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Show address or not to

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Show address or not to Digital+ 3/22/13 4:18 PM
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Link to your local Google+ page (previously known as a Place page):
Business name (as it is in your account):
Business location: Street address, City, State/Province, Country 
Business telephone (as it is in your account): 
Business category (e.g. hospital, etc.):

What's the issue you're experiencing?

If a business has clients coming to them, but they also go to the client's location what is the correct thing to do? For example a location oriented service business that also has clients meet at the biz location (not necessarily one and the same client). Can you choose I go to their location but not check don't show. Is the only thing that gets triggered is a call from Google where one of the questions is: Do you see clients at your location?
Re: Show address or not to treebles 3/22/13 4:31 PM
The requisite is that the business is opened at its location during the stated business hours, even when they are visiting customers at their locations.
That means that it has to be a business with at least two people, where one stays at the business to help customers that show up there while the other is on the road.
That is the simplest way to explain it.
Reality can be more complicated, specially for home-based businesses that are service oriented since Google prefers that those businesses create a Service Area and hide the address.
A typical example is the photography business, where portraits could be taken at the studio, but they do wedding photography also.
If the business is run just by one person, the photographer, there is no way currently that Google would accept that the business address be displayed in the Local listing. But if there is an assistant that works at the studio all day and help customers when the photographer is out on location then it would be OK to setup a Service Area and not hide the business address.
Re: Show address or not to Moira Gaye 3/23/13 4:44 AM
i do not see clients at my location
Re: Show address or not to treebles 3/23/13 8:25 AM
then you need to setup a Service Area and select the option to hide the business address.
Re: Show address or not to `Keenan 3/23/13 1:00 PM
Well, treebles has provided a generally accepted interpretation of what the Guideline says.  And that's part of the problem, because it is very subjective.  

The challenge ultimately is based upon how a $2/hr Quality Reviewer might interpret the guideline in light of the business data they have access to given they may make such a decision in 30 seconds or less.

The answer to your question is absolutely, you can do it.  That said, your listing is potentially at risk of being taken down at any time.  So, the parameters treebles suggests are good ones to follow in light of what we have seen the most.  That is, generally home-based businesses in a SAB category are the most susceptible.

Google uses the term "storefront" to describe what it considers to be a business that is not required to hide their address.  They have never defined this exactly, but one would surmise that they mean a commercial location presumably with staff that is open to the public during business hours.  Again, home-based businesses generally are not considered storefronts.

So, it really depends on how much risk you are willing to take.  How well your staff is trained to handle calls from the Quality Review team and the actual reality of the location in question.
Re: Show address or not to Digital+ 3/29/13 10:50 AM
So if a business fits the description given by treebles, is it correct then to mark that they go to the client but DON'T CHECK OFF hide the address. Will that very likely put a red flag up and twist Google's arm to call the business to double check?
Re: Show address or not to treebles 3/29/13 11:13 AM
We do cannot tell because we have no idea what type of business you are talking about.
In general, if it is a service business and it is located in a residential address the chances of being flagged by Places support I would say is high.
Even if you manage to go through the initial Places checks, you may still face further scrutiny from Map Maker users and every time that the Places listing is edited it could be reviewed for compliance with the Places quality guidelines.
Re: Show address or not to Digital+ 3/29/13 11:17 AM
It is a solar company selling solar panel systems for businesses and homeowners. They are also a roofing company & have been around since 1927 or thereabouts. There is a secretary there pretty much all the time and the owner is there most days and times. They have been at the same location for at least 12 yrs. In our kinda rural area the main streets have homes & businesses on them. 
Re: Show address or not to `Keenan 3/29/13 11:28 AM
If it is a commercial location, then it should be fine.  Words like "kinda" and "pretty much" are not helpful.  Everything I stated above applies.

To be safe, you can hide the address.
Re: Show address or not to treebles 3/29/13 11:34 AM
Based on that description I would say go for it and see what happens, as Keenan said, it is a lottery.
Do they have business signs visible through Street View images?
Do they have a web site? If they do, they should have pictures of the front of the business.
Do they state business hours in the web site?
Is it just one business with two services? Is that how they advertise to potential customers?

Re: Show address or not to Digital+ 3/29/13 12:06 PM
They have a sign for the roofing but not the solar. They may not be able to put up an additional sign because of the quaintness of the area. 

They have 2 locations, both maps are on their website & so are the hours. 

They don't have a pic of the building. 

The business name is xxxxxxx solar, with its own phone number & website. They do stress that who could more perfect to get a roof based solar panel system from but a roofer --- especially now that they offer shingles that are solar themselves.

I live in a unique area. The poulation as whole (Cape Cod MA) is 250K, but it is spread out over 70 miles and 50 plus villages within 15 towns. Most of the villages (like this biz is in and mine) have around 3500 residents and are from 1780's. But we're only 8 miles from a village of 25K people. So it's not as well defined with residential & commercial only areas like most cities. And many businesses are in old homes and signs can actually be very small or non existent in some of these villages, especially for newer business (not grandfathered in).
Re: Show address or not to treebles 3/29/13 12:46 PM
If they have staff at the business location to help potential customers that show up unannounced then you do not need to hide the business address, but given the type of business and the description of the location it is possible that could be flagged for review and receive a call from a Places reviewer from India asking questions about the business.
Unless it has changed recently this calls come from (650) 253-2000.
Re: Show address or not to SQLPerformance 3/29/13 3:02 PM
If you have signage and visible entrance and it does not show on Streetview add images to show it in Places and on the website.  If the Streetview image is offset join it by a 'panorama'.

Where you have an internal reception add a picture of a person in front of readable signage.

Clearly add directions and a statement that you are open for customers for the stated hours in the website.

If you do not want to have to hide the address.
Re: Show address or not to Stevestr - USA RL 3/29/13 6:31 PM
There are other people checking listings besides "$2/hour" people. 

If I find a listing on Mapmaker I will cross reference it in Places. If the address appears to be a SAB from the satellite/street view image or the website and the address is not hidden in Places, I have no problem marking the listing for removal. Rarely will I waste my time or cellular minutes to call a business to confirm.

It's (85-90% of the time) quite apparent if you have a business reception area or office and see customers at your location. Google Maps (and by extension Places) are for people to visit locations and a business that is primarily a SAB is of little use to someone on a mobile device looking for a business or service.

Flash, and others, have published a number of tips in the past on how to best represent yourself and your business if you fall into a gray area.

Re: Show address or not to Stevestr - USA RL 3/29/13 6:32 PM
Those are all excellent tips SQL.
Re: Show address or not to Digital+ 3/29/13 6:44 PM
Re: Show address or not to `Keenan 3/29/13 7:39 PM
 a business that is primarily a SAB is of little use to someone on a mobile device looking for a business or service.

In Google Fantasy Land, maybe.  But in the real world, that is simply not the case.   

SAB = service-area business - according to Steve, a class of business apparently not welcomed to be a part of Google's Map.
Re: Show address or not to Flash (RL) 3/29/13 8:43 PM
Not according to Steve, according to the guidelines.  SABs without a permanent location that is open to the public are not permitted on the map.  And chances are it won't be either Places checkers or volunteer mappers that would take such a business down; the most aggressive group I see tracking them down are entire teams of Maps editors.

That said, Maps guidelines do allow for a SAB with a permanent physical location that is open to the public.  All other SABs are directed to go to Places and use their processes.  In my experience, the Places checkers are less forgiving for an office that just has a receptionist as compared to how it would be treated by the other teams.  The other teams will usually allow a location that shows a industrial area office.
Re: Show address or not to `Keenan 3/29/13 9:37 PM
Right, according to Steve's comments regarding the guidelines.
Re: Show address or not to treebles 3/30/13 10:49 AM
Right now, you should not remove SABs displaying addresses in Local, there is a bug that is displaying the addresses in Local although they are correctly hidden in Places.
Currently there is no way of knowing if a SAB Local listing is in compliance with the quality Places guidelines or not based on what is displayed in the Local listing.
Google is aware of the bug and working on a fix.
Re: Show address or not to SQLPerformance 3/31/13 11:20 AM
Surely Map Maker moderators with the power to approve changes have access to Places entries and can see that the address is properly hidden there.

It should not matter that there is a bug as its the Places hidden address flag which drives whether the address will show on the Google+ search result page.
Re: Show address or not to Flash (RL) 3/31/13 11:29 AM
Map Maker and Places are two separate products.  We do not see what is in Places.  What we see is a listing displaying on the map, which is in violation of the guidelines.  The only way such businesses are allowed to be listed is if they list with Places and then Places hides their address before it sends it over to Maps.
Re: Show address or not to SQLPerformance 3/31/13 11:37 AM
Well with this current bug showing the address in search have Google sent an email round to senior moderators to not Delete apparently non-hidden addresses at the moment?
Its being going on for a few days now as reported here so some action should have been taken.
Re: Show address or not to Flash (RL) 3/31/13 2:13 PM
I've known about the bug for more than a few days and have adjusted my editing and reviewing appropriately.  But no, things like that are not sent out as updates.  Perhaps they have done it internally, but the external people don't get such things, and there are hundreds of externals.  I made a forum post, but it would reach maybe 5 - 10%.  Places has messed this one up, and it looks like they are going to have their support staff working overtime to fix it.
Re: Show address or not to SQLPerformance 3/31/13 3:24 PM
Thats the trouble with large departments, fragmented, internal politics, and slow escalation and approval structures.

It took the Barclaycard change approval guy 5 years to realise the Aurther Anderson written software was rubbish.
Why he was bothering to study for a MBA beat me, but not alone.

I would be taking analysts error reports 6 months after we had fixed the problem as they were not on the latest development release.

I was on the credit reporting bit right at the end and after 5 years they had only got accounts 2 months delinquent when I needed 7 months.
Re: Show address or not to `Keenan 3/31/13 6:23 PM
What we see is a listing displaying on the map, which is in violation of the guidelines

Flash, where are those guidelines?
Re: Show address or not to Flash (RL) 3/31/13 9:04 PM
The guidelines are an accumulation of items listed in multiple places, plus instructions from Googlers, but the main reference would be the Permitted Businesses and Points of Interest where it includes in the list of prohibited businesses:

Service area businesses listing addresses without a permanent physical address / closed to the public.
Re: Show address or not to Jade W. 4/1/13 12:14 PM
@Steve and Flash, I think you've alluded that you've heard, but just being clear, there's a current issue where some SABs are having addresses exposed on Google Maps despite being hidden in the dashboard. We're working on fixing that, and in the meantime, it'd be great if you could hold off on taking action on those listings.

I think when Flash says "Maps," here, it might be better expressed as "MapMaker." It is true that users should not be creating features via MapMaker for their SABs. However, SABs are permitted to have a presence on Google Maps via Google Places for Business.
Re: Show address or not to Flash (RL) 4/1/13 2:31 PM
Yes, Jade, we have heard; but there are thousands of mappers and hundreds of approvers that have not; so do expect that plenty of SABs will be deleted and support will have to restore them.

To be clear, when I say Maps I meant Maps.  SABs without a storefront are allowed to appear in Maps searches via Google Places for Business.  If they appear on Maps itself, they are in violation.  If I see one when scrolling around on Maps or get told one is "At this address" when I look up a particular location then a violation is occurring even if I've never opened up Map Maker.

Yes Map Maker users will remove them if they see them, but so will Ground Truth users, Maps users and even Places own quality checkers.  So Map Maker itself has nothing to do with whether it is allowed, and in fact every single SAB that is compliance by using Places appears in Map Maker, so it is not correct to say that appearing in Map Maker gets you removed.  Rather it is more correct to say that SABs without storefronts that appear on Maps (rather than in Maps searches) is a violation.
Re: Show address or not to Jade W. 4/1/13 2:41 PM
@Flash, I'll worry about the Google reviewers and moderators with regards to SAB deletion, but thanks for your heads up.

If we are distinguishing between Google Maps searches and the Google Maps layer, then there is a difference. SABs can appear on Google Maps searches via Google Places for Business.

SAB features cannot be created using MapMaker. (They still end up there if created correctly via Places for Business, but we're working on making that better.)
Re: Show address or not to Flash (RL) 4/1/13 2:48 PM
I'm sure you'll let the internal reviewers know what is going on, but I was referring to the hundreds of external reviewers plus the review bots.

Them showing in Map Maker is just fine; after all the address being hidden is just one of many guidelines they must follow and so they need to be accessible in Map Maker to correct other violations or remove the many spam locations that manage to cheat the PIN verification system.  I already have plans to make a walk through for Map Maker users showing them how to tell if a SAB is in compliance and thus should not be removed for address violations; I just need this issue to get resolved so that I can do so!
Re: Show address or not to Orion Group 4/1/13 5:12 PM
So, even before the mess where Google is currently showing the hidden addresses of SABs, I have seen many POIs in GMM that still have a street number.

Also, I have recently created a new G+ Local listing from scratch with the address hidden, and when the listing went live, GMM had the street number showing in the POI.

Jade W said:

"...users should not be creating features via MapMaker for their SABs. However, SABs are permitted to have a presence on Google Maps via Google Places for Business."

Flash said:

"The only way such [service area ] businesses are allowed to be listed is if they list with Places and then Places hides their address before it sends it over to Maps."

So, when a G+ Local listing is created for an SAB, what exactly happens in GMM? What data does GMM receive and/or what is it 'supposed' to receive?

If I have SAB clients with G+ Local listings having hidden addresses, but their street numbers a showing in GMM, what should I do? Do we delete street numbers within GMM to match?



Re: Show address or not to Flash (RL) 4/1/13 5:18 PM
No, the only thing you need to worry about is whether you have followed processes.  If you have created/claimed it via Places and then checked the option to hide your address, you are then in compliance.  Whether it shows on Maps is the important thing.  Deleting an address within Map Maker also is a violation of the guidelines.

GMM shows the entire address so that it can be checked. Many a spammer is found that way that has used a PO box or used a fake address.

If you have checked that box within your dashboard and are currently showing on Maps, then you are part of the bug and must wait for it to be fixed.
Re: Show address or not to SQLPerformance 4/2/13 3:03 AM
Should Google and RERs in Map Maker have read only access to Places data to see the state of PIN verified entries.
Surely that would help to make the whole process more accurate?
Re: Show address or not to treebles 4/2/13 5:16 AM
Google cannot give, for legal reasons, access to non-Google employees to data on Google's non-public databases.

Re: Show address or not to SQLPerformance 4/2/13 2:30 PM
Is the data in a Places entry not supplied by the business owner and the fields I want shown not in fact shown on search results so are public?  Surely a different 'view' of the data which would show on a Google+ page is not a problem.
Also users would rather crowd sourced moderators had their random changes not approved by a RER or Google employee when its at variance with the supplied PIN verified Places data which should be moderated via Places algorithms and staff?
I have lost count of the clear requests I have made in Map Maker for clients changes there where the crowd sourced moderators have created listings out if 'thin air' based on old invisible to us or Closed Map Maker entries. And then been moderated in total variance to the one PIN verified Places entry.
Some common sense needs to be applied to improve the user experience.
Re: Show address or not to Flash (RL) 4/2/13 2:43 PM
Your statement assumes that because someone PIN verified they will never spam, never break a guideline and will continue to update in timely fashion for perpetuity.  It further treats the listing as if it is a business listing where the owner should get to decide what will display, rather than it being a Maps listing that should be uniform to the other listings.  That is far from reality, thus PIN verifying does not mean that they should not moderated and edited.  Do not forget that the majority of the edits in Map Maker are likely coming from Maps employees, not "crowd sourced moderators".
Re: Show address or not to treebles 4/2/13 4:23 PM
Map Maker edits affect the data in the Local database, not in the Places database, the one containing the data provided by the business owners through their respective Places Dashboard.
We already requested more than 1 year ago to be able to view only the information in the Places Dashboard so we would not have to rely on requesting screen captures. The answer we were given was it was not possible because it would be equivalent to let you take a peek at somebody else Places account and only Google employees can do that. It does not matter that the information there it might become part of the public Local database.
It is not a technical issue, it is a legal issue. I am not a lawyer to know if the explanation makes sense, I am only telling you what we were told.
Re: Show address or not to Orion Group 4/2/13 5:09 PM

I am about to take on a client whom confessed to creating 3 locations on the map for his 1 business.  He said he PIN verified the listing via the phone option (when it was in use)... and chose his 3 prime locations.

So far he hasn't been zapped, but the weird thing is... each of this listings uses the exact same address (but unique phone number.)

'Perhaps' he's continuing to get away with it in part because Google has a hard time figuring out the 'coordinate' address system used in this part of Wisconsin.  But I'm sure the largest part is due because a moderator/reviewer has not 'caught' them (yet.)

Don't worry, our first order of business will be to remove the violating listings.


On Tuesday, April 2, 2013 5:43:58 PM UTC-4, Flash - Map Maker RER wrote:
Your statement assumes that because someone PIN verified they will never spam, never break a guideline ...
Re: Show address or not to SQLPerformance 4/3/13 4:38 PM
No I am not assuming no one spams but I have experienced crowd sourced changes which are not even consistent with a PIN verified entry which is consistent with its web site and web directory data.

All Places entries have to pass algorithmic checks which trigger a Pending and the review.

Re: Show address or not to SQLPerformance 4/3/13 4:44 PM
I said PIN verified Places entries which if the new Edit function actually works go live in 2 days, so once live why cannot a link pop up on Map Maker edit screens.

I am not saying blindly take Places data as Gospel but if its consistent with its web site and all the other web directory data then it has gone through a few different processes.

I have proposed an industry wide verification method but until something is done based on Employee identity and business tax identification its all pretty weak.

I would love to see these official ids used as it would enable my taxes, when I paid them, to go down if all economic activity on the web was fully traceable and taxable.

This applies to big corporations with sites not paying any tax on sales physically delivered to UK addresses.
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