In December 2017 the algorithm responsible for displaying Google My Business listing was probably updated. The update mainly affected the SEO industry and caused hiding of the business listing of companies that violated the guidelines for placing information about company on Google.

Artykuł dostępny jest również w polskiej wersji językowej (article is available also in Polish language version).

We could read quite a lot about the problems with the visibility of business listing on foreign portals – users from around the world complained about the issue on to the forum devoted to the subject of local positioning. For a period of about 3 months so far, no one has given any effective solution to the problem.

Shortly after the case was publicized, it turned out that this update also affected our company’s business listing. Its limited visibility was an obstacle for users who wanted to find our contact information or address quickly. We checked what might be the cause of this situation and we succeeded: the business listing returned to its place.

The solution turns out to be very simple (some people may think it is too simple) but we have confined the changes to optimization of the categories assigned to the company’s business. Google, in the guidelines at the beginning of the text, clearly states that (to avoid the information about the company being removed) it is necessary to select as few categories as possible, at the same time ensuring that it is the most detailed and closely related one to the company’s core business.

categories GMB - screen from Google guidelines

In our case, the violation of the guidelines concerned exceeding the number of categories – we should have chosen one, but we chose two. The first and the main one was an „Internet Marketing Service”, while the second one was an „Advertising Agency”. Despite the selection of categories that coincide with the company’s activities, Google punished such excess in order to emphasize the importance of the published instructions. We therefore followed these guidelines and 12 hours after the removal of the „Advertising Agency” category, the business listing returned to its place in the search engine.

To sum up, if your company has recently lost visibility and its Google My Business listing is displayed only for the „brand + city” query, you should seek the reasons for this in categories, and more specifically in their number. Choosing one category that best suits your business profile will be a good choice. By the way, I would like to remind you that the artificial name of the company in which keywords have been included can also cause problems. So if you want to protect yourself from other GMB filters, change the name of the company, too, when changing the category.

The method I described and which proved to be effective was not tested in any other way. Therefore, if the implementation of the described guidelines succeeds, I will be grateful for feedback in the form of sharing this article further… and a short but nice „Grupa TENSE, thanks!”. Good luck!