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Can I Use ALL CAPS in Google Maps?

August 8th, 2013
3 Comments


In my SEL post 7 Things I Have Figured Out About The New Google Maps, I mentioned that businesses might want to try using ALL CAPS in their business name on their Google Places + Local (whateva) profile as I had noticed EXTREME PIZZA rocking the all-caps in the map result I was studying:

Pleasanton-Pizza-Google-Maps-3

A commenter then added:

3voJoe

We quickly updated the post to warn readers that all caps in a business name might not be a good idea.  In fact, I had forgotten a couple of years ago my Places listing had been de-indexed because I capitalized it as Local SEO Guide.  Once I changed it to Local Seo Guide, it popped right back.

But that was a while ago, so I reviewed the Google Places Quality Guidelines and here’s what it says about business names:

Business Name: Represent your business exactly as it appears in the offline world.

  • Do not include marketing taglines in your business name.
  • Do not include phone numbers or URLs in the business name field, unless they are part of your business name.
  • Do not attempt to manipulate search results by adding extraneous keywords or a description of your business in the business name field.

Nothing about capitalization.  But of course, there are plenty of unwritten rules in the Matrix.

And if you look at the rules for names in Google Mapmaker, you’ll see the following:

Capitalization:
 The first letter of each word should be capitalized according to the customs of the language the name is added in. In case there is a website for the feature, its best to add names the way they’re reflected on the website.

Examples :

  • MCDONALD’S (English, Inappropriate)
  • mcdonalds (English, Inappropriate)
  • McDonald’s (English, Correct)
  • Moulin De La Galette (French, Inappropriate)
  • Moulin de la Galette (French, Correct)

So all caps is clearly verboten in Google Mapmaker, but it’s not clear that it is in Google Places + Local (the two are related but separate systems).  So how to explain EXTREME PIZZA?  Harris Schacter to the rescue:

Harris Schachter

So I followed that up with a bit more research, and it seems that if your offline brand is all caps, then your GP+L name can be all caps.  For example:

FLOODGATE FUND

Floodgate Fund Map

The LEGO Store
(I know, not the whole name, but still…)
The LEGO Store

IKEA

IKEA

Disclaimer: Past performance is no indication of future performance.  Your mileage may vary.  Void in Nebraska.


Tags: Google Place Pages · Google+ Local

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tim // Aug 8, 2013 at 11:53 am

    May be able to get by with all caps in the actual name, I ran into an issue for one of our clients that sells networking products that are referred to in all caps acronyms. Tried to list these in the “products” section but to no avail. Even was told by a rep there was no way around this.

  • 2 Josh Gates // Aug 8, 2013 at 11:56 am

    lol, nice Matrix reference!

    The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very blog. :)

  • 3 Nyagoslav // Aug 9, 2013 at 5:35 am

    Being able to get a listing (owner-verified) in all caps would require manual verification by a Google mod. Even if it gets approved, though (which would happen only if this is the actual way your brand should appear, as you mentioned), the Map Maker reviewers might reject/remove/change it in future as the guidelines cross-platforms don’t tally.

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