to be known as "ABC LLC".

Most every IYP venue and Google/Yahoo/Bing use the long legal name, and there are very few mentions of the DBA in the IYP venues. Their DBA is also not registered. However, everyone knows them as their DBA name and they use their DBA name in branding and many other places (just doesn't exists much in IYPs.)

Should I get my client to reconsider this name update? Or should I just push through with the name change services they want?



Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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I believe that Linda generally suggests to standardize on the version of a company's NAP that is found most frequently online (or perhaps most frequently in authority venues.)

Hi Russ,

Actually Linda recommends using the correct name (usually the correct one is the legal one) that they most consistently have used. If there are 2 possible names that are both technically correct, then more research needs to be done.

However what they really need to understand is that ANY name change or move breaks NAP and can hurt their ranking. It can also cause them to loose reviews, but those can sometimes be reattached.

So they need to think long and hard before even considering. Sometimes for solid business reasons they MUST change name, like trademark conflict or whatever. But if they are ranking I would make them sign a waiver saying you warned them of the potential ramifications in advance so they don't blame you for the rank drop.


LocalU Faculty
Aug 9, 2012
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Yes, what Linda said. A name change now would mean a loss of rankings that would take quite some time to recover from. It would mean a ton of work cleaning up all the citations.

I cannot imagine it's worth it.

Jo Shaer

Jul 27, 2012
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So far it has taken me three months to work my way through my change of address with the data providers. I still have about six outstanding where I don't seem to be able to get the address changed. One listing with a powerful backlink I have had to delete altogether because they cannot change the address.

My Name remained the same, it was just one line of address that needed changing. It has taken hours and hours of work changing the listing, emailing when they don't update, listening to sales calls when they ring to confirm. Then it can take 6-8 weeks for the new info to filter through to all the sites that scrape from the original.

And in some cases you end up with two listings or they still don't make the changes.

Don't do it.
Aug 7, 2013
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Hey Russ, hope things are going well...

We have had 3 clients decide to switch names this year and its been a LOT of work cleaning things up. 4 months in and recovery is still slow. Putting everything in writing will save your butt. It has ours.

Jo Shaer

Jul 27, 2012
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I have a new client who wants to change the name of his business completely but is staying at the same address.

Rather than trying to change the name, is it better to set up the new business with a completely different phone number?

And then mark the old business as closed?

Margaret Ornsby

Local Search Expert
Jul 22, 2013
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Hi Jo

I can't find where I saw it but I do remember Linda saying somewhere that name changes need to be done in the existing listing and Google will decide whether to create a new listing / close the old one.

I have seen that work successfully. For example, googling the old business name brought up the new business google local page with the new business listing.
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