More threads by Digitaldar

Dec 8, 2014
Reaction score
A couple of weeks ago I hacked my client's GMB business name to see if that would improve visibility in Google - and it did. From >50 to #2 and we've held for weeks.

Should I go through now and update citations to match GMB?

Thank you and have a great weekend!
As I pointed out last time, Google's Guidelines are clear:
Your name should reflect your business? real-world name, as used consistently on your storefront, website, stationery, and as known to customers. Accurately representing your business name helps customers find your business online.

I have good reason to believe that Google's days of leniency on name spam are coming to a close. If you want to have a keyword rich name for ranking reasons that's fine, but if you're sloppy you're going to put the client's long term success at risk. If you want to keep the new name, you need to not only update the client's citations, you also need to get a legal DBA, change the client's branding, and train the employees to all answer the phone using the new business name. The client will need to treat this as a 100% complete and total legal rebrand of their business. Since they're new it might be worth it, but I wouldn't be surprised if 2 years from now, the name just isn't a ranking factor anymore. Does the client want to tie themselves in their customers minds to a generic silly name like "Boston Plumbers" for temporary SEO reasons? If so then go for it, just know what you're recommending for them, know how far they need to take it, and know what the risks are if you're sloppy with it.
James I completely agree with you... I warned the client that it is against Google policy. It reminds me of the days of working in an agency and I would get furious with the crappy links that were built - against Google guidelines. But the agency did it and the client sites gained momentum - until one night when all sites came crashing down :-(

Client is absolutely willing to change company name, etc.

We are actively building reviews, content, citations, links from local sites (by doing media appearances, guest blog posts, in person workshops, etc.) - but until Google decides to recognize all of this, the client is almost invisible in Google!

It is a shame that SECONDS after changing their name in GMB they went from position > 50 to #2...

Client called Google to complain about competitor's doing this and made recommended edits - Google told them it is ok to keyword spam in GMB! Crazy talk!
Outsourced Google reps seem to have almost zero training. They just want to get you off of the phone and it doesn't surprise me they told you that to a) avoid a confrontation and b) to hang up the phone.

It's unwise for your client to change their branding based on one factor that Google may change tomorrow. Will they change it tomorrow? I doubt it. But still.

With that being said, yeah it's against Google's policies but they don't police them. So, I understand what your client is saying and why not? It's not something we will recommend for our clients as we don't want to be responsible for a suspension but how can you argue against it if a client wants to do it?

This 1 factor has been an issue for about 2+ years now. Google needs to get their act together.
I have noticed that businesses with a keyword/phrase in their name are able to outrank more legitimate businesses with ease. In my local town for one local keyword the first 5 results were occupied by businesses that were miles away from the local town but their business names contained the keyphrase. None of them were "claimed" and one did not even have a "category".

This begs the question, can an unclaimed business be classed as Spam? How would you create an unclaimed business? If it is not possible to create an unclaimed business then they cannot be reported as "Spam".
I believe that unclaimed businesses are as a result of Google My Business picking up listings from Yellow Pages and the like?
I just changed the company name for another client... I did not include the city in the name but rather a description of the service offered - and they went from >50 to a position between 2 and 4 depending upon query...

Very sad...
I just changed the company name for another client... I did not include the city in the name but rather a description of the service offered - and they went from >50 to a position between 2 and 4 depending upon query...

Very sad...

if youre going to do this, at least build a separate maps location to do it with, that way if the spammy one gets nuked it doesnt affect their main listing

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

LocalU Event

LocalU Webinar

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Top Bottom