More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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There was a minor update to the Google My Business Guidelines and I didn't get a chance to post about it before I left. (Still madly trying to play catch up on sharing all the posts I read while I was on vacation.)

But Kerry Fagan posted this at our Local Search Pros G+ Community on July 1st.

<a href="">Additional guidelines for authorized representatives???"</a>

When did Google update the "Additional guidelines for authorized representatives" section of "Ownership" on the guidelines? I must've missed that...

Since I think many of us here fall under the title of "authorized representative" for listings we manage, the fanned-out bullet points made by Google seem like a pertinent discussion topic. Thoughts? Disagreements?

Here is a link and a snippet of the new Guidelines under "Ownership".

<a href="">Guidelines for representing your business on Google</a>

Additional guidelines for authorized representatives

Any individual or company that manages business information on Google My Business for a business that they don’t own is considered an authorized representative. Examples: a third-party SEO/SEM company; a friend of the business owner; an online ordering, scheduling, or booking provider; and an affiliate network provider.

Authorized representatives must:

Never claim a business listing without express consent from the business owner.

Never make false, misleading, or unrealistic claims.

Never use harassing, abusive, or untrustworthy tactics with potential or existing customers.

Always work directly with the business owner to complete verification. Learn more about verification.

Always ensure that the business owner understands what Google My Business is and where Google My Business data is used. Authorized representatives should share the following resources with the business’s owner...

I don't have the carpal bandwidth to format all the links that follow, so head over to read the rest.

I think this is great for all the shady consultants out there that skirt so many of those guidelines. Not that the really shady ones will change. BUT now we have an official Google doc to point business owners to, that have been conned or mistreated, that clearly spells things out.

What do you think???
For many of us, this doesn't change our course of actions with how we interact within the GMB or GMBL platform. But I feel that Google had to publish some guidelines and help clarify any questions or concerns to those that are new to GMB. Pretty much saying know your roles. So when a listing gets flagged or penalized, they can cite these general guidelines.
I think it's a great reminder that our jobs as SEO's is to do the least wrong in our ongoing efforts. Build naturally, don't use shady manipulations.

I'm sure I will get the wrath of google haters with that comment, but why try to trick the system when we can use very accessible methods to create a similar and long lasting result that we don't need to worry about being penalized in the future?
Ahh, the sage wisdom of the beard.

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