Many people get shocked when their local business listings on Google get taken down. There are many things that small businesses can do to avoid having their listings removed from Google, but Google doesn’t usually tell you what they are. Joy Hawkins at Search Engine Land wrote a column to help advertisers have successful local business listings on Google.
First of all, if your URL is a vanity URL which gets forwarded to another domain, your listing might be removed. This is quite clearly stated in Google’s local business listing guidelines, so just don’t do it! Another thing that clearly violates Google’s guidelines is if your listing’s address is a PO box or virtual office. Some people do this because they want to be able to have listings in multiple locations, but they don’t actually have businesses at those locations. Just don’t do this, it’s not good practice according to Joy. In addition, if your business doesn’t have an actual storefront and is online only, then a local listing just isn’t right for you. Sadly for those in more taboo industries like Gun shops and adult stores, those are not really allowed on Google+ so they can’t have local listings on the service.
Some businesses who are not well versed in the tactics of SEO will write their business name and then add extra keywords to their businesses name in the listing. This is a big no no, and it is actually a tactic used by a lot of grey hat SEOs to get their local listings to show up when they wouldn’t actually be relevant. In addition, you shouldn’t create more than one listing for the same business, because in that case, all of your pages will get suspended and you will be without a Google listing at all!
These guidelines might sound brutal but it’s actually pretty easy to avoid getting your listing taken down!
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