katandmouse

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My attorney client is subletting a suite of offices from another attorney. They share the same address and suite number, but have different business names and phone numbers.

I'm thinking this might appear to Google's algorithms to be a firm and an individual attorney in that firm (the business name being misread by a "stupid" computer program to be the attorney's name).

Now that might not be so bad, but they both share a category, and now I'm afraid this could be mistaken as going against Google's guidelines and an attempt to game the system with multiple listings for the same business.

Am I correct in that assumption? If so, what would be the solution:

1. Someone move
2. Make up a new suite number and change all the citations for one of them - UGGH
3. Someone give up on a service (category) - UNLIKELY
4. Get Google to change their algorithms - IMPOSSIBLE

Their presence in G+ is quite dismal but I can't say this is the problem. They are in a VERY COMPETITIVE space and I've only just begun the SEO work. My client had the worst citation profile I have ever seen so he undoubtedly suffers from that. And the benefits of our clean up are just starting to trickle in. How far will it go? Will it meet with a roadblock?

Thoughts from the peanut gallery?
 

Linda Buquet

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Hey Kathy,

Is this by chance a satellite or secondary office? Or is this his main and only office?
 

Linda Buquet

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It sounded like it. But I was checking because sharing an office for additional locations is where a lot of attys get in trouble.

"I'm thinking this might appear to Google's algorithms to be a firm and an individual attorney in that firm"

That is allowed. Is one of the names just his name, not a practice name? If so then this set up is a little safer.

"Now that might not be so bad, but they both share a category, and now I'm afraid this could be mistaken as going against Google's guidelines and an attempt to game the system with multiple listings for the same business."

Yes that's a concern if they are both practice names and one is not just a practitioner name.

As far as choices 1 - 4 I think I'd say none of the above.

If that's a good business decision for him on other levels AND it's a legit location and set up - I would not change things just to please Google. And I never advocate setting up fake suite #s.

So I guess my answer would be punt. There is a good chance it will never come up. And if it does there's now phone support where you can explain and prove the legitimacy of the arrangement.
 

katandmouse

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Thanks, Linda. I thought the same. There really isn't a good option.

Remember, the restaurant client of mine that I posted about here? He had a post-office assigned suite number and still he was dinged for having 2 different restaurants at the same address. I even got Google to call him to verify to no avail. It wasn't until we removed one of the listings that the other popped back up.

So calling them and getting verification doesn't always work. Quite often I've found their hands are tied by there own algorithms, no matter their intent, don't you?

I forgot one option. Maybe I can get them to partner up. One of them now has a really clean citation profile. ;)
 

Linda Buquet

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Ya initially I was only talking about the legitimacy/guidelines side of things from Google's viewpoint.

As far as goes, since the name and phone is different it may not be an issue. But the algo could possibly also treat it like it does dupes especially since they share a cat. They could compete either other right out of the pack. Or best case one ranks, but likely they both won't.
 
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