For many local businesses, Google Maps has been a source of irritation and frustration. While they depend on their Local Business Listing to convey the correct data about their operation to potential customers, it can be difficult to ensure accurate information.
This becomes doubly frustrating when they see their competitors getting away will all kinds of shady tricks, such as using false business names, creating multiple listings and listing their enterprises in places where they are not located. Spammers are a clever and persistent bunch and found ways to circumvent the checks Google set up to prevent these kinds of problems.
Now, Google Maps has published official Business Listing Quality Guidelines. They are accompanied by the threat of “being permanently removed from Google Maps” as a possible consequence for non-compliance. The guidelines also include a link for reporting abuse and another for filing a reinclusion request if your listing is tossed out.
In addition, they state, “Google may respond negatively to other practices not listed here. If you have any question about whether or not a tactic is deceptive, we recommend you stand on the side of caution.”
Check out the new Local Business Listing guidelines for particulars.