consultant

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Bare with me, this is a pretty detailed background... Have a franchise business in several cities. The GMB name is the same for the GMP Listings "{Company} {Something} {Else} Inspection & Repair" This was setup 4 years ago along with using some self-service tools to submit NAP to all 1st and 2nd tier directories so everything matches. The business niche not very competitive but getting moreso (it's like 1/100th the size of the roofing inspection and repair industry but growing fast.) So with only a few reviews that are at least 2 years or older, we've killed it on 3-pack rankings in all the cities we are listed in for most all related keyword searches like '{Something} Inspection Service' or '{Something} Inspection Company', '{Something} Repair' etc etc.

Our legal name is actually "{Company} {Something} {Service}" so we sort of keyword-stuffed from the beginning but Google nor anyone else has had a problem with it (maybe because this was set up 4 years ago and things might have been less sensitive/strict then??)

I doubt Google does any sort of automated cross-reference with state Business License Databases. Maybe at best they do a Dunn & Bradstreet lookup, but I highly doubt they do that either. I would guess the cross-reference with matching addresss/phone citations in the main aggregators database (such as Data Axle (formerly Infogroup), Axiom, Foursquare (formerly Factual), Neustar, and Localeze and possibly the primary sites they feed to like Yelp, Dex, CitySearch.) I've not kept up with things in the past three years and things have gone so well there was no need to do any NAP work.

Our industry has matured and we are seeing higher potential for revenue in another service category than "{Else} Inspection" let's call it {Other} {Sub-Service}. So considering going from "{Company} {Something} {Else} Inspection & Repair" to "{Company} {Something} {Other} {Sub-Service} & Repair"

I've done GMB/SEO for a half dozen companies and have never attempted to do something like this. I am of course EXTREMELY WARY of the risk of getting suspended or losing reviews thereby losing our 3-pack prowess which probably half the business income comes from. Yet the potential increased revenue from ranking higher for {Other} {Subservice} is substantial.

The structure of our GMB account is a Franchise type structure like what businesses like McDonald's use. We have 18 cities so 18 separate listings created from scratch separately but of course under one login account.

My feeling is this might just be too risky without getting the Name changed in the main aggregators (I've found Brightlocal to be the most cost effective service for handling that - not sure if they still are the best choice.) But then I doubt most of the 2nd and especially 3rd tier directories are going to update. So even with considerable work, I would guess a year from now 50% of 2nd tier directories still are using the old name. Google may not like that.

Obviously I'm searching for someone that did a similar name change in the last year or so to find out how things went with them and what measures the took other than changing the name in GMB?
 

ElizabethRule

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Hi there,

Thanks for using the forum. I've reviewed your question and I have some thoughts.

How related are these services? Is there a separate category for this new service you want to try and rank for? If so, you can try adding that as a secondary category to see if that gives you enough to rank for it. Add more content on your site about this new service, get reviews for this service, and add it to the GMB profile where you can.

Or, if you want to go further you can add the new service as the main category, keeping the first service as a secondary category. You can even test on a few of the franchise to see if it works, before rolling out to all of them.

If you were to go with a new name I recommend taking the time to do a full business name rebrand including:
  • new logo
  • update name on those 1st and 2nd tier directories
  • update the website with the new name
  • update business license with secretary of state (for each location)
  • update D&B and BBB
  • update GMB
Basically, a rebrand you want to cover all your bases to make sure it's clear to customers and Google you officially have a new name. this in my experience is the best way to potentially avoid any repercussions from changing the name in GMB to something that seems "keyword stuffy".
 

rgblocal

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Dec 8, 2020
Messages
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Bare with me, this is a pretty detailed background... Have a franchise business in several cities. The GMB name is the same for the GMP Listings "{Company} {Something} {Else} Inspection & Repair" This was setup 4 years ago along with using some self-service tools to submit NAP to all 1st and 2nd tier directories so everything matches. The business niche not very competitive but getting moreso (it's like 1/100th the size of the roofing inspection and repair industry but growing fast.) So with only a few reviews that are at least 2 years or older, we've killed it on 3-pack rankings in all the cities we are listed in for most all related keyword searches like '{Something} Inspection Service' or '{Something} Inspection Company', '{Something} Repair' etc etc.

Our legal name is actually "{Company} {Something} {Service}" so we sort of keyword-stuffed from the beginning but Google nor anyone else has had a problem with it (maybe because this was set up 4 years ago and things might have been less sensitive/strict then??)

I doubt Google does any sort of automated cross-reference with state Business License Databases. Maybe at best they do a Dunn & Bradstreet lookup, but I highly doubt they do that either. I would guess the cross-reference with matching addresss/phone citations in the main aggregators database (such as Data Axle (formerly Infogroup), Axiom, Foursquare (formerly Factual), Neustar, and Localeze and possibly the primary sites they feed to like Yelp, Dex, CitySearch.) I've not kept up with things in the past three years and things have gone so well there was no need to do any NAP work.

Our industry has matured and we are seeing higher potential for revenue in another service category than "{Else} Inspection" let's call it {Other} {Sub-Service}. So considering going from "{Company} {Something} {Else} Inspection & Repair" to "{Company} {Something} {Other} {Sub-Service} & Repair"

I've done GMB/SEO for a half dozen companies and have never attempted to do something like this. I am of course EXTREMELY WARY of the risk of getting suspended or losing reviews thereby losing our 3-pack prowess which probably half the business income comes from. Yet the potential increased revenue from ranking higher for {Other} {Subservice} is substantial.

The structure of our GMB account is a Franchise type structure like what businesses like McDonald's use. We have 18 cities so 18 separate listings created from scratch separately but of course under one login account.

My feeling is this might just be too risky without getting the Name changed in the main aggregators (I've found Brightlocal to be the most cost effective service for handling that - not sure if they still are the best choice.) But then I doubt most of the 2nd and especially 3rd tier directories are going to update. So even with considerable work, I would guess a year from now 50% of 2nd tier directories still are using the old name. Google may not like that.

Obviously I'm searching for someone that did a similar name change in the last year or so to find out how things went with them and what measures the took other than changing the name in GMB?

BrightLocal does seem to have the best deal on listings management - they will ping you once per year and encourage you to rerun the campaigns, since you don't pay monthly :)
 

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