More threads by PaulSteinbrueck

Sep 8, 2016
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re: Law firms spamming Google My Business

Hey Joy,

I'm catching up on some article reading today and saw your article on Search Engine Land -

I have a follow-up question about using other attorney's addresses. Even before local search engines existed it was fairly common for attorneys in different cities to form reciprocal agreements to share office space. If Attorney A gets a client in Attorney B's city, Attorney A will actually meet with that client in a conference room in Attorney B's office. Do you think an arrangement like this meets Google's guidelines to have a GMB listing at both locations?

Re: Law firms spamming Google My Business

That violates Google's guidelines to have a GMB listing at both locations. The attorney needs a "name on the door" so to speak, and a visible sign.
Re: Law firms spamming Google My Business

Thanks for the reply. Can you post the URL of the GMB guidelines that talk about the "name on the door" and a visible sign? I tried searching Google for it but couldn't find it. Thanks!
Re: Law firms spamming Google My Business

I think Bill is saying that from experience and insider info but also the guidelines allude to it here:

  • Represent your business as it’s consistently represented and recognized in the real world across signage, stationery, and other branding.

The actual part of the guideline that's spelled out is your or YOUR staff must be there, available face-to-face for walk-in traffic during your business hours. So if he's only there once in a blue moon, that does not work.

In order to qualify for a Google My Business listing, a business must make in-person contact with customers during its stated hours.

Having signage would be one of the ways to prove he's actually working there but...

There is also the guideline that says you can't have a listing at a location that you don't own (or rent) where another company has the right to have the listing for their own business.

  • An ongoing service, class, or meeting at a location that you don't own or have the authority to represent.
Does that help clarify?
Re: Law firms spamming Google My Business

Thanks! Yes, I appreciate the help.
Re: Law firms spamming Google My Business

Hey Paul,

The situation you're describing would not be allowed. In order to qualify for a listing, the office has to be staffed during the business hours posted. If they go there by appointment this is the same thing as a virtual office and is not allowed.

I've seen tons of listings lately get removed that fit this scenario. One, for example, was for a business that just rented a room somewhere that was locked all day because he wanted to rank in that town. A competitor showed up in the middle of the day and took a video and submitted it and Google removed the listing.

Same thing for office sharing.

Having a sign is not enough - you need to actually have staff there all the time ready to service clients and they must be your staff - not the other attorney's.

Hope that answers your question. :)

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