More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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I've been interacting on a post over at Local SEO Guide that's pretty important, so wanted to share.

A big part of my Advanced Google My Business Training focuses on learning to think like Google and teaches you how to read between the lines with the guidelines.

Additionally there are a bunch of unwritten rules I cover that many consultants are unaware of. There are MANY rules Google does not put in the guidelines, because they feel it just gives spammers and scammers a clear set of things to avoid.

So you have learn to read between the lines and also understand which unwritten rules are out there, so you don’t inadvertently trip a filter.

<img src="" alt="GMBhours" width="65%" />​

I teach these things NOT to help anyone get around the rules. I teach them because it's easy to do ethical optimization and still accidentally trip a filter, if you don't know how "she" thinks
and understand some of the common spam patterns to avoid.

The following post is an excellent example of something that is NOT spelled out clearly in the guidelines, BUT if you learn to critically read the guidelines and read between the lines, then when I explain it below, you might have an ah-ah moment! And you'll be aware of one more thing you need to double check or fix.

<a href="">New Google My Business Hours Requirement? - Local SEO Guide</a>
(Just a snippet - so click the link to read full post & comments.)

A few minutes later I got a call, and it was the Google rep I just spoke with letting me know that their “Places Consult Team” had requested that we add hours of operation for the business to the My Business listing.

Seemed like a pretty random request so I asked what that had to do with getting a dupe removed and was told that having hours of operation listed is a requirement for My Business listings and unless we add it they won’t merge the listings. Now I am pretty familiar with the local guidelines, and other then stating that you should be able to serve customers during you listed hours, or that you should be available for phone verification during your listed hours there is nothing about requiring business hours in that document.

Here is my reply...

"Andrew that’s been an unwritten rule for a long time. Read between the lines in the guidelines and you’ll see hints, but it’s not spelled out.

“should be directly contactable at the verified location during stated hours”

“your business location should be staffed and able to receive customers during its stated hours”

So I believe in their thinking, a business listed on maps should be open to walk in traffic during business hours.

If there are no hours that could mean it’s online only which isn’t allowed. OR by appointment only which is either not allowed or can’t display address, depending on the specific situation."

THEN Mark Kennedy said same thing happened to him...

Same exact think happened to us today via email…

Please update the hours of operation. Once you have done that we can work on getting the page verified

So now you know... be sure you have hours set up right on the listing.

What do you think???
Did you know about this particular unwritten rule???

PS Thanks Andrew! This is one of those unwritten rules I knew about it, but had not added it to training, because I've seldom seen it create issues. So heading over to add it right now, since I just opened the doors on the new expanded GMB course.
<meta property="og:type" content="article"><meta property="og:title" content=""><meta property="og:description" content="In my Advanced Google My Business Training, I cover a bunch of unwritten rules that many consultants are unaware of...">
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Miguel the Great just commented

Its so obvious as to why Google wants hours of operation. I don’t think that its because they want local businesses to have “walk-in” hours.

Its for Google Now!!!

They want it for mobile. To be able to tell people that are looking up a local business, that it is currently closed.

So unless you have a real brick and mortar business I would just set the hours as high as you can. 24/7 anyone?

Then Dan Leibson said:

I was under the impression that it was 100% about having the info on your Google My Business page, not as a ranking or location signal, just as a prerequisite to do a dupe merge/removal.

However I think Miguel may be partly right!

Google does not care how you rank, however they DO care about providing the most accurate results to searchers.

Since a huge percentage of surfers are now mobile and since finding a business nearby that's OPEN, is important for mobile searches, this could be in part what's behind this new push to be sure dashboards have business hours listed.

What do you think???
This happened to me last month while trying to get a GMB rep to manually verify a business listing.

He said they he wouldn't help me verify without the hours displayed. His reasoning was because they want the public to get the most accurate information and not complain that the business wasn't open, also that if Google was to call during those hours they would be able to reach someone.

You can't go wrong with being as transparent/honest as possible when it comes to your business.

I totally get the NOW database and that info being inside the knowledge graph. When you ask Google about busines hours "she" speaks with "Here are the business hours for xyz company in City of choice"
We had a client that had hours listed in Yellowpages that didn't match what was in the GMB dashboard! We did a bunch of citation clean-up so I can't say it was JUST that keeping them out of the maps, but they sure sprang back up in the maps when we cleaned it up :) Hours of Operation should be part of your citation checklist!
Thanks so much for this information. I was taught awhile ago something in complete contradiction to this and it could be a factor in a few of my pages not showing up as expected.

I was told (and I'm pretty sure this isn't correct) that Google will only display your page during business hours. So for a service business that could technically field calls 24/7, go ahead and put your hours as 24/7.

Like I said, very much in contradiction to this.

I know need to go back and correct about 100 citations.
I keep looking at this post Linda because I giggle every time I see that cat :D
Any suggestions for businesses like yoga studios that have classes throughout the day but the schedule can change day to day, week to week. Maybe just pick times that are representative of the norm?
Any suggestions for businesses like yoga studios that have classes throughout the day but the schedule can change day to day, week to week. Maybe just pick times that are representative of the norm?

I would assume most Yoga Studios have an opening and a closing time don't they?
I have a client that is open on saturdays "sometimes"... I set them as open with the hours they are usually open on saturday, but worry about someone who finds them on a day they are not. Hope I made the right choice.
How does this work for home based businesses. I have a number of clients now that own businesses that work out of their home. They even have multiple employees who are all working out of their respective homes. Obviously their home isn't available for walk in traffic, but they're available by phone during the open hours.
Steven that's one option. The other would be to be closed on Saturday but indicate in description they are open some Saturdays.

Theresa, if they work from home, address needs to be hidden. Then hours are the hours they work, either out servicing clients or are available by phone.

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