Why Is Google so Strict About Invalid Addresses on Google My Business?


This is Part 2 of our Invalid Address Series. Click here to read Part 1 about Google’s rules for invalid addresses.

At LinkNow Media, our local SEO department is constantly helping business owners set up new Google My Business listings, claim existing listings and manage their old ones. With over 10 000 clients, we manage a lot of listings. And we get a lot of questions about Google’s rules. Especially when it comes to valid addresses—the first step toward setting up a GMB listing.

So, we thought it would be a good idea to put all the information in one place. Clarify things a little. Explain why Google is so strict about invalid addresses and why it’s important that all our clients follow Google’s guidelines. Because although we don’t make the rules, we know that following Google’s rules is the first step toward a good local SEO strategy and getting leads on Google Maps!

Understanding Relevance Is the Key to Understanding Local Search

Google’s number one priority is to provide relevant search results to its users. This goes for both regular search and local search on Google Maps. The success of Google Maps depends on the accuracy of the addresses that Google provides to its users. In other words, the addresses need to be correct so that they don’t accidentally mislead a customer.

Local search is all about finding businesses nearby. In some cases, a user will search with the intention of going to a physical location like a restaurant, storefront, or office. In other cases, that means connecting with a service-area business that serves the area that the user is based. In both cases (and all the hybrid ones) Google’s objective is to connect real users with real businesses in real physical locations.

Spam Hurts Google’s Credibility

Spammers and cheaters know this. In the past, they’d create lots of Google My Business listings using P.O. boxes, storage units, virtual offices, and more which would allow them to reach a larger “local” client base. Then Google started cracking down. And while there’s still evidence of spam all over Google Maps, it has improved significantly.

The last thing Google wants is to help spammers mislead or rip-off their users. They also don’t want to direct their users to physical addresses that are not real. This is bad for Google Maps. It ruins their credibility. They don’t like that very much.

What Will Google Do if They Find Out You Have an Invalid Address?

There are two things that are likely to happen.

First of all, they’ll suspend your listing. To be reinstated you have to appeal to GMB support and explain why you think you were suspended. Google will not tell you why they’ve suspended your listing. Then you’ll have to provide extensive proof of business, such as pictures of your signage, a lease, permits, licensing documents, etc. Only then can you re-verify your business with the postcard system. It’s a huge hassle and can have an immediate impact on your sales.

If they think you’re involved in spam or other schemes, they’ll blacklist your listing and ban you from the platform. No matter how much work you’ve put into your marketing, how much money you’ve invested, how much your business depends on being searchable on Google Maps, you’ll disappear from the map!

The thing is, you might get away with an invalid address for a while, but eventually, you’ll get caught. And when you do, there’s nothing to be done. Say goodbye to local search, to local leads. Say goodbye to good reviews. Say goodbye to free advertising. And in a world business world that’s governed by local map searches, this could seriously jeopardize your business.

Need Help Getting Your GMB Listing Set Up? LinkNow Media’s Local SEO Team is at Your Service!

We know, it’s complicated. And with the ever-changing nature of Google Maps, the rules are always changing too. If you’re unsure about the validity of the address on your GMB listing, why not give us a call? We’ll make sure that your listing meets all of Google’s regulations—which is the first step toward ranking in local searches!

Contact LinkNow Media’s Local SEO team by calling 1.888.667.7186!


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