Can I Change The Business Name In Google Maps To Whatever I Want?
Super Short Answer: When you signed the agreement for Google Maps, you agreed to to comply with its policies and procedures before posting your information. In the policies and procedures it states that you will use your actual business name as it is printed and used elsewhere and on your business license as your business name in the setup for your map listing.
So if your business name is ‘Chuckie’s Gravestones’, and you decide to put in your business name ‘Best Custom Grave Stones New York, NY’ – because you think the keywords and location in your title is going to help you get rank, you are right. However, you are wrong if thinking that is not a violation of the agreement you signed.
There was a story online about a SEO company/individual who lost like 50 accounts he was holding for customers in Google Maps, all suspended, overnight, due to policy violations like this. And I have seen it happen to people personally. When Google Maps is 50% of your business, getting your Google Maps suspended is a big deal.
Why Does Google Want Your Name To Appear Exactly As It Is For Your Business Entity?
Because it’s the right thing to do. Also, because there are a lot of companies out there cheating to get rank by modifying the business name in the title. Including businesses that are lead generation companies, using PO boxes and Virtual addresses and home addresses to get as many Google Maps listings as they can find. This caused Google to crack down on the policy abusers and thus, some of the legitimate companies working from virtual addresses and home businesses had to go through extra steps to prove their legitimacy, but in effect also it helped these businesses because it eliminated a lot of the competition that was leeching leads from exploiting Google Maps.
How Does Google Verify Your Business Name?
A lot of ways, they use the online database of information, including business directories and business listing information for your state or country to determine if the business name matches, and Google has over 1,000,000 real people manually double checking businesses for legitimacy. There are other reasons that are not mentioned, and you agreed to bide by that policy when you signed up.
Remember: Google is a business, and does it best to abide by fair business practices. Handling the onslaught of companies that abuse policies and try to find loopholes is a daily ongoing task that forces even the good people to take an extra step. Google is a great way to get your business out there by using the search bar, but another way may be to advertise on your business vehicles. But remember to insure any vehicle you use for your company, places like moneyexpert.com offer great policies for your specific needs.
Conclusion: So What Do You Do?
Make the business name match the business name you signed up with in your state or country and have it match exactly, every time you post it online, in every business directory and on your apparel and stationary, etc..
- Yelp – Chuckie’s Gravestones
- Google Places – Chuckie’s Gravestones
- Angie’s List – Chuckie’s Gravestones
- Yellow Pages – Chuckie’s Gravestones
- Yelp – Chuckie’s Custom Gravestones
- Google Places – Chuckie’s Best Custom Gravestones
- Angie’s List – Chuckie’s Gravestones
- Yellow Pages – Best Custom Gravestones New York
What If I Have Multiple Locations?
There is a tendency to want to put the location, to help distinguish the difference your businesses in each location. Google will figure it out, keep the business name the same, do not include multiple location keywords in the business name, keep it the same.
What About The Policy Abusers, It’s Just Not Fair
“I’ve been in business for 10 years with Jack’s Gravestones, and this new business is getting ranked above me because his business name is ‘Custom Gravestones New York’ – he will eventually get noticed and possibly suspended without notice, as in the policy he signed.
Don’t worry about the people who are trying to bend the rules or beak policy to get ahead. If you do the right and honest thing, eventually the reward will come to you, even if you have to be patient and wait for it.