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Hi all, I'm trying to vet out two conflicting pieces of advice I've heard and figure out which one is correct.

I have an SEO telling me that it's best practice to not use more than five categories in GMB, even if all of the categories are truly relevant to the business. They claim that using more than five leads to category dilution and removing any extra will boost our rankings for the others.

On the other hand, I attended a talk at the WhiteSpark summit about local ranking factors in 2020 where the presenter said that so long as all of the categories are relevant, it's better to have more than less. They claimed that category dilution is no longer a major issue.

In my own experience, even a secondary GMB category can make the difference between ranking and not ranking for a search. So, who's right? Or are they both right to varying degrees?
 
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Category dilution was always just a theory, and the great @Colan Nielsen disproved it. It's not a thing: 99 Problems But Category Dilution Ain't One - Sterling Sky Inc

The recommendation is to add as many relevant categories as are applicable to your business, because every new category is another term you can rank for.

The only thing I would caution against is "category confusion". This is when many of your categories are unrelated and Google is like "What the heck is this business anyway?" This can happen if your categories are completely unrelated and from very different industries:

whitespark

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Category dilution was always just a theory, and the great @Colan Nielsen disproved it. It's not a thing: 99 Problems But Category Dilution Ain't One - Sterling Sky Inc

The recommendation is to add as many relevant categories as are applicable to your business, because every new category is another term you can rank for.

The only thing I would caution against is "category confusion". This is when many of your categories are unrelated and Google is like "What the heck is this business anyway?" This can happen if your categories are completely unrelated and from very different industries:
 
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WilliamA

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As long as the categories are specific to the business, it wont matter. The value you give for primary category makes a big difference, but not sure if the other order and number of them matter. I love the example from @whitespark above. It gives the details with experimental data.

Check sample screenshot of search term 'Lawyers in Atlanta' with GMB Everywhere chrome extension enabled. As you can see many of the top ones has more than 5. Have annotated with blue marker.
1618475916303.png
 
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