Google has made an update to its Google Places quality guidelines. The change specifically occurs in the “Business Name” section of the guidelines and speaks about a business descriptor, which we can now add in conjunction with our business title. It includes the following three guidelines about descriptors:

  • In addition to your business’s real-world title, you may include a single descriptor that helps customers locate your business or understand what your business offers.
  • Marketing taglines, phone numbers, store codes, or URLs are not valid descriptors.
  • Examples of acceptable titles with descriptors (in italics for demonstration purposes) are “Starbucks Downtown” or “Joe’s Pizza Restaurant”. Examples that would not be accepted would be “#1 Seattle Plumbing”, “Joe’s Pizza Best Delivery” or “Joe’s Pizza Restaurant Dallas“.

Clarification on New Business Descriptors

So, according to the above points made by Google, the purpose of descriptors is to “help customers locate your business (e.g. Starbucks Downtown) or understand what your business offers (e.g. Joe’s Pizza Restaurant).” And descriptors are not for others purposes, such as making relative or false claims (e.g. #1 Seattle Plumbing/Joe’s Pizza Best Delivery), or adding long-tailed geo-targeted keywords (e.g. Joe’s Pizza Restaurant Dallas). These are big no-no’s, says Google.

Another Opportunity for Spam

Now that Google Places for Business has opened another door for potential spam, Google will need to crackdown on breaches of its guidelines on descriptors. With all the changes made and transitioning  to the new Google Places for Business and Google+ Local, how is Google going to monitor the potential effects of this new addition to Google Places for Business? How is this going to affect local search results? Leave a comment below to give your opinion on this new update.

Austin Lund