Learn all about the rules to follow when using Google My Business to list a location.
Google My Business is Google’s free SEO service. It allows companies to define the information they want to display in the search results that concern them. To prevent abuse, Google has implemented a number of rules that must be followed. They concern the presentation of the establishment, the content of the posts or the responses to the opinions of the users.
Representation of the institution
The description sheets of the establishments are subject to different rules in order to guarantee uniformity and protect personal life. The information provided must be accurate and accurate and the sheet must be a true representation of the proposed activity, as it really is and as customers know it. Owners can leave it to outsiders to change their listings using the admin role, but are responsible for verifying all information. Google also specifies that anything you post must comply with generally applicable laws and regulations.
The following points constitute the list of prohibitions related to the display of the location on Google My Business:
- no ineligible establishments: ie any real estate for sale or rental (holiday homes, show homes or vacant apartments), lead generation agencies or businesses, and services, courses or meetings that are offered on an ongoing basis at an establishment that is not yours or which you are not authorized to represent.
- no personal or confidential information: it includes personal financial information, government-issued IDs, name-related contact information, sensitive data, images, transcripts, or links to personal information.
- no illegal activities: applies to any fraudulent or illegal activity.
Be careful, in case of non-compliance with these rules, you will be subject to possible suspension of the account and removal of the information about the establishment in the Google search results.
Additional posts added to complete the file when and thanks to news are also subject to specific rules. These are in fact intended to ensure that all published content (including media) offers a positive experience to internet users.
The list of content to avoid in your Google My Business posts is as follows:
- no off-topic or irrelevant content: everything posted should help customers better understand your business.
- no spam : your listing should not mislead customers and you should avoid misspellings, meaningless content, negatively distracting media, links to malicious sites or links to sites unrelated to your business.
- no inappropriate content: any content that is harassing, bullying, hateful, abusive, promotes violence, or is suggestive/sexually oriented is strictly prohibited.
- no content related to products or services subject to regulation: Mentions of regulated products such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling, financial services or pharmaceuticals are not allowed in the messages.
- no content related to the exploitation of children: any post showing or suggesting child exploitation will be removed, lead to a page suspension and reported to the appropriate authorities.
- no terrorist content: all content of a terrorist nature, related to recruitment or any other practice, is prohibited. If an institution is required to publish information on this subject for educational, documentary, scientific or artistic purposes, it must provide sufficient keys of understanding to prove this to users.
- no misleading statements or false claims: it is forbidden to usurp the identity of a person or an organization, as well as to lie in your posts (about prices for example).
As with the institution’s representation, all of these points may lead to account suspension and removal of research information.
Comments on reviews
When users leave reviews on your Google My Business listing, it is possible to respond with the option Messages. These comments are also subject to different rules, as are the comments of people outside the establishment.
Your answers must respect these 4 rules:
- no sensitive information: you must not request or distribute sensitive information (payment card number, social security number, passport number and other government identifiers, login credentials, etc.).
- always respond appropriately: you are required to respond to customers requesting a response. Please note, your response must remain relevant and must not stem from the original request.
- no misleading statements or false advertising: it is strictly forbidden to give false answers (for example about an identity or your qualifications).
- prompt response obligation: it is important to respond quickly to users. If you reply very late, or if you don’t reply, Google may deactivate your comment space (which lists your customer reviews).