Blueviolet38

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I am considering buying a very small service company but the address they use on Google is no longer occupied by them in any way. He told me 'We are no longer at that address. We used that address for Google and Yelp. It was a coworking space'. Does this mean another company could create a GMB listing there and create a duplicate thus potentially causing one to be suspended? Thanks for your help.
 

keyserholiday

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If the business is not at that listed address, then it is in violation of Google’s TOS and would be subject to suspension. Google is performing weekly if not daily sweeps on fraudulent listings. Competitors are also reporting fake listings too. You run a high risk of having the listing getting suspended if you decide to purchase it.
 

Blueviolet38

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Understood. We would be hiding the address if we buy it but I understand that is also against T+C.

What would happen if another business set up an office there just curious? Would this also lead to a suspension?
 

keyserholiday

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Hiding the address won't prevent the listing from being suspended. If you attempt to create another listing at that address, it would be subject to a suspension. Listings at virtual offices have a higher likelihood of getting suspended. If the business is a pure SAB where you visit your clients at their location, use your home address, and hide it.
 

Blueviolet38

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I wouldn't be creating another listing at that address. I'm more concerned that a different business entirely would create a business at the address?
 

keyserholiday

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If they, they would be subject to Google’s TOS and would risk being caught and suspended.
 

Phil Rozek

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@Blueviolet38, if it's good office space, then another business will probably move into it at some point. Let's assume that happens. When it does, if that business is not in the same industry / category as the old occupant, it's relatively unlikely your GMB page or their GMB page would be suspended. That's a scenario Google's used to seeing: a bunch of unrelated businesses at the same address. You'd still be susceptible to competitors' or others' Google Maps edits, because (as @keyserholiday said) your page would be in violation of GMB policies. So, as usual, the main risk you run in not adhering to GMB policies isn't Google itself, but rather competitors. Google doesn't do much by itself to patrol the map, and relies mostly on public edits.

Where you're more likely to run into a suspension is if the old occupant (i.e. you or the seller of the business you're buying) and the new occupant are in the same line of work or very similar lines of work. Then that looks fishier to Google.
 

Blueviolet38

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@Blueviolet38, if it's good office space, then another business will probably move into it at some point. Let's assume that happens. When it does, if that business is not in the same industry / category as the old occupant, it's relatively unlikely your GMB page or their GMB page would be suspended. That's a scenario Google's used to seeing: a bunch of unrelated businesses at the same address. You'd still be susceptible to competitors' or others' Google Maps edits, because (as @keyserholiday said) your page would be in violation of GMB policies. So, as usual, the main risk you run in not adhering to GMB policies isn't Google itself, but rather competitors. Google doesn't do much by itself to patrol the map, and relies mostly on public edits.

Where you're more likely to run into a suspension is if the old occupant (i.e. you or the seller of the business you're buying) and the new occupant are in the same line of work or very similar lines of work. Then that looks fishier to Google.
Thanks Phil, I appreciate the insight. So if coworking space is rented but not manned during all business hours should the address be hidden? Or is coworking space only allowed on the assumption it is manned during all business hours?
 

Blueviolet38

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The latter. (At least if you're hewing to GMB policies, which I would suggest.)

So there is no situation where hiding the address for a coworking space would be in line with GMB policies? Just trying to fully get my ahead around it as I know hiding home/office addresses is in line with policies if you're a service company...
 
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stevedavey

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If you don't have clients that would come to that office, then hiding the address is not violating google policies. Keyser Holiday's comment of "Google is performing weekly if not daily sweeps on fraudulent listings" ... not in our market. It's difficult to get them to remove spam when we serve it up for them on a silver platter.
 

Yan Gilbert

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A co working space is not eligible unless someone is physically there during the stated open hours, regardless if you hide the address or not.
If you don't have a staffed office to use for an address, then you can use your own home residential address for the location of the listing while hiding the address.
 

Blueviolet38

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I don't live in the state but may be able to staff it. Just curious as to what is the lesser of two evils here? It seems to me that leaving the address of a co-working space visible is more logical than hiding it.
 

Tony Wang

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Both are risky in different ways. Leaving everything as is might not cause any problems until someone reports you or Google somehow identifies your co-working space, but it will happen sooner or later. Suddenly hiding your address might trigger a Google response, as well.

I think what everyone here has been trying to say is that using a co-working space is not really a good idea. Even if you had it staffed all day, Google can suspend the listing, leaving you with the heavy burden of proving that it's a legit office.

If you're serious about running this business, get a real office space or use your home address. Anything else involves some type of risk. You may be willing to take that risk, we're just letting you know it exists.
 

Phil Rozek

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@Blueviolet38, what @Tony Wang said. In general, the co-working space is not a good idea. For better or for worse, the chances you'll get a suspension are relatively slim. But if your listing does get pulled, you'll be in a tough spot - definitely short-term and maybe longer-term.

It's ideal not to need to sleep with one eye open.
 
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