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NAP, business description and consistency

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# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I understand the basic philosophy of NAP synchronization and the importantce of citations.  What I get hung up on is the degree to which the consistency must be applied and in which cases should there be some variation. I would think and hope that minor differences in abbreviations or structure will be understood by Google, but some reassurance would be handy. Examples:

Dr. vs Dr or Drive
Ave. vs Avenue
Blvd. by Boulevard
Ste. vs Suite vs # (Ste. 1000 vs Suite 1000 vs #1000)
State abbreviated vs spelled out
5 digit vs 9 digit zip code
(800)555-1212 vs 800-555-1212 vs 1-800-555-1212 vs 800.555-1212
www.whatever-website.com vs http://www.whatever-website.com


Business description (maybe slogan) - Does it make an iota of a difference if your business description matches to the T across all local listings where the field is employed or is it better to apply some variance to the description?

Insight please?

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: NAP, business description and consistency

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Bob,

Google's pretty smart and can make linkages between a number of different abbreviations so I wouldn't get too hung up on differences between Street / St for example.

This article might be helpful to you: http://www.whitespark.ca/acceptable-google-maps-nap-abbreviations-and-variations when it comes to understanding what Google can and can't accept.

Priya Chandra, Google My Business Top Contributor
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Re: NAP, business description and consistency

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Good - one of the problems in being analytical is the ability to be over analytical (me). I helped a company a year back synchronize their postal codes for sending out mailings for donations and I ran across a similar-ish postal official abbreviations code. It seemed like if you didn't use the official codes that it would impact their bulk mail costs.

The second part of the question regarding descriptions. I've read articles varying on whether Google approves/disapproves of using identical business descriptions in the 200 or so (maybe 25 major-ish) listing services, some suggesting that it crosses the lines into duplicate content. To the same extent some allow you to upload images with captions. What is the truth?
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Accepted by topic author Bob M
March 2016

Re: NAP, business description and consistency

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

I've seen a whole lot of well rankings businesses that used an identical description cross board. My personal guess, is that it doesn't impact the credibility of the citation (much) in Google's eyes, though I don't have much data to base that on. Personally, I tend to write something custom for the top few citations, use something boiler plate for the rest, and then go back in and optimize any citations a few months later that show up in analytics as being a referral source.

 

Most citations businesses have are duplicates by definition.. they're scraped, or float downstream from the major aggregators. If you're curious, it's pretty easy to take your list of top 5 competitors in your industry/city, see what description they're using, and do a google search for the first sentence. In all the cases I looked at when I was curious about this, there was always dozens of results that popped up, but feel free to test it for your industry and city too. 

I do usually write something unique for the description area in the Google My Business profile, but it feels a little like wasted time there since that description literally doesn't display anywhere other than the plus page anymore, which no one ever visits. 

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Re: NAP, business description and consistency

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
This makes complete sense what you and Priya said. Now that I have a little confirmation on how the data gets interpreted,I'm onboard. Thx