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Thread: Google Map Maker Guidelines & Resources

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Google Map Maker Guidelines & Resources

    Even though I don't recommend business owners or even consultants edit in MM unless they are committed to REALLY learning how to use it, I do stress the importance of using it for diagnosis and troubleshooting. But the other thing we all, including me, need to be cognizant of is the Google Map Maker Guidelines.

    Places guidelines are often very vague. Some corresponding MM are very strict and explicit. So we should all check MM guidelines too for anything when we are in doubt. The important reason for that is that if a listing for any reason ends up going to the MM team or a Googler on the maps side of the house, evals or edits your listing, they could very well be editing per the MM guidelines, not the Places guidelines.

    I have not been checking MM guidelines as much as I should either and Andrew and Gregg our 2 members that are Map Maker power users, often quote MM guidelines that usually surprise me because they are so strict and different from Places.

    So I thought it could be good to have links to the most important guidelines, pinned here for easy access.

    Google Map Maker Help & Guidelines

    Prohibited Businesses and locations - Map Maker Help

    Name - Map Maker Help

    Address - Map Maker Help

    Categories - Map Maker Help
    Also see: Deep Dive into Google Map Maker Categories

    Description and comments - Map Maker Help

    Duplicates - Map Maker Help
    "Some doctors may share the same office address with other doctors. If the listings have different doctor names, they are not duplicates, even if they have the same phone number. The same goes for lawyers, insurance agents, etc."


    Other Google Map Maker Resources

    Google Map Maker Forum

    List of Map Maker Bots (To help you understand which one edited your listing and why)

    Above are just a few of the most important links that directly deal with Places, BUT there are more buried at links all over that I'm sure I missed. So that list is just a starting point we can build on.

    Gregg and Andrew, please let me know below if there are other good ones I missed and I'll add them above. Also nudge me if anything significant changes that I should note under the links above.

    Please visit our Map Maker Forum for TONS of other important MM information.
    ARKlady ARKtechCo likes this.
    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

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    Re: Google Map Maker Guidelines & Resources

    Note the need for the thread above was proven in part by this thread.

    Phil said:

    Thanks, Andrew! But business owners aren't going to have read the MM guidelines, because maybe 2% of them know about it (and Google doesn't tell them to get familiar with it, either).
    I replied:

    /start rant

    I totally agree Phil that SMBs and even consultants don't read the MM guidelines or help docs because they don't realize they even exist, much yet how important they are becoming.

    And yes agree Google should either link to MM guidelines...
    OR BETTER YET get all the guidelines in SYNC!!!

    The inconsistency is NOT fair and wastes EVERYONE'S time including the business owner's. And even if they don't care about that, they should at least care about all the WASTED GOOGLE SUPPORT TIME that happens due to unclear and conflicting guidelines!

    /end rant
    The other thread that even more distinctly show the danger of the differences in the guidelines is this one. See all the posts from Andrew and Gregg about how MM opposes name structure that Places says is OK. Disconnected Listings in Google Search Results?
    LocalSearchForumLinda Buquet .:. Google Local Specialist

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    Re: Google Map Maker Guidelines & Resources

    This is a GREAT resource Linda. Thanks for making a sticky note for this!

    I don't see any point in sitting back and playing the ignorance card with some of these guidelines just because the Places side doesn't have it outlined.

    Every local marketing consultant should be proactive and get to know all of these guidelines just like they would know the Google Places quality guidelines.
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    Re: Google Map Maker Guidelines & Resources

    Well said Colan!

    Hate to bring it up (and don't want to go off topic discussing in this thread), but ADDITIONALLY now if you are going to do G+ pages for clients or merge local listings with G+, then there is a 3rd set of totally different rules you need to know. G+ TOS and guidelines! (I'll try to do another sticky to add in the Google Business pages section of the forum, about those guidelines and other important G+ resources too.)

    I think we should re-name the forum "Local Knowledge Base" or something. There are just so damn many things that need to be explained and documented in order to help folks deal with the giant complicated puzzle... that is Google Local.
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    Re: Google Map Maker Guidelines & Resources

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Buquet View Post
    (I'll try to do another sticky to add in the Google Business pages section of the forum, about those guidelines and other important G+ resources too.)
    Great point! Depressing, but great point

    This would make a very helpful sticky as well.
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    Re: Google Map Maker Guidelines & Resources

    Agreed Linda, MapMaker guidelines do seem to be more succinct and up-to-date. Thanks for posting these links (a good reminder). I'm going to edit my latest blog to include these links for "categories" and "description and comments."

    Below is a copy of part of the Address guidelines that I believe were most recently on MapMaker before the latest update:

    Street address:
    P.O. Boxes are not considered accurate physical locations. Address should always be the physical address that gets you to the correct business in combination with the title. Preferably, spell out “Street”, “Avenue”, “Highway”. Do not use special characters (i.e., #@&%^$*) unless they're included in the official name. The # symbol is acceptable in address line preceding a suite number. Suite number can be added to the building number field using this format:


    Example #1: 100 Howard Avenue, Suite 200 or 100 Howard Avenue #200 (Correct)
    Example #2: 15640 NE 4th Plain Road, Suite number 200 #18 (Correct)

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    Linda Buquet (02-11-2013)

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    Re: Google Map Maker Guidelines & Resources

    Dave, that quote is all good information except for the suite number part. There are two fields, one called Street Number and the other called Address Line. Street Number is the 123 in 123 Main Street.

    Before they added Address Line about 2 years ago, you could only wedge in a suite number by putting it in the same box, so 7,123 in that box meant "7 - 123 Main Street" in most of the world and "123 Main Street, #7" in the US.

    But a couple of years ago the Address Line was added. The 7 now goes in there. You are permitted to also put #7 in there.

    This will become really important when the format for Community Edits being tested in Canada is rolled out worldwide.

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    Dave Cosper (02-11-2013),Linda Buquet (02-11-2013)

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    Re: Google Map Maker Guidelines & Resources

    Quote Originally Posted by Flash View Post
    This will become really important when the format for Community Edits being tested in Canada is rolled out worldwide.
    @Flash and all,

    Not sure if this was posted elsewhere, but Blumenthal commented on this today, and suggested the following way to access this feature for US listings (pretty cool):

    You can see this interface by finding the G+Local page for any Canadian business and selecting the “Report a Problem” link. It will take you to a simplified MapMaker front end.


    To use this interface for a US business take this url:
    google[dot]com/mapmaker?ui_type=pc&cid=14559600961048311719&src=1

    and substitute the CID for your local business and you will gain access.
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    Re: Google Map Maker Guidelines & Resources

    Dan would have provided that to him. I had thought Dan had said that it is view only, though; no editing. Don't have time to check myself until later.

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    Re: Google Map Maker Guidelines & Resources

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Cosper View Post
    Not sure if this was posted elsewhere, but Blumenthal commented on this today, and suggested the following way to access this feature for US listings (pretty cool):

    You can see this interface by finding the G+Local page for any Canadian business and selecting the “Report a Problem” link. It will take you to a simplified MapMaker front end.

    To use this interface for a US business take this url:
    google[dot]com/mapmaker?ui_type=pc&cid=14559600961048311719&src=1

    and substitute the CID for your local business and you will gain access.
    Thanks Dave, I saw that yesterday too and was going to post but didn't get a chance.
    I'm anxious to try it. Sounds like it's not just view only, but works.
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