More threads by Conor Treacy

Feb 25, 2014
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This has been a pain in my side for a number of years. From time to time we find a business with their business name, city or location listed in the GMB name
Example: Coffee Shop- West Lincoln
Example: Lincoln Coffee Shop - 96th & F St

Now we've always gone under the rule that only the business name should be in the GMB name, however we have now onboarded a client with 19 locations. They're pretty instant that they should not rename their listings to remove the address/geo location in the name. They point to the fact that XYZ Company is doing it, and they have 40 locations, so why can't we?

Aside from the Google Guidelines, which may or may not be enforced from time to time, does anyone have an argument on why we should continue the battle to insist that they change the name?

Is it worth anything for us to remove the other companies not following the guidelines? We've had mixed results in the past (2017/2018) but not sure if that's changed these days.

Any input?
Hey Conor! I had much success filing complaints against businesses that keyword stuff their business name on Google. So I would start filing complaints and show those suspensions to your client. That´s how I would approach this situation and could be a first step in the right direction. Here´s the form: Business Redressal Complaint Form - Google My Business Help

On the other hand: If this business is making more money with those keywords in their names than they could possibly lose within a 2 months off stretch, then it would indeed make sense to risk it. I always tell my clients that the whole campaign is not negotiable and I know it can be really stressful.
What are the businesses names legally registered as? If they have submitted paperwork that denotes each business with those unique names or have signage that displays them then it's fine to use.
Thanks for the responses Tim & pony.

I've always recommended people to use the legal name in their GMB, was just running into a roadblock with this client. For the locations, they just have the business name on the signs, nothing else.

Essentially the counter argument from them is that it's been "wrong" for 2 years, so why fix it. Of course, my response is always, just because you haven't been caught, doesn't make it right.

If I was doing SEO for a competitor of theirs I'd likely be reporting it there too.

Thanks for the reassurances that I'm on the right track, and thanks for the link (I know I have it buried here somewhere, but always nice to have it top of mind)
Hey Conor, I'd consider two things.

1. Do each of their locations have individual registrations with their location's business registries? If not, that's a good way their competitors can flag them. In the US, I consult a state's Secretary of State listing.

2. If they do get flagged, what's the worst that will happen? I don't think the listing would come down; it would just have its title changed. And if it happens to one of their locations, they may realize you were right.

Sidenote: I've dealt with a few listings that have had spammy-sounding titles, but were actually legit, registered business names (location + service). I warn those businesses to keep their state registration info at the ready in case they get flagged and need to prove their legal name.
Hi Amy, no, there's only ONE master registration name. They're listed as places of business, but they're all under one single actual filing name (from what I understand).

I think they're slowly coming around. I asked them to look at places like Starbucks, Home Depot and Pizza Hut as examples at that swayed them almost instantly.

Next on my list will be having them change the name in stages as I'm not sure if there'll be any "pending re-verification" issues. We'll see.

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