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A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities

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A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Alex Digital+ 1/29/13 10:55 AM
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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.):
Website:

What's the issue you're experiencing?

Can a professional Google+ local listing have 2 physical locations (different phone numbers and cities & no overlap)? Would it need to be 2 separate Google+ local listings or can it it be one listing?
A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Andrew Sawyer 1/29/13 11:33 AM
Some more specifics would be helpful but I'm not aware of any prohibitions on multiple professional listings for the same person if they're different locations/companies. My guess is ranking and using a G+Local merged with a Business page would get confusing if the person shows up twice. I've never really come across it before so I'll let others chime in.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities SQLPerformance 1/29/13 12:06 PM
To be on Maps you need a fully staffed office for its stated opening hours.
Obviously the professional on his own cannot be in two places at once.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Flash (RER) 1/29/13 12:38 PM
With one caveat.  If the professional does not have staff at each location, but has a definite schedule such as being at Location A Mon-Wed 9am - 5pm and at Location B Thurs-Fri 8am-4:30pm; they can then list both locations as long as the hours of operation are listed along with it.  This prevents people from visiting and not being able to get help, which is the entire point of the rules.

We should also be clear, this is for a business listing, such as The Smile Center.  You specified "a professional".  Google also allows separate professional listings, such as Dr. John Smith.  Those represent a person, and since he is just one person he can only have one professional listing.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities a11c 1/29/13 12:44 PM
I agree with Flash, I use that method for clients who have multiple offices around a city with specific schedules for being at each location. Although each listing will have "Today - Closed" for a set number of days per week, it still provides visibility to the clients Name, Phone, and URL, which is ultimately what we want our clients' clients to see.

Also, if the offices are relatively close, we have clients who spend their morning at one office, then the evening at another (with the appropriate hours of op set) which then shows that the location is open for at least part of the day.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Digital+ 1/29/13 1:24 PM
It is a professional listing. Since he can only have one listing how would he list 2 different addresses on the listing via the places dashboard? Now if someone has set times at one location but by appt at the other location can they still list both locations? Does it matter if the by Appt location is a fully staffed location?

So if a professional has 2 addresses, he/she can show up on page one (lets assume everything is set up optimally as if it was a business listing) for both areas, especially if it isn't too competitive a "profession"?
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities a11c 1/29/13 2:11 PM
@Digital+

For the example, the one professional with two addresses, would need two business listings. Each location would need to set the hours for when a business employee is staffed at that location.
In Summary,
One Professional, two business listings, each listing has set the hours of operation for that location. ie. Location 1: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8am-5pm & Location 2: Tuesday, Thursday 12pm-5pm

"Now if someone has set times at one location but by appt at the other location can they still list both locations? In Regards to having two Google Local listings, No. Both locations must have staff present at each location for the specified hours of operations entered on the listing.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Flash (RER) 1/29/13 2:28 PM
Being willing to travel to the next town does not mean he can have more than one listing.  Similarly a business that is willing to travel to the next town is not automatically allowed to have a listing in both towns.  Physical locations are mapped via business listings.  For a business to have a listing in two different locations there must actually be two different physical locations.

So there is one listing per professional, and one listing per physical location of a business.  In no circumstances is either allowed more than one listing per physically existing person/location.

You must choose a single address at which to locate the professional, usually it will be evident that one location is his "main" location and that one should be used. You could then mention in the description that he is available on certain days at the other location and tell people to contact the location at which they wish to see him to make an appointment.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities a11c 1/29/13 3:01 PM
@Flash,

for example, let's say the business has two physical brick and mortar offices, Location 1 and Location2(next town). i.e. Cracky Back Chiropractic. The professional/practitioner spends M,T,W at location 1, Th,F at location 2. Under these circumstances, assuming each office is appropriately setting hours of operation to reflect actual hours the practitioner is in that office, would it be allowed for both the business and practitioner to have two listings, one for each office?
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Flash (RER) 1/29/13 3:07 PM
No.

Again, there is two physical locations, so they can have two listings.

There is one physical doctor, so he can have one listing.

There cannot be more listings than physical entities.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Jade W. 1/29/13 4:17 PM
@Flash -- I don't necessarily agree. Can you point me to the references you are using to make the statements about one practitioner with multiple locations?
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Digital+ 1/29/13 6:08 PM
I think you all are kinda missing the point of my question. Let's say you have an acupuncturist. He/She practices at 2 different wellness centers about 20 miles and 3 towns apart on different days at schedule times at each location. That acupuncturist wants to create a "professional listing" within Google+ local/Places. They want both locations within their one "professional listing" and both locations having Google+ local ranking juice (if properly and optimally set up) for both locations. Now is that possible or there is only 1 address they can "promote" within their Google+ local listing?

Their goal is that when someone searches for an acupuncturist (in this example) in either city that he/she's "professional listing" comes up. Is it possible for both locations or must the "professional" choose only one location to "promote" or optimize for?
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Flash (RER) 1/29/13 6:35 PM
@Jade - This has been told to me by Google personnel.  But if you want a reference, the duplicate guidelines unfortunately have been recently greatly simplified, they covered a lot of acceptable and unacceptable situations before, but still do state that the only permitted duplicates on the map are water bodies.  If two POIs represent the same professional, those would be duplicates. 

Additionally, the Places quality guidelines state "You may create one listing per practitioner".

Places help states "Even if you're a doctor who is a cardiologist and a chiropractor or a service that covers multiple towns, you shouldn't have two listings."

I have to run out the door, those are the only ones I know off the top of my head without researching.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities treebles 1/29/13 8:14 PM
Flash,
Jade should be able to give you a more definitive answer but the two Places references you mentioned refer to one physical location



Additionally, the Places quality guidelines state "You may create one listing per practitioner".
This is found in the Business location section and it is meant that there cannot be more than 1 listing for the business location, but businesses in Places are allowed to create multiple listings for the physical business locations where they provide services/products to customers. The same applies, as far as I can tell, to the practitioner's listings.


Places help states "Even if you're a doctor who is a cardiologist and a chiropractor or a service that covers multiple towns, you shouldn't have two listings."
The above quote is under the section There shouldn't be more than one listing per physical location. I interpret that statement again that there could not be more than one listing per physical location but there could be 2 or more listings for different physical locations.

Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities treebles 1/29/13 8:21 PM
Digital+
A Places listing can only be linked to one physical location or Service Area, so the answer is no, a single Local listing, even for a practitioner listing, cannot list two different business location.
Just because Google Places allows practitioners to have their own Local listings does not mean that they do not have to follow all other Places guidelines for business listings. One Places listing for each physical location.

This is the discussion that a11c and Flash were having earlier on and Jade ask for a reference to Flash about his statement.

Wait for Jade reply because she should be able to give a more definitive answer.

Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Flash (RER) 1/29/13 11:44 PM
Treebles,

Businesses have locations, people don't.  To state that a business has an extra office and therefore the professionals get extra listings is misapplying a rule that applies to locations, as a professional is not a location.  The rules are clear in their intentions; you can't set up more than one listing per physical entity.

To look even closer, the statement "a cardiologist... that covers multiple towns... shouldn't have two listings" makes no sense to be in the guidelines if you add "unless he has a location at which to work in both towns".  Where else was a cardiologist going to do his work?  Of course he was going to have a location in the other town, his profession requires a place to do his work; but the guideline says he still cannot have another listing even if he covers multiple towns.  The same applies to a chiropractor, that profession requires a physical location if they are covering multiple towns, but the guidelines says one listing only.

In the end, even if you ignore the other two guideline quotes, the duplicate rule would apply.  I have been told to apply it to people that are attempting the exact same thing that is being discussed here and to delete all but their main location.

To be more precise, the reason that professionals can't set up a professional listing for each business location is because you have to have a limit.  Professionals are allowed only one listing because without one, what is to stop them at 2, 3 or 4?  If you say that a professional can claim for every location at which he can find to meet with clients, then you will have real estate agents setting up professional listings at every office in a 300 mile radius (think Remax).  You'll have lawyers setting up a professional listing at every virtual office in the state.  It would be out of control, save for the fact that we would delete them all in Map Maker with the explanation that a professional cannot have more than one listing, as each entity is limited to a single listing.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities consciousnessbliss 1/29/13 11:56 PM
The solution is to create one professional listing for each professional.  If they're working at multiple locations, then they should be required to choose one of the locations as their primary address (whatever they're using to claim their listing), or hide the business address and create a service area that encompasses the other locations.  Otherwise, people will just use it as opportunity to spam Google Maps, which they've already done to a considerable extent.  And it greatly simplifies the problem of managing all those listings for both the professional and/or SEO manager who will be invariably called upon to manage the listings.  Not many will take the time to adequately manage multiple professional listings by noting what time they'll be at what location (Mon-Wed 10-6, Thu-Fri 11-3)--it's hard enough getting brick and mortar to do the same for their single businesses--so from a Maps perspective, having multiple listings for the same person is kind of useless, since you don't have enough information to locate them (after all, we're talking about Maps...Places).  

I think we're forgetting the intent of professional listings, in that the professional is semi-independent and likely to leave the practice in a short period of time (lawyers and doctors come to mind), and that the potential reviewers are reviewing the person, not the place or the business.  Given that you mostly work with that particular doctor or lawyer, it would stand to reason that you won't be saying much about the firm or clinic, other than that the waiting room had pleasant peach colored walls, a courteous receptionist, and nice magazines with short but engaging articles.  In fact, their review is likely to be independent of geo completely, since the services often take place in multiple locations.  A lawyer and their client will be in a courtroom, in a virtual office, in jail, etc.  

Having one professional profile listing is something that any professional can become attached to, and manage carefully. Either their professional website or the website of the business they're being hosted at can give more detailed information on their schedule and whereabouts, better than Google Maps can hope to provide.  Hopefully, eventually, the professional can provide more detailed information on their Google+Local page (such as an event calendar).  

I'm not trying to limit 'professionals' to just lawyers and doctors.  There are other use cases that having a professional listing independent of the main listing pertain to (like realtors).  I also understand that there potential exceptions, like a dentist or optometrist splitting their practice between two locations (which is not all that uncommon), that could be considered on a case-by-case basis (and which should be flagged and manually verified).  But in order to simplify the rules and management of listings and make it fair for everyone, there should be only one listing per professional.  

Honestly, whenever you see more than one lawyer/law office listing for the same firm on Maps, it's a safe bet that the other locations are spam (virtual offices, UPS Stores, and the like), and the same could be said of other professional listings.  It's just too tempting to spam Maps, because having multiple listings in multiple locations gives you a competitive edge, and in a market already over-saturated (and full of spam), you're going to have an arms race that will require everyone to spam in order to keep up.  Having a real office is expensive, but a virtual office or UPS Store box, is not.  
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Flash (RER) 1/30/13 12:23 AM
And to expand on what Bliss said about managing professional listings, what about reviews?  What if 10 patients review the professional listing tied to Location A and 8 review the professional listing tied to Location B.  But now he's so busy at location A that he stops going to Location B.  Too bad, those reviews may be for this single entity, but 8 of the are not attached to the right listing.  It needs to be one listing so all the reviews go in one place, as they are reviewing one person, not two different locations.

I have an excellent oral surgeon that works for a local dental network.  Originally he put 6 implants in my mouth at an office 2 blocks from my house.  That office is still there and is still part of the network, but he doesn't visit there anymore.  I've had appointments with him over the past few years at 5 different locations, as he works at Location A on Mondays, Location B on Tuesdays, etc.  His main office downtown Vancouver where he is the owner has been the only consistent one as he will change the locations he visits as needs change within the network.  If multiple professional listings were the way things were supposed to be done, he would be constantly opening and closing professional listings if he had one at every office he visits other than his main location.  He would accumulate reviews all over the place, but only have 25% on his listing attached to his main location as he only is there one or two days a week.  And since I've seen him at 5 locations, I could review him 5 times.  Yes, it makes sense for me to be able to review all 5 locations because they vary in friendliness of the staff, availability of parking, decor, amenities, etc.  But the doctor is the same person no matter where I visit him; the reviews would all say the same thing.

And what about G+ Social?  Should the doctor maintain social pages for each location he visits?  Or should there be one social page for a professional?  Since this is one person who visits multiple offices in the area, all the info should be on one page that will remain up even when he changes what locations he is visiting.

When set up with one listing per professional  if a user has an issue that need an oral surgeon, he can look at the listings for each office in the network and find the ones that list in their descriptions that they have an oral surgeon.  If, instead, the user has heard that Dr. John Smith is a great oral surgeon, he can look up his one professional listing and see all the reviews, all the info, and in the description he can see that he services multiple locations.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities SQLPerformance 1/30/13 2:27 AM
Jim made a good suggestion for this case of shared multiple offices and professional listings.

He suggested the professional makes their entry at their home address and hide the address.  Along with generic Categories like 'Lawyer' and only their own name on the entry they should avoid pesky merge issues.  In the website for the office their bios should be no follow.  The professional could have a little website or blog and +Profile to promote themselves.

Then the offices can have one Places entry each in their names.

If the professional moves offices then his own professional listing is unaffected.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities MaryBowling 1/30/13 8:38 AM
We can't do this right if Google doesn't tell us what "right" is and the longer we go without knowing, the more spam we'll see. TC's and Jade, please give us some official guidance on this! 
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Linda Buquet ~ 1/30/13 9:41 AM
Mary I agree. I get asked this question in training all the time and it's tough even for me to know what to recommend - and this thread proves there is no clear answer.

Jade said she didn't necessarily agree, but didn't really provide clear insight either. I can see Gregg and Dan's points from a map or data management viewpoint. But am not sure it jives with realworld needs.

I'm escalating this to Google and will lobby to try to get a sticky or help doc that clarifies best practices in this regard.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Flash (RER) 1/30/13 10:15 AM
I thought of something else... what if my oral surgeon sets up professional listings at the locations I've never visited.  Can I review him?

It just creates too many issues, many of them negative for the professional.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Jade W. 1/30/13 2:35 PM
Hey all -- we are working on clarifying the guidelines for scenarios like this. Please sit tight, and I'll come back with an update as soon as I can.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Linda Buquet ~ 1/30/13 4:06 PM
Good deal thanks so much Jade!
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Digital+ 1/30/13 6:28 PM
Considering all the problems with reviews, the last thing I would worry about is reviews. I mean 90%+ will be rejected anyway!
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Flash (RER) 1/30/13 6:30 PM
While I know that some people are frustrated with reviews, that is in no way an accurate statement.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Digital+ 1/30/13 6:40 PM
Considering the thread on this subject is probably over 500 entries long and all I read about is them losing 90%+ of the ones they had and those are very very likely lost forever, the last thing I'm going to spend my time on is reviews on + local. And until Google gets their spam algorithm much more accurate I'm not encouraging anyone to waste their time posting on it.

And if 90% is so inaccurate give me an honest assessment of what % of reviews posted since July have actually posted on a Google+ local listing. I think a bunch of us would like to know.

Just my 1/2 cent worth.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Flash (RER) 1/31/13 8:02 AM
That would take the thread way off topic.  Please stay on topic within this thread.
Re: A professional that works at 2 differet locations 2 different cities Jade W. 2/1/13 8:44 AM
Locking this topic to prevent us from going off-topic for the time being. I'll come back with an update and unlock as soon as possible.
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