Google has strict guidelines for how businesses should use their co-working spaces. If you violate these rules, Google may suspend your business’ profile entirely! This article will offer tips on what to avoid so your website doesn’t get suspended and give some great case studies of other people who have successfully avoided a suspension.
Businesses that are using co-working spaces to run their business are at risk of having their Google Business Profile suspended. The “avoid google business profile suspension when using a co-working space” is an article that provides information on how to avoid this issue.
Google modified its Google Business Profile (previously known as Google My Business) standards in February 2021 to include information regarding co-working facilities.
While there is a lot of material on the internet on this subject, I’ve gathered it all in one spot so you can be sure you’re doing all you can to avoid suspension.
What is a shared office space or co-working space?
Any physical location where diverse people or organizations assemble and work in the same area, room, or building is referred to as a co-working or shared office space.
Many small businesses—and freelancers—need a dedicated area to work outside of their homes, and co-working facilities have become a cost-effective option. This is possible thanks to coworking, which eliminates the need to own or lease a specialized office space.
Please keep in mind that a co-working space differs from a virtual office in that it is an actual site where a person may go to work rather than relying just on a postal address. It is not permitted to use a co-working facility as a virtual office.
Is it possible to get a Google Business Profile for a coworking or shared office space?
Yes, firms that use coworking or shared office spaces may get a Google Business Profile (GBP) if they satisfy Google’s standards.
These firms, on the other hand, should err on the side of caution. Having a dedicated office space or a brick-and-mortar location is easier than using a co-working or shared office space.
These sorts of GBP listings are more likely to be flagged by Google, putting your customers’ company at risk of suspension.
Guidelines for Companies Using Co-working or Shared Office Spaces from Google
The only thing Google says about establishing a Business Profile for co-working or shared office spaces is this one statement under ‘Address’:
“Businesses can’t advertise an office at a co-working space unless it has obvious signage, accepts clients during business hours, and is manned by your company’s employees during those hours.”
To establish a Business Profile for a company that uses a co-working or shared office space address, complete these steps:
- Create a co-working or shared office space where your client’s company may rent out a tiny office or desk.
- Ensure that your client’s employees are present within the specified business hours.
- Customers or clients should be able to visit the company throughout the hours that your client specifies.
- Make sure your client’s company name is prominently displayed on your signs.
- At the co-working facility, you should be able to receive mail addressed to your client’s firm.
- Maintain a separate, distinct phone number for your client’s company from the main co-working facility.
Don’t do the following when creating a Business Profile for a company that uses a co-working or shared office space address:
- The coworking space should only be used as a postal address.
- If your client won’t or can’t meet clients in person at the venue, create a Business Profile.
- Fake suite or room numbers may be used and created.
- Make a separate Business Profile for each room or suite that your client’s company rents out (if applicable).
- Use a co-working or shared office space to get a foothold in a different section of your client’s city without having to send anybody.
Co-working or shared office spaces are used by a variety of businesses.
The following are some examples of companies that could employ a co-working or shared office space:
- Small marketing firms or social media firms
- Practitioners of various sorts (e.g. lawyers, accountants, tax specialists, etc.)
- Freelancers (who are unable or unwilling to meet with customers in their place of business)
- Small businesses searching for a low-cost office space
- Home-based enterprises in need of a better location and reliable Wi-Fi
Filling Out the Business Information Form for Qualified Businesses: Some Tips
If you’re certain that your client’s company is eligible for a Business Profile at a coworking or shared office space and that you’re following all of the rules, here are some pointers to help them get the most out of their profile!
1. Double-check that the business name matches the signage.
Some firms have found that keyword stuffing their company name on Google is a sure-fire strategy to climb ahead in the ranks, but it’s also likely to result in a ban.
Keyword packing the name will not only make it more difficult to have the profile confirmed, but it will also make it easier for spam fighters or nearby rivals to discover and attack the profile. Suspension might be triggered by a single recommended modification or redressal form submission.
It’s a good idea to double-check that your client’s company name matches all of their physical signs and evidence of operation.
2. Pay close attention to the kind of business.
Check with the property’s owners to learn how many other businesses of a similar kind are utilizing the area. It’s extremely probable that one of the Business Profiles will be filtered if one of the other firms has a Business Profile that has the same business category or competes for any overlapping keywords.
3. Be aware of the ‘Located In’ feature.
You may notice a ‘Located In’ feature inside your knowledge panel depending on the co-working or shared space:
If you don’t see this on your client’s Business Profile, you might consider adding it to make it easier for their clients or customers to discover the co-working space.
Pull up your client’s Business Profile and click ‘Suggest an edit’ to add the ‘Located In’ option. Scroll down below the map to the ‘Change name or other information’ area, where you’ll find a ‘Located inside’ section. Add the location of the coworking space, and then click ‘Send.’
If the modification does not appear in your Google Business Profile within three business days, contact Google Business Profile Help to escalate the request.
4. Don’t Forget to Include a Service Station
Is it possible for your client’s company to meet clients where they live? If this is the case, a service area should be included. Because not everyone likes to leave their homes, if your client’s company offers services both at their customers’ locations and at the co-working space, provide that information in the Business Profile!
Remember not to establish a GBP listing with this location if the firm solely interacts with clients or customers outside of the co-working or shared facility.
5. Double-check your business hours. Don’t go against the co-working space’s hours of operation.
Customers must be able to visit throughout the business’s advertised hours of operation. This is particularly significant if your client’s Business Profile has the ‘Located in’ option.
This co-working facility is home to the following company:
The coworking space’s exact hours are as follows:
If your company hours conflict with the hours of your coworking space, it might be a red indicator for a prospective suspension—plus, it’s simpler for spam fighters to see!
6. For justifications, highlight any additional products or services that are available outside of regular business hours.
Customers do not have to come in person for every aspect of your company; depending on your industry, you may be able to incorporate items or services.
If the company offers any unique services or goods, be sure to include them in the Google Business Profile.
You may add a 24-hour emergency phone line in the list of services if your customer is a small firm consisting of a few of developers (but don’t mention a phone number or URL since Google doesn’t allow it).
Create product postings if your company is a collection of instructors who also provide online courses that may be purchased without seeing your customer in person.
7. Use Google Posts to provide more information about the company.
There is a lot that may be displayed to show that the company adheres to all requirements, such as the business employees being present at the co-working space during designated business hours. Here are some examples of various sorts of postings that you may want to share:
- Users should be informed about who is at the office, particularly if this information changes often.
- Any office development or substantial business updates from the co-working facility should be highlighted (e.g. a masking mandate, changes to management, etc.).
- Post a daily update or reminder on where your client’s company will be in the office if your customer is hot-desking.
Regularly posting will not verify a company’s eligibility or prevent it from being suspended, but it will help build up enough dated documentation that the company is staffed, has permanent signs, and is meeting with clients within specified business hours.
Suspensions may (and will) happen, but whatever documentation you can lay your hands on—in this example, screenshots with dates—can make getting restored much simpler.
Check out Claire Carlile’s Google Posts tutorial for additional information.
8. Remember to use UTM parameters
Although UTM parameters aren’t exclusive to Google Business Profiles for coworking spaces, they are the most effective approach to measure visitors from your GBP listing and Google Posts!
If you’re not currently monitoring website clicks on your customers’ Business Profiles, Claire Carlile’s article on UTM parameters is a good place to start.
9. A Thousand Words Are Worth a Thousand Pictures
Update the photos of the co-working space’s company team on a regular basis. This isn’t simply to indicate that the company is staffed; it may also illustrate what clients or consumers can anticipate from the company and what day-to-day work looks like.
It’s also a good idea to remember to include photographs of the following to the photos area of the Business Profile listing:
- The rental space’s signage and generic pictures
- Staff portraits
- An picture of the office space that has been upgraded (if your client moved within the co-working space)
- Any new or updated signage (if it’s been altered) should be photographed.
10. Provide Detailed Directions or Instructions Using the Question & Answer Feature
In many sectors, the Question and Answer (Q&A) function on Business Profiles is still underused. This is a terrific chance for co-working and shared office spaces to give more comprehensive instructions to their location.
Some shared offices may contain additional instructions on how to get into the facility. The Q&A function is a terrific method to provide your client those instructions right on their Business Profile.
Questions to Ask When Using Google and Coworking Spaces
These are some of the common inquiries we’ve received regarding displaying shared workspaces on a Google Business Profile. Please let us know if you have any more suggestions in the comments section at the bottom of this page!
What happens if the company uses a shared office space for hot-desking?
Instead of designating a single desk to each individual worker, a workplace assigns desks to employees on a first-come, first-served basis or on a rotating timetable.
This might imply that in a co-working or shared office space, there isn’t a particular workstation or room accessible to rent on any given day. As a consequence, it’s possible that your client’s company won’t be permitted to have permanent signs.
Permanent signage may be present at the entry or in the business directory of certain coworking and shared office locations. Find out from the proprietors!
What about firms that are only open by appointment?
You may still build a Business Profile for your customer as long as they can verify or agree to being regularly staffed at the co-working or shared space.
However, Google still advises you to delete the business hours from your client’s page if you operate a ‘by appointment only’ firm. You may then emphasize that your client’s business is ‘by appointment only’ in the company description or in a COVID-19 post.
If you can’t establish that the firm is still routinely employed at this shared facility, this may seem suspect to spam fighters or rivals.
How long can a company utilize a coworking space?
A company may rent a shared office for as long as it wants, but it’s ideal to remain at the same location for at least a year, if not longer, to avoid having to move addresses.
Remember that utilizing a co-working or shared office space as an address is already a red signal for suspension, so if your company has to move addresses often, this isn’t the best solution.
Re-verification is triggered when the address on your client’s Business Profile is updated, and it might take up to three or four months for the verification postcard to arrive (as of late). I’m unable to re-verify a Business Profile listing using any way other than the dreaded snail letter most of the time.
When it’s time for your customer to renew, what should they do?
Unfortunately, renewing a contract at a co-working or shared office space may necessitate a change in the business’s office or desk space. They may be unable to renew at all, necessitating a change of residence.
If that’s the case, make sure you record everything about the relocation. This includes updated photographs of signs or other tangible marketing items exhibiting the real-world company name, as well as recorded verification of both the old and new addresses.
Tell your customer to select a co-working place that can be secured for more than a year to prevent a greater chance of suspension.
On Google, there are several cautions against using co-working spaces for a business.
There’s a lot of spam on Google Maps from companies that aren’t properly using coworking or shared office spaces. These spamming Business Profiles make it more difficult for Business Profiles that have been properly set up and managed to avoid being suspended.
Competitors are also more likely to be able to use a redressal complaint form to have your client’s Business Profile suspended. Even if you have all of the information that your client’s firm is according to Google’s Business Profile criteria, Ben Fischer says it’s impossible to be restored, and Google is “simply no good at monitoring it.”
Continual Improvements to Your Client’s Business Profile
If you can validate a Business Profile using a co-working or shared office space as the location, make sure you have all the documents and evidence you’ll need, and keep a careful eye on your client’s Business Profile.
Keep track of the following characteristics as time goes on:
- Continue to use visible, permanent signs to make it apparent that this is a staffed office facility.
- Continue to solicit and react to both good and negative feedback!
- Don’t stop writing on Google Posts!
- Products and services: Stay current on any products and services so they stay accurate and reflect what your client’s website has to offer.
- General company information: Keep an eye on the firm’s co-working or shared office space’s hours of operation; if they change, be sure to update yours to prevent any conflicts.
All of these items will assist you in maintaining correct information that will benefit not only the business’s clients or customers, but will also assist you in avoiding a GBP ban.
Kick Point’s SEO Strategist is Elizabeth Linder. She oversees a wide variety of SEO tasks, with a particular emphasis on assisting local companies in combating spam and obtaining relevant connections. She likes live-tweeting about Local SEO conferences and keeping her whole team up to date with the ever-changing world of SEO.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use a co working space as a business address?
A: Yes, you can use your office as a business address and then list the specific location of it.
Why is my Google My Business account suspended?
A: Your Google My Business account suspension may be due to a violation of our TOS. If your account has been suspended, please contact support and they will help you with this issue
Can I use a virtual office for Google My Business?
A: Yes, you can use a virtual office for Google My Business.
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