ForwardMotion

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Hello,

I'm dealing with a topic that seems to have answers that are a little vague or gray. I am working in an office with multiple practitioners. All of these practitioners fall under one category, so no way to set them up under different categories. I have created GMB listings for each practitioner and set them up like this: Company Name | Practitioner Name. I have setup the main listing for the office with just the companies name. Each practitioner has their own book of business, so that is why I created a GMB listing for each. Here is where I'm confused and want to make sure I stay within Google's guidelines:

Each of these practitioners depend on their GMB listing and I need to make sure they don't get suspended. With that said, I setup each of these practitioners originally under the offices address. Because of that I was finding most, if not all were getting filtered out. Most of the practitioners (Realtors would be another good example of this.) work from home most of the time, but come into the office for appointments. Because each practitioner really is a SAB, and after multiple discussions with GMB experts, I decided to clear out the address for each practitioner. Once I did this, I found that they were no longer being filtered out and they were showing up now when doing a search for the company. I found that when I did a search for the practitioner and the business name, they showed up like they should and when I just did a search for the business and the local service area, the office GMB listing showed up first followed by all the practitioners GMB listings.

This all seems great and I'm happy with the results, but I am confused and concerned that this might not be a best practice or within current guidelines from conversations I have had. The results are good and it seems like it would be a good practice for all businesses like this with multiple practitioners under one office address. The areas in question though are:

  1. Since I setup each practitioner under the office address and then cleared the address, does that somehow go against Google's guidelines?
  2. Since each practitioner mostly work from home, but come into the office for appointments, should I change the address to their home address and then clear that out (if it is not allowed using the office address), as they do not want their home address publicized.
  3. Due to company compliance, each practitioner must show their name and the companies name in the listing, but the way Google's guidelines read, this might be a gray area.
I feel Google needs to have clearer guidelines on this and feel the way I have listed each practitioner should be best practice. It keeps the company as the main listing and then it gives each practitioner the opportunity to build their own book of business and be found when someone does a Google search for them or the company. I'm finding it kind of works like a rolodex. It also gives each practitioner the opportunity to optimize their GMB listings and grow their personal websites if they have them. This seems like a win/win and would give clear guidance on how practitioners should complete their listings when there are multiple practitioners that fall under one main category within one office location.

I would love to get feedback and learn what others are finding to be best practice, that will not get their listings suspended when dealing with multiple practitioners at the same office address (Realtors would be a great example of this. How are other SEO's setting up GMB listings for Realtors in one office?). Each practitioner in our office depends on me to keep their listings active and their business growing. I want to make sure I am doing just that and staying within the guidelines.
 

JoyHawkins

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I have created GMB listings for each practitioner and set them up like this: Company Name | Practitioner Name.
Usually, I advise not putting the company name in the business name for the practitioners. This is mainly because when you search for the company name, you probably want the company listing to show up in the Knowledge Panel. Because the practitioner listings have the company name, it makes them more likely to show up with the practice listing or instead of it, which generally isn't ideal for the parent company.
Since I setup each practitioner under the office address and then cleared the address, does that somehow go against Google's guidelines?
I doubt Google would care but "technically" you should show the address because customers do show up there. If anything, you might actually doing yourself a disservice by hiding the address as hidden addresses have been known to hurt visibility a bit.
Since each practitioner mostly work from home, but come into the office for appointments, should I change the address to their home address and then clear that out (if it is not allowed using the office address), as they do not want their home address publicized.
The reason why I suggest using the home address is due to the way the filter works. Let's say you have a real estate office in Dallas. There are 30 realtors using this address, so when you search "Realtor Dallas", Google will generally show one or maybe two, but the rest would get filtered or suppressed. That article linked to above explains why. If you were to update that listing to use the realtor's home in McKinney, then they would start ranking in McKinney, wouldn't compete with the office, and shouldn't be impacted by the filter since they no longer have 29 other realtors to compete with.

That being said, there is a huge chance the listings will get suspended when you change the addresses. The number of suspensions right now is insanely high. There really isn't a way to prevent this. I would tell the client before doing it. I'd still recommend doing it though. If you get suspended you will likely have no listing for a few days or weeks. That is still better IMO than having a listing for months or years that doesn't rank anywhere for major terms that get traffic. I don't think you should have an issue getting the listing reinstated since lots of people are working from home more now due to COVID-19.
Due to company compliance, each practitioner must show their name and the companies name in the listing, but the way Google's guidelines read, this might be a gray area.
Google doesn't enforce this whatsoever. The only real issue I see is the one pointed out in the first part of this. If that's not a problem for you, don't worry about it.
 

ForwardMotion

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Usually, I advise not putting the company name in the business name for the practitioners. This is mainly because when you search for the company name, you probably want the company listing to show up in the Knowledge Panel. Because the practitioner listings have the company name, it makes them more likely to show up with the practice listing or instead of it, which generally isn't ideal for the parent company.

I doubt Google would care but "technically" you should show the address because customers do show up there. If anything, you might actually doing yourself a disservice by hiding the address as hidden addresses have been known to hurt visibility a bit.

The reason why I suggest using the home address is due to the way the filter works. Let's say you have a real estate office in Dallas. There are 30 realtors using this address, so when you search "Realtor Dallas", Google will generally show one or maybe two, but the rest would get filtered or suppressed. That article linked to above explains why. If you were to update that listing to use the realtor's home in McKinney, then they would start ranking in McKinney, wouldn't compete with the office, and shouldn't be impacted by the filter since they no longer have 29 other realtors to compete with.

That being said, there is a huge chance the listings will get suspended when you change the addresses. The number of suspensions right now is insanely high. There really isn't a way to prevent this. I would tell the client before doing it. I'd still recommend doing it though. If you get suspended you will likely have no listing for a few days or weeks. That is still better IMO than having a listing for months or years that doesn't rank anywhere for major terms that get traffic. I don't think you should have an issue getting the listing reinstated since lots of people are working from home more now due to COVID-19.

Google doesn't enforce this whatsoever. The only real issue I see is the one pointed out in the first part of this. If that's not a problem for you, don't worry about it.

Thank you Joy!

Much easier to follow than short tweets. lol I really appreciate all your help. I'm going to take what you have sent me here and do some testing to see what happens. It seems at times Google is definitely a moving dart board.
 
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