When Can Service-Based Businesses Have Multiple GMB Listings | SEO Consultants | Sterling Sky Inc.

When Can Service-Based Businesses Have Multiple Google My Business Listings?

One of the most common reasons for Google My Business listings getting suspended is the fact that the address being used is not eligible for a listing according to the Google My Business Guidelines.  For many industries like car dealers, retail, retaurants and hotels, it’s very clear that you’d only have a listing for your stores because customers have to show up to your location to get the product/service they need.  Where this gets murky is when you have a business that offers professional services (like lawyers or insurance agents) or home services (like locksmiths or garage door companies) and don’t require the customer to come to them.  

In cases like this, most want to take advantage of google my business for multiple locations so that they can reap the benefit of ranking in multiple zip codes & cities.  I have seen many attempts over the last decade where people try to argue different incorrect interpretations of the Google My Business Guidelines.  I decided to write this article to help clarify some of the most common misinterpretations I run across.  This article was updated on October 6, 2020 to reflect the new changes Google made to their guidelines around this topic.

Jump To: What industries do these rules apply to?, Can I set up listings using employees’ home addresses?, Why are franchises allowed multiple listings?, Can I use a co-working space or virtual office?, How are you so certain you are interpreting the guidelines correctly?, Contact us

If I’m a home-based company, can I have multiple listings?

home based business electrician sterling sky seo consultantsIf you work mainly from your house or you don’t have an office, you would be considered a home-based business and should use your home address in your Google My Business listing.  Google has the option for you to clear the address (this is the default when you don’t check the box indicating customers also come to your location) so you won’t have to worry about your home address showing up publicly on your listing.  

In their guidelines, Google says you can have google my business multiple location listings provided the following is true:

  • You have different staff servicing the different areas
  • The addresses on the listings are farther than 2 hours driving distance from each other
  • The service areas don’t overlap

What industries do these rules apply to?

If you see customers at their houses/locations instead of them coming to you, you would be classified as a service area business and should not have an address displaying publicly on your listing. The industry you work in doesn’t matter.

employees houses sab businesses sterling sky inc SEO expertsCan I set up listings using employees’ home addresses?

When this question has come up at LocalU events in the past, Google has always said no.  The guidelines say not to use a location that you don’t have the authority to represent.  Employees are not owners and might not always work for your company.  If that employee left your company, it would create a lot of additional headaches to remove the address from being associated with your business everywhere online.  Also, updating the address on a service area business listing often causes a suspension


Why are franchises allowed multiple listings?

There are many popular franchises in the home service space that have listings for several home-based locations that seem to violate the 2-hour driving distance rule. For example, this franchise has 3 listings within the Dallas-Fort-Worth market which are not 2 hours away from each other:

 Why franchises are allowed multiple home-based listings is often because the different “locations” have different owners and are independently set up. For example, you cannot call one location to get help for a project the other location did for you. They are often also independently licensed and have unique entries when you look them up with the Secretary of State.  

In these cases, we normally find that the service areas for each location do not overlap.


Can I use a co-working space or virtual office?

coworking space sterling sky SEO I asked Google if co-working spaces or virtual offices were allowed to be used on service area business listings and was told a very clear “no”.  Google is pretty clear about their policy about virtual offices not being allowed but businesses still continually claim that they are staffed and should be allowed.  The biggest misconception is that the staff needs to be your own, not some service you hired.  For example, if you pay $150/month to get a virtual office service that gets you a receptionist at the front desk to respond to any inquiries, this does not qualify. That receptionist is not employed by you (you don’t pay her taxes) and offers this same virtual service to many other businesses. The only time a virtual office address would be permitted would be if you could prove you had an employee there all day (during your stated hours). This is almost impossible to prove which is why I rarely see virtual offices reinstated once they have been suspended.  

How are you so certain you are interpreting the guidelines correctly?

The Google My Business guidelines do not spell out every possible case or scenario.  When the guidelines were updated recently about google my business for multiple locations, I ran a ton of specific scenarios past multiple Google employees to make sure I was interpreting things correctly. That being said, if you have a scenario that you’re unclear about, the best thing to do would be to ask about it on the Google My Business forum.  Also, feel free to post your questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to get you an answer from Google on it.

Contact Our Google My Business SEO Experts At Sterling Sky Inc.

If you’re a local business that needs help with their Google My Business listing or their business’s online presence on Google and other search engines, at Sterling Sky we can help. We offer SEO auditsconsulting, or monthly local SEO services. Contact our office today for more information.


Check out what William had to say about our local SEO services on Google.

“Sterling Sky is easily the best Local SEO company in North America. Joy is known as an expert in this area and she is surrounded by a star studded team of similar hard working bright minds. They carefully research and implement best practices to increase SEO and customer usability. There is no one better for Local SEO. If you need help with GMB (Google My Business), reviews, On Page SEO, PR, or if you just want better rankings, contact Sterling Sky. I have consulted with Joy and been a client for over 4 years and it has helped my business to dominate.”

December 22, 2020

And See These Other Articles By SEO Expert Joy Hawkins:


142 replies on "When Can Service-Based Businesses Have Multiple Google My Business Listings?"

  1. We have two locations, 50 miles apart, having two locations has not been an issue, that I know of. Both are staffed with multiple employees, HVAC Contractor. Should I be concerned? Can I open more like this? Where don I report competitors that are in violation? Thanks, Dave

        1. I meant they are staffed during office hours but our techs are in the field and they are working 24/7. But by having an office we cant show 24/7 so our competitors are at an advantage.

          1. I see lots of storefront listings have 24-hrs listed. Technically, you’re not supposed to (Google tells you not to) but I’ve only ever seen them enforce hours guidelines if the listing gets suspended. At that point, if you had 24 hours listed, it wouldn’t get reinstated until it was fixed.

  2. Hi Joy,

    I have a client who employs insurance agents as independent contractors. In trying to wrangle their listings in the past, we have ultimately left it up to the agents to create and manage their own listings. In this case, these people typically use their home as the office address and then toggle GMB to signify they service clients outside the place of business.

    How would you approach this scenario? Do I suggest that they stave off using GMB altogether to comply, and use the one singular HQ address? Or is independent representation of you’re own local business out of your home still “white hat”?

    1. Hey Ryan,

      If the insurance agents are client-facing (like realtors) and are individually licensed, they likely qualify for practitioner listings. I spoke to Google and they’d be okay with the insurance agents using their home address (if that’s their preference) provided they actually meet up with clients in person. There is a fine line between employees and practitioners. In a typical insurance office you only have a few agents but tons of other employees. The other caveat here is that the agents themselves would need to be the owners of their listings. The would hold the ultimate rights to the listings, not the company that hires them. Google always views practitioner listings this way. If a dentist goes and works for a new dental practice, his listing belongs to him, not the business he just left. In your case, the listings would have to be set up by the insurance agents, especially if they are using private info (home addresses) on them.

      1. Charlie,

        If you remove them from your Google My Business account they will become unverified. Then you can contact GMB support to actually remove the listings from Maps or you can use “suggest an edit” on the listing to report it as “Doesn’t Exist”.

        1. Great post! What about a contractor business with multiple business names for each service line (basements, HVAC, etc) that serves the same geographic area? Same address and phone number.

  3. Hi Joy,

    I wanted to get your take on department listings in relation to attorneys- occasionally we have clients that want to set up a second website for a different practice area than their main site but they only have one location. Is it okay to set up a second listing for the same business at the same location if the categories are different (one site is family law and the other is personal injury, etc.)? Does this fall under department listings since each listing is targeting a different search term or is Google still going to view it as a duplicate because it’s technically the same law firm at the same address? Does the firm choosing slightly different names helpful or making it worse (i.e. Smith Personal Injury Firm Vs. Smith Family Law Firm), assuming both names are consistent with branding on their respective websites and other entities?

    1. These would be practitioner listings (not department listings) and lawyers are definitely eligible for practitioner listings. I’d advise NOT using the name of the firm in their business name to keep the individual attorneys from ranking for the branded terms. Also, I advise not overlapping categories if possible.

  4. Thank you! To follow up, I think in general when this scenario comes up, the client is expecting to get a second set of listings “as the firm”, not as a practitioner because they want the firm as a whole represented on the second listing, so it sounds like we should be telling them if they have a second website and want a second listing, their only valid option is a practitioner listing, correct? We generally avoid those if we can, but if that’s the only GMB-compliant option then sounds like we should go for that instead of trying for a department listing.
    What if there is only one attorney at the firm and therefore isn’t eligible for a practitioner listing but still has that second site for a different category? Out of luck?

    1. No the law firm is not allowed 2 listings. The practitioner listings also “belong” to the attorneys, not the law firm so that’s something you have to keep in mind. If that attorney leaves the firm, they own the rights to the listing, not the firm. Technically a solo-practitioner CAN have his own listing, it’s just not advised.

  5. Hi Joy , what about different companies on the same address with the same businessowner. With only one entrance .
    Are they allowed to have different listings ? Or is this shop in shop ? Many thanks Jeanot

    1. They might be able to have different listings. Depends on if the businesses are actually independently registered and if they have proper signs.

      1. I have a Villa Hotel & a Bar & Hookah Lounge, 2 Different Businesses, 2 websites, 2 différent names, 2 different LLC & DBA
        1 Owner, 1 Main Phone # 1 Address
        But 2 different entrances, Google suspended my hookah bar listing, Call, got instructions to change it, was told 24/48 hours it would be re-activated, called back 5 days later, was asked to send emails of signs, 2 diferent entrances, different Brochures, different products & services, spent 1/3 of day dealing with google again, same answer, 24 to 48 hours, i called again 3 more times every 7 days, it has been 5 weeks, now google says they investigates my business & it could get weeks before they re-activate my Hookah Lounge, i Can not post my Menu, i can not post my service photos, i can not post my specials,
        But at the Same time, google accepts my advertising $$$$ for my Hookah Bar, i even got propected physically by a 360 Google Photographer who told me if I sign up for $499 360 virtual Tour for my Hookah Bar, he will get my Listing re-activate in a Blink.
        I felt it s Extorsion & Black Mail of Small Businesses, i am so upset Google suspended my Hookah Bar Listing just in beginning of Summer, my pick season for Students on the beach 18 & over who wants to try Hookah.
        What Should I do? Can I sue Google for Damages for Lost of Business & Extorsion as Google Photographer offered me to pay $499 to get 360 virtual tour to get my Listing re-activate?

  6. Hi Joy,
    I see many examples where a brand name sets up a GMB listing within a department store.
    This seems spammy to me – is it within the guidelines?

    I also see hotels (pubs AND accommodation style ones), who have separate listings for their restaurant, their gym and their betting facilities, is this ‘legal’?

    Thanks, Michele

  7. Pull up the listing on Google Maps and click to suggest an edit and then select the option for “Doesn’t Exist”.

  8. hello

    a client runs a carpentry business . One address, one company. Thing is, he has 2 completly different activities.

    he is fixing wooden furnitures like tables, chairs etc … activity for which he is known regionnaly. He has a website using its own name. clients are locals , he s offering this service 50km around .

    he is also building tiny houses that sell country wide and abroad. Activity that has its own brand and website. clients come to the factory once and owner delivers tiny house up to 600 kilometers away.

    thoses are 2 completly different businesses within one small company, with totally different sproducts and services.

    i am hesitating in creating 2 listings . it would make sense to have 2 for me.

    i d love to have your opinion on this

    1. You definitely aren’t allowed 2 since it’s the same company but just different services. I’d create a listing for the local one. It doesn’t really make sense for a nation-wide business to use Google My Business because the listing only ranks locally so people 100km from him aren’t going to see it anyway.

  9. I have an address that uses a suite #. Full disclosure: it is a co-working space that I work at 40 hours a week (full time). I recieve freight and mail at this address. Can I use this as my Google My business address?

    1. The business name doesn’t really matter – you’re supposed to use the proper name that your customers would be seeing on invoices and on your branding. The second location is allowed provided it meets all the guidelines I outlined in this article.

  10. Joy,

    I have a GMB listing , we had it for almost 8 years, we’ve made changes to it over the years, like a name change was done in 2016. Just before Christmas last year it was suspended. We have mage several attempts to contact GMB and have made all the changes they suggest and even recently apples for an appeal only to be denied. We have ove 50 5 star reviews and would love it know what to do to get that page reinstated. Any advice you can offer?

  11. Hi Joy, I am a mobile locksmith company and hired a company who set up my GMB a few years ago and used 5 locations for the towns I service. It was fine for years and I never gave it a thought. About 5 months ago all my listings were suspended. I appealed and the only response I got back was your business is not eligible to be on GMB. I called the company who set this up and they told me that google changed their policy and I need to work it out with Google. They no longer manage my site or my GMB for obvious reasons . I can log into my account and was wondering if I delete the 4 locations and just use my home address will Google reinstate my listing or am I banned for life? There are so many fake locksmiths on GMB using fake address and I have taken picture to show empty fields or UPS store that these companies are using and reported them to Google and the response I got back was there’s not enough evidence to remove the listing. It’s very frustrating for a ligament locksmith company to compete with these fake companies! I also sign up for the new service local guarantee and did Googles advance verification and passed and my ad was up and running for 7 weeks. Last week Google suspended that and said I didn’t pass their advance verification for being fraudulent, misleading or they’re having a hard time identifying me but for 7 weeks I was fine. I again appealed and it was rejected with no reason given and I have tried calling and emailing and no one will return my calls or emails. I have read that hundreds of locksmith in the USA are going through the same thing and have filed a class action lawsuit. very unfair we’re being punished for all the fake companies that Google let run wild on their platforms for so long!

    1. That sounds very frustrating. I would definitely remove all the locations from your account except the one that is at your home address and then file for reinstatement.

  12. I files for reinstatement after removing all duplicate location and this is the reply I got back.


    Thank you for contacting Google My Business team.

    We’ve looked at your account and it looks like your business is not eligible to display on Google Maps per our quality guidelines. Check out our guidelines for representing your business on Google to see what types of businesses are eligible to be on Google Maps.

    If you have any further questions please consult the Google My Business Help Center.

    I have read their guidelines and policies over and over again and don’t see where I violate anything.

  13. Hey Joy, do you have any idea how “lead generators “ create more then 150 funny listings in my area? Same phone number same name varetion , I reported them as you advise in your other article but most was denied, i did submit a report to the gmb Facebook, but when google removed them a few more were created same time, what is the solution for that?

    1. Hey Loti,

      I know what you are referring to and this isn’t the first time a lead gen company has found loopholes that allow them to create these listings at scale. For now my advice is to continue to report them. Over time as Google gets enough reports, they will learn the patterns and fix the loopholes but I know it won’t happen overnight. I’d continue sending them via Facebook and submit them in bulk all on one spreadsheet so they can see the volume.

  14. This reply is for Gordon- you are probably now suspended at the account level so your page will not get reinstate ever, unless you will contact google- try true Facebook and they will ask you for new email address to transfer your main page to, its happened to me two years ago- same situation and that what i was asked to do, i needed to delete the “fake” accounts also, and google forward my main page and reinstate it to anew gmail account, contact them true Facebook- they will help

  15. Hi Joy, awesome article. I posted a question on the Google community regarding multiple GMB listings for Franchise SABs and your article answers this perfectly. Thanks so much!

  16. Hi , my husband has a small part time drum business and also has a handyman business …the drum business is set up in google ….how do I do another business offering different service ? Should I just offer all his services for drum teaching and handyman work on same page?

    1. If they are in fact 2 different businesses (not one business that’s opening a new section or offering a new service), they are each allowed 1 listing so you should set up a new listing for the new business.

  17. This has been a major pain for me. I leased a year long rental at REGUS. I actually have a private office space not just a virtual office. I’ve been trying to add but no postcards are coming. Multiple other businesses are currently doing it in violation.

    My questions is should i just change my business to a service area business vs location?? I have no google listing now. This sucks because I do have a full time employee. I take walk in business and meet owners, I’m a property manager.

    Any recommendations on what to do???

    1. I would suggest setting up your listing as a service area business and using your home address instead.

  18. Hi Joy Hawkins,

    I have a question , please help me understand this :
    In addition to the business listing of the real estate business, could each of the real estate agents also have a Google My Business listing using the same address?

  19. Hi Joy—

    Say I am graphic designer in Denver and have SEO organic rank first page and GMB first. I want to start another graphic design practice in NYC. I will travel there for part of the week and use a rent-per-hour office, so no permanent address.

    Question: For NYC SEO, do I start a completely new website, say BigDesignNYC.com or should I just do a landing page on my existing site, ie. BigDesign.com/NYC? Note: I can easily build another website, create lots of content, and manage.

    If I do landing page on existing Denver site: BigDesign.com/NYC:
    1. Will this dilute my Denver GMB and organic page rank ?
    2. Since it’s just landing page for NYC, will the NYC organic SEO be ineffective with NYC address, or can I do Other Business areas served as NYC?

    If I do a whole new site for NYC, i.e. BigDesignNYC.com:
    1. Will it be ineffective SEO because I don’t have a NYC address?
    2. Will it be ineffective because it’s a new site and better to capitalize on my original site using above /NYC landing page approach because of established status, history, backlinks, etc. ? thank you

    1. Andrew,

      There are mixed opinions on this but I have found that it’s hard to optimize a site for 2 different states and would suggest having a different site. You would not be eligible to have a GMB listing for NYC.

  20. Hey my company does training in other states we have an address and office for our home location but the rest of the places we do training have a physical address but they are all addresses we rent out or the people that own the building let us use only when we have classes. Do you have any idea how we could rank in Google for those locations? I know under the terms it says you can’t create a GMB account for locations like that. If I got permission to use the address from the people that own it can I use it as a location on GMB or is it Google that doesn’t like you doing that?

    1. This would be considered a meeting place which isn’t allowed on Maps unfortunately since you’d be operating out of another business. Google would tell you to use the events feature to have your classes listed as events at the actual place you use.

  21. Hi Joy, you touched on this in a previous comment, but was hoping you could provide some additional clarification.

    We have a franchise SAB scenario where two owners (a married couple) own multiple franchise locations from the same parent franchise company. They have two separate registered business entities, two distinct service areas, same home address, same phone number (mobile phone number but they could have two if required). Business invoices to customers carry the distinct registered business entity information (i.e. invoices are different business names).

    Can you confirm if 2 listings are acceptable with a unique Store ID for each owned franchise location with the same hidden home address.


    1. Hey Matt,

      Although you wouldn’t be breaking guidelines, the scenario is a recipe for disaster. You will likely have Google automatically merge or suspend them on a regular basis. I’d suggest finding another address that the one can use for their business. It might make sense to open a small office for the one.

  22. Hi Joy,

    I have a client who has 2 divisions for their real estate company: property management & rentals, and real estate sales. Each has its own website and unique URL, but both divisions share the same location and phone. I understand that creating two Google My Business is not allowed, but I can only list a single website. Do you have any recommendations for best practices to get both websites listed? Should we create a single landing page for both (with a selector to each site)? Or will this confuse the current SEO in place?

    Thank you,

    1. Hey Bret,

      I would try one website for 30 days and then switch it to the other and leave that up for 30 days. It should accomplish 2 things. First, you should be able to see which performed better and leave that one up long term. Second, you will get both sites associated with the entity. We did this for a client and still find that changes to the one site impact the ranking of the listing even though the listing is now linking to the second site.

  23. Hi Joy,

    I have a situation here. My client is a franchisee and deploys home inspectors in various states. They operate in multiple zipcodes and most times they are overlapping. We are trying to create GMB page for each Home Inspector. I wanted to know if it would be fine to create ‘Service Only’ listings under the Franchisor’s umbrella for each Home Inspector but operating in overlapping zipcodes.

    1. That’s a really grey area. I don’t think Google would allow the zip codes to overlap but I’d suggest you consult with them and see what they say.

  24. Hi Joy! I have a client who’s a Franchise like Servpro (which you mentioned) and before I worked with them, they had multiple GMB listings (19) – one for each service area in 2 different states (the company has 1 physical location per state but doesn’t receive customers there). Recently, all GMB listings have been suspended.

    From a SEO and GMB policy point of view, would you recommend having only 2 listings (with the 2 physical locations) but mentioning multiple service areas (each city they serve)? The company wants the SEO to work and appear when people from these areas search for services they provide.

    I personally think having 19 different listings may be redundant and violating GMB policies while not being effective in term of SEO – could you confirm?


    1. Hey Ju,

      So if each of the 19 locations have different franchise owners (like ServPro), they should be allowed if you can show Google that they are individually owned and operated. If they are simply employees’ houses, they are not allowed.

  25. No, it’s the same owner and are not using employee’s house for addresses. I would think this is why it got suspended – but I was wondering if having only 2 listings (2 physical locations) with all area served (all zip codes and cities) would be more beneficial and would not hurt the SEO and still appear within the users’ searches in the GMB pack – while being compliant with Google Policies?

    1. If they aren’t employee’s houses, what were they? Offices? Offices are allowed if they’re staffed and have signage. The only way they’ll rank in a local area (in the 3-pack) is by having a listing with an address there. This is part of the reason why the local results has so much spam :/ The service area you set in the GMB dashboard has no impact on where you rank.

  26. Understood; however, even if not in the 3-pack, would the user looking for a service in his area without mentioning it be able to find this SAP location (with user’s area matching one of the service area you set in the GMB dashboard)? That way, we respect the guidelines and still can be found easily.

  27. Hi Joy, I have a client that has two service area business that he is running out of his house. One is a gutter cleaning service and one is a demolition removal service. He has different business names, different websites, but the same phone number. The demolition service has a gmb that is all set up and running. The gutter service also has a live gmb that I requested access to. After I gained access to the listing it became suspended. Is this because I have two service area businesses under the same account? If that is the reason, do you think the suspension will go away if I reclaim it under a totally different account?

    1. Hey Jeffrey,

      You should be able to get it appealed if you can provide Google the evidence that they are licensed separately. I’d probably suggest showing them the Secretary of State registry for both.

  28. If I am a franchisee of a growing national service brand, with my own clearly defined service area,
    should I be claiming my own GMB listing (using my own address, since our service comes
    to the customer)? Or should I be letting the brand handle the GMB listing, with my defined
    service area – and my contact info – as one of their locations? Is there a cost/benefit to me as franchisee for either approach? The url I use for my business, by the way, is my dedicated location landing page on the main brand website, which has all of my contact info. Thanks for considering!

    1. Hey Zach,

      To avoid creating duplicates, I’d ask the brand to create it and add you as an owner on the listing.

  29. Hi Joy,
    Thanks for the article.
    We operate the a home service franchise on Vancouver Island with about 15 franchisees in 5 different cities/towns. We share the same call centre # and website.
    1. We should be set up as a service area, not a physical address, correct?
    2. Should we have only one listing with a service area covering the whole island, or 5 separate listings for each city?

    1. Hey Joe,
      If each franchise has a different owner and customers need to contact that specific location to get service, you might be allowed to have all 5. I would suggest contacting GMB and explaining your business model and they will be able to confirm.

  30. Thanks for the reply.
    Each franchise has a different owner, but all share the same central phone # (our call centre) and website…

    1. The shared phone number might cause you more trouble with Google My Business. I’d just start by contacting GMB support and see what they tell you.

  31. Ah GMB setup is a nightmare and it’s really hard to keep the listings alive. I’ve seen many many listings with same phone numbers and same website I wonder how are they doing that?. I tried a lot but always everything goes down

  32. Very informative article, thank you!

    One question I had is related to a local business that has multiple locations. Are you able to them have multiple Google MyBusiness listings? If so, do they each need to have a different phone number?

    1. They’re definitely allowed multiple listings if the locations are storefronts (customers come to the location). It’s usually best to have different phone numbers.

  33. We are an IT service company. We have different addresses for 4 cities. We want to do GMB listing for each city. But we don’t have separate landing pages for each city. Should I do GMB listing for all four cities with our main website? does it create any problem if we change homepage link to city-based landing page link once we create city-based pages?

    Also, can we use one google account and one common phone number?

    1. I would not use the same phone number on all 4 listings. I would also not suggest creating them if the addresses aren’t clearly listed on the website with photos of each location so that customers can find them.

  34. I have a client who has two different businesses in one location and people do go to them for separate services. Both entities have their own DBA. Can I include that in the same GMB or can I do a separate GMB?

    1. If they have 2 different business names, I’d list both in the business name field if it looks okay. Example: Brand 1 – Brand 2. If they are actually different businesses, they are allowed a listing per company. If they are both the same business, just different brands, you are only allowed 1.

  35. Hi,

    I am a real estate agent and I have a verified GMB listing that stated my agency’s physical address and my own website URL.

    Recently I created a 2nd GMB listing (with a different name) because I am right now marketing a new condo (newly launched building with many units to sell) in a different location. For my 2nd GMB listing, it has a different physical address, different phone number but the website URL points to the same domain as my 1st GMB listing.

    Both my listings got suspended one day after I verified the 2nd GMB listing (verified via postcard pin).

    Do you have any idea what I did wrong?

    Is it because the website that I entered for my 2nd GMB listing pointed to the same website domain of my 1st GMB listing?

    Thanks for your

    1. Hey Jack,
      The listing for the condo wouldn’t be allowed. I would suggest deleting that listing from your account so that you just have one for the agency and then file for reinstatement.

      1. Do you mind sharing with me why the listing for the condo will not be allowed?

        There are a lot of other agents who have GMB listings for the condo.

        1. Hey Jack,

          Google only allows businesses to have listings for locations that are staffed. Vacation rentals are also not allowed unless they have an onsite office that has a person working there during regular business hours. An apartment building with a landlord or rental office onsite can be mapped but a single condo in a building offered for rent/sale by the owner cannot be mapped.

  36. We are a traveling business. As a husband and wife team we travel across the country in our RV and work on other people’s RV’s either doing maintenance or repair work. Our official business address is in FL but we worked the last 4 months in NC and will work a month or so in IN, then make our way to AZ for the winter. We utilize the Thousand Trails system of RV parks as we travel and do not have official addresses in every state. How do we get google to recognize us as we move about the country?

    1. Hey Karen,

      Google My Business doesn’t support this business model, unfortunately. You would only be allowed one listing in Florida and wouldn’t be allowed to update the address since Google requires the address you use to be a permanent one.

    1. Hey Robert,

      Unfortunately the Google My Business guidelines only allows multiple listings if they are staffed locations. I know some service area businesses that have small offices in different cities with tons of exterior signs and have 1-2 staff work out of each location.

  37. Hi Joy,

    may i ask what if we have 2 locations around, one serving the west and one serving the east.. However, both businesses rely on the same website URL.

    Does that get us removed from GMB if we were to submit a 2nd business location on gMB?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Hey Jean,

      If both addresses are residential, you aren’t allowed 2. Having 2 puts both listings at risk to be suspended. If they are staffed storefront locations, they would be allowed.

  38. Hi,
    I have a business that I am working with, they have two physical locations, Glendale, CA. and Modesto, CA. This is a commercial air conditioning contractor that covers 100% of California with employees. Am I able to get one GMB that will cover all of California? If I can what are the conditions? Can I use one of the two physical locations that they currently have along with an 800 number that covers all of California? Or is there some other way/condition that this can be done?

    1. Hey Michael,

      You are only allowed the 2 listings, both of which are only going to rank in the immediate area near that office. The farther a user is from your location, the lower you’ll rank (generally speaking). There isn’t a way to cover all of California with Google My Business as a strategy that stays within Google’s guidelines.

  39. Hi Joy, I have a client that has 3 different home services out of one location. I realize best practices is one GMB and list the different services under that, one being primary. However, now that they’ve rolled out the Request A Quote, which has industry specific questions, you have to wonder if it’s better to create 3 listings with the primary service. They are being fed questions unrelated to the service 2/3 of the time. What is your take on this. Example GMB: https://www.google.com/search?q=aaa+home+services&oq=aaa+home+services&aqs=chrome..69i57j0j69i60j69i65l3.6615j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    1. Hi Steve, hope you don’t mind me chiming in while Joy is away. I still wouldn’t create multiple GMB’s. They will end-up suspended or marked as a duplicate. You bring up a valid point with the quote form though.

      1. Thanks Colan. It’s very frustrating because they need to give more consideration to secondary categories. Also potentially allow businesses to have more than one “primary”, if they are legitimate categories and services for that business.

  40. Thanks Colan. It’s very frustrating because they need to give more consideration to secondary categories. Also potentially allow businesses to have more than one “primary”, if they are legitimate categories and services for that business.

  41. I started out as a home based skin care service. Have very good Google ranking. Now I rented a room at the wellness clinic. So I cannot claim busyness address as it is already taken by the clinic. Also it is different City than my home business place. I am so scared to lose my good ranking and have no idea how to change my address on the website and Google. Please help.

    1. Hey Tatyana,

      For now I would suggest keeping it at your home address since there isn’t currently a good process to update the address on a service area business listing.

  42. I own a home inspection business based out of Livermore, CA and have two websites. I’m on Google My Business… I service 20 surrounding towns… A home buyer in a distant town would search for a home inspector by typing: Walnut Creek Home Inspector … but my business wouldn’t pop. How do I get my second website setup on Googgle My Business in a distant town that I don’t live in

    1. Hey Glenn,

      To stay within the GMB guidelines, you would need both locations to be staffed offices to comply. Your example wouldn’t fit under the franchise exception and if you’re using a residential address you’d only be allowed to have 1 listing.

      1. My home inspection company is a sole proprietorship, but I service a large area… seems that I’d have to pay to have a second business address in another town, just to promote the business in a different town. When I run a Google Ad, I can setup a 25 mile radius around Livermore, CA where I live… But I’ve found that someone who wants a home inspection 20 miles away, won’t call me when they see that my business is 20 miles away… even if I’ve indicated on GMB that my service area includes their town.

  43. I have a partnership LLC and my business partner manages one 50 mile area while I manage another, both within the same state. Is this ok to have separate addresses for both owners since we are operating in different service areas. To be clear- we have home addresses and not business locations. Any help would be appreciated.

    1. Hi Jess,

      In this scenario, you would only qualify for one listing. Where Google would allow for some flexibility, in this case, would be to let you choose whether the address you verify the listing under is yours or your partners.

  44. Hi Colan and Joy,

    I’m a Portfolio Manager with my own brand name working under a main brand umbrella. Eg: the 123 wealth group from ABC. I currently have a GMB profile for my main office that is staffed. I named the GMB profile the 123 wealth group from ABC. Now, I travel often to meet prospects in other cities across the country in the offices that belong to ABC. Now ABC has very poor GMB profiles. If there’s staff in those offices across the country with proper signage, would I able to claim a suite # + address in the other respective cities? ABC has only claimed the generic address without the suite #. I would use the suite # + address where I meet prospects/clients for my additional GMB profiles. Is that legit?

    Should I take ABC off of my original GMB? Eg. The 123 wealth group and not the 123 wealth group from ABC?
    For additional GMB profiles, I would use “the 123 wealth group” since 123 already has GMB profiles for those cities, but I noticed that none of the Portfolio Managers in those respective cities utilize GMB. I feel like this a great opportunity for myself to gain exposure in the other cities.


    1. Hey Johnny,

      This case sounds really specific so I’m not sure I’m going to be able to offer advice without knowing and looking at the actual example. If you want to send us a contact form submission, we can always quote you on some consulting hours so that we can advise properly.

  45. Hi, thanks for the article. My business services a regional town in Australia with a population of about 60,000 people. But my business is forced to be listed as the obscure suburb name that no one actually uses, rather than the name of the regional town. (I’m not in the CBD but only a few minutes away)

  46. I have a service business. We have independent contractors who clean houses all over canada. Expect about 250 by end of 2020. As noted in the article I want to take advantage of multiple locations for every city/town/community where there i a cleaner but keep control over the listings so that they have our consistent brand, website, phone number, booking form and we can make the posts etc. Any advice on this?

    1. Hey Mark,

      Since the independent contractors wouldn’t be allowed their own listings (they’re not practitioners), the only way to really do this would be to have a franchise set up. Even in that scenario, Google likely wouldn’t want the listings to overlap at all. In most cases I’ve seen, they only allow 1 listing per metro area.

  47. Do you have to use the same primary category across all global offices? We have 80 locations and some of them specialize in different service areas.

  48. If I own 2 SERVPRO franchises that have different service areas, can they each have their own GMB listing if I only have 1 physical location?

    1. Hey Michelle,

      I just updated the majority of the article this morning. Google recently came out with some guideline clarifications that changed a lot. If the 2 listings meet the 3 criteria outlined in the first part of the article (I just updated it so you might want to re-read that), you’d be allowed 2 listings.

  49. I still don’t see how an SAB without an address can create multiple listings. For example, an autism services group has locations in several states. But there are no offices since they provide services in the home. I don’t see how it would do any good to set up several listings at the owner’s home address. And if we aren’t supposed to use employee addresses or a virtual office, that leaves no official way to create these listings. Am I missing something?

    1. Hey Rich,

      I know of a music lessons company that did use their employees’ houses but they had agreements with the employees that allowed them to do that. I think it’s really only a safe thing to do if you don’t have high turnover or if the employee is a high-level employee. I also think having a signed agreement in place is necessary. Another address type I see used for this would be warehouses.

  50. Jello Joy, thank-you for the great article and update. If I were to set up a business on my own and become a freelance SEO consultant working from home and assisting customers online or at their companies’ offices, could I set up my GMB listing as a SAB with home address? Thanks

  51. How important is the 2-hour rule? Since data shows that it’s hard to rank outside of a few miles from a business location, our clients have been looking into properties scattered across a large metropolitan area, but the locations aren’t that far apart. Several are far into the process of considering investments in these additional locations. Since Google requires a location to be permanent with staff, this is a significant investment to make, and with the definitions changing rapidly, we are having a hard time issuing recommendations. Any advice?

  52. Hi Joy,
    Thank you for the fantastic information. I know a lot has changed as of the October 2020 Google update, so I was hoping you may be able to give guidance on the following situation:
    I operate a house cleaning business that serves customers in 20 metro areas in the United States. All house cleaning work is completed by independent contractors and our “Headquarters” is simply in my home. Each metro served is >2 hrs. driving distance from others and each is served by different contractors.
    Under the updated Google guidelines, (1) Am I allowed 20 GMB listings (2) Given that I’m an SAB, does each address I assign to a metro need to be manned during business hours / are virtual offices now acceptable addresses for multi-location SABs?
    Thank you so much!

    1. Hey Jared,

      If the contractors were listed on your website and it was clear they serviced different areas, this would likely be allowed but I would run it past GMB support to be safe. Virtual offices are not allowed.

  53. Hi Joy!

    I have 12 locations with unique names, addresses, and phone numbers that are forwarded to my main business line. These locations are in the DFW Metro area (Suburbs) and I set each business up to serve as a potential franchise that I hope to sell off individually in the next 5 years or so. In order to prove that each business is viable, I have to be able to show financials, call volume, etc. I orginally set my businesses up two years ago with the help of a GMB specialist and told them what my objective was. I was told that each business (home based) must have it’s own address (not listed), must have it’s own phone number, website, and literature. Each business has it’s own DBA set up as a sole proprietor (me) until at which time I decide to sell each location.

    Recently, about a month ago, Google suspended all of my locations and claimed there were quality issues. I read through the Google Business Requirement and couldn’t find anything wrong with my listings. Trying to contact GMB has been a complete nightmare. I applied for reinstatement per their guidelines and I got a boilerplate response that said my sites were suspended for quality issues. I have gone back and forth with multiple emails and two actual phone calls from Google, but I have yet to be told what the exact problem is. After reading some post here, I believe it is from my multiple listings with unique phone numbers being forwarded to my main business line and the fact that these listing are within 2 to 10 miles of each other. Do you have any advice?

    1. Hey Darrell,

      Yeah if they aren’t 2 hours apart, have different staff, and they aren’t individually licensed/owned (like a franchise) then they aren’t allowed. You mentioned you plan on selling it as a franchise but it would already have to be a franchise to be allowed the way you have it set up.

  54. Hi, can you please explain how some companies are able to verify hundreds of listings with the same name and not too far from each other, actually spamming the whole map. Check this link out or goolge yourself doremi garage door repair :


  55. Hi Joy,
    I’ve seen you refer to “they only allow 1 listing per metro area” and I’ve read it from Google too.

    We have an employee who serves a location area which is 1.5 – 2hours driving time from our head office GMB.
    The distance is 100kms.
    They are in different Cities

    Can we setup a GMB in this new location?
    Can it be to the employees home address? (SAB GMB and we will uncheck display the location)
    And we will be careful that there is no service location overlap with the GMB.

    If I can’t set up the SAB GMB from employees home address, what are the option to set it up?


  56. Hi, hope all is well. Thanks for Writing Article. I have cleaning business that I run from home. I moved to different part of the same state. And requested a new postcard which I received and verified. when I change the address it Suspended my account say it’s a duplicate. It’s been going on for the past 7 months at the end. I had to delete my original account with all my reviews. But I’m still not able to claim my new listing/new address on Google maps shows up with a old phone number. I was able to update all the information on Google my business but it has been under review over three months. I have tried pretty much everything I can. Still no luck. If you have any tips or deals. I would greatly appreciate it thank you

  57. Hi Joy, I’m hoping you can advise me! I’m helping to design a site for a client who has an established business based on interior landscape design for commercial buildings. He designs and installs large scale plants for the entire commercial space and provides the plants from his warehouse location. Due to covid and many office buildings closing, he wants to expand his offerings and has opened a new business for an e-commerce plant nursery with local delivery only. The service area for the e-commerce plant ordering business is the same as the business interior design service area and he will be operating both out of the same warehouse location. Any advice you can provide on how to best set up his Google My Business accounts would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    1. If they are 2 separately registered businesses and there are signs for both companies when you show up to the location, they would each be allowed a listing. If that’s the case, it’s imperative that the listings have different categories, websites, and phone numbers.

  58. Hi Joy,

    Great post and I hope you can advise me.

    I have a potential client in the contracting/home repair space. He has a physical address in one city and a GMB page for that city.

    He also has other GMB listings in multiple cities in the same state. Each of these is based on a contractor working from home. So each listing is based on this “employee” working out of their home in each respective city, but there is no address listed, just the city and zip.

    He gets quite a few leads from these pages. I’m not sure if these pages are within GMB guidelines and the best advice to give here. I would love to ensure they don’t get suspended but obviously can’t.

    What are his options?

    It is a regional franchise business if that makes a difference. And I can see many other businesses like his doing this exact same thing.


    1. Hey Craig,

      What you’re describing is kind of a grey area. If it’s a franchise, you should be fine. The only problem here is if the contractor leaves, now you have a listing using their home address which is more of a business problem than a GMB problem.

  59. Hello!

    I work for a SAB, we specialize in handyman work. We visit our customers homes, but our employees visit our location for trainings, supplies, and tools throughout the week. Right now we have a location on the north side of Chicago and looking into opening a location on the south side of Chicago. Will we be able to have 2 separate GMB profiles since they will be different addresses servicing different postal codes? I read that Google only lets you have one per metropolitan area or the listings have to be a 2-hour drive time apart. It’s a little confusing and I’m looking for some clarity before we expand. Thank you!

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