More threads by JoyHawkins


Local Search Expert
LocalU Faculty
Aug 23, 2014
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I was never really clear on if a business who didn't have a website could link to their Facebook page or Yelp profile on their G+ Local page. Certainly linking to something is better for the user if they want more information, right?

Apparently not.

Google has clarified: Facebook pages would not be accepted per the updated guidelines.

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Thanks Joy. I was thinking about posting about that too since I've posted here about companies abusing the system by using directory listings.

Granted some SMBs don't have a site and use FB pages or whatever.

But as usual, all the spammers ruined it for honest business people. We've had several cases come up here. Most notably the blatant LA Personal Injury spam using AVVO and landing pages. We've been reporting bad ones like that that are obviously just trying to game the system for awhile now. Nice to know the rules are consistent and going to be enforced.
Just got around to reading that thread at Map Maker. I agree with some others, that part of the guidelines re not linking to social sites has been in there for awhile. Can't remember exactly when it changed. I think around the time we did all the complaining about 3rd party site spam.

I know we've been discussing with Google via email threads but I'm glad Marissa publicly reinforced that this is a rule in that thread, so we have something to point to.
I just posted a related question in that thread:

Hi - I have a related question:

There is a company that creates landing pages for home care companies as listings in its own directory site. Here's an example:
Clark Consulting & Associates: Care Management in the Peninsula

These listings appear visually as if they were standalone sites, but they're actually just listings in a directory called Care Managers, Home Care and other Elder Care Professionals

Are these listings pages similarly non-acceptable for use with G+ Local pages?​
Things like this just go to show how important having a dedicated local expert is. We have seen clients and competitors do this out of ignorance of guidelines. Thanks for sharing on this gray area, Joy!
Thanks for sharing that update Joy. Knew you were working on it and still a little puzzled by the flip flop.

A lot of spammers will continue to do this, but I guess the key in the latest clarification is whether there is an official site or not. If there is and linking to Yelp profile is just a ranking play, then I guess we can report and try to change to their site.

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