Google+ Local released an update to the quality guidelines that opens the door for complex organizations to expand their local footprint and develop profiles to promote individual departments. With this announcement brings a lot of local search optimization opportunities since we no longer need to optimize one profile for every category, subcategory & keyword. As with any new SEO opportunity, we’re predicting a large amount of spam and swift enforcement from Google’s policy team.
Here’s the new policy in Google’s words:
Individual practitioners may be listed individually as long as those practitioners are public-facing within their parent organization. Common examples of such practitioners are doctors, dentists, lawyers, and real estate agents. The practitioner should be directly contactable at the verified location during stated hours. A practitioner should not have multiple listings to cover all of his or her specializations.
Departments within businesses, universities, hospitals, and government buildings may be listed separately. These departments must be publicly distinct as entities or groups within their parent organization, and ideally will have separate phone numbers and/or customer entrances.
Here’s what it could mean for a few complex organizations:
Hospitals & Medical Facilities: Multiple Departments that are unique and public facing can now have their own profiles allowing hospitals to provide specialized content for each different practice area.
Law Firms: Individual lawyers can now create their own Google+ Local pages in addition to practice pages.. but don’t get too greedy, you still will not be able to create separate profiles for each area of practice (i.e. Malpractice Law, Traffic)
Doctors: Have multiple offices? You can now list each location with the stipulation that your hours are accurate for when you’re at each of the locations.
Universities: Doesn’t get any more complex than a university with dozens of schools, departments and facilities. Now each department and facility can have its own profile.
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