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How to Add Categories to Google Maps & Google My Business

At the time of writing this, there are 3,956 categories for businesses in the USA inside the Google My Business dashboard.  Google adds, removes, and modifies categories each month and the list varies from country to country.  But what if you’re a business that is in a category that doesn’t fit any of the existing choices?   What if your business category isn’t listed as an option in Google Maps or Google My Business?

How do you get Google (Google Maps & Google My Business) to add a category?

The best way to get Google to add a category is to post a thread on the Google My Business help forum.  However, it’s important to note that simply requesting a category is not enough.  You need to provide substantial supporting documents and information to convince Google that adding your category is necessary.  Recently, I assisted with a thread at the forum where the user requested that Google change a category.  In the USA there is a category called “dental implants periodontist” but the user gave a ton of supporting, credible, documents to help illustrate that people who perform dental plant procedures are not always periodontists.  Although he was requesting that Google change the category, Google actually decided to add a new category in June of 2020 called “Dental Implants Provider” and the original category for “Dental Implants Periodontist” still exists.

How long will it take Google to add the category?

In this case, the user requested this at the end of September, 2019 and the category was added 9 months later.  So if you’re looking for a quick turnaround, you’re not likely to get one.

 

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Joy Hawkins

Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006, writes for publications such as Search Engine Land, and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove, and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Hi Joy, good info! Where can I locate a complete list of business categories that is frequently updated?

  2. Question for you, Joy. I work with a client who sells commercial insurance or business insurance (think business liability, workers compensation, etc.). There is no good category that I’ve found for this service, and I’ve instead opted for the more general “insurance agency.” Do you think this would be a good case to bring to the forum with a request to add a “business insurance” category?

  3. We are incredibly frustrated by this issue. Google is forcing us to classify our business as ‘Pet Groomer’ when in fact, we are a ‘Self Service Dog Wash’ business. We do not provide grooming in any fashion. We are getting customers who are contacting us and are completely confused as it’s listed as such on our business profile listing. I attempted to contact google business profile support and they simply reply with “we are unable to add new categories”, even when I mentioned it’s causing our business grief. There are over 800 Pet Wash Kiosks across the country that are built from the manufacturer we used alone, not counting the other manufacturers. Many self service car washes and laundromats have units next to them offering customers the ability to wash their pet. Clearly from the category update listing, they are adding new categories monthly. Someone obviously has the ability to add new ones.

  4. I tried what you said by posting a thread on Google My Business help forum. But they said this is NOT the way to ask for this.

    Here is their reply:
    If you would like to give your opinions to Google about features of the GBP platform, then there is an option for that. To access this, please log in to https://business.google.com, then select the business profile you manage, and browse to the page you would like to send feedback about. Once on this page, choose “Support” from the left hand pane, and then in the window that pops up, choose “Send feedback” at the bottom. This will allow you to give Google your opinions and feedback about features of the platform.
    There is no guarantee that Google will act on individual feedback, but all feedback received is recorded and analyzed to help Google determine future decisions.

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