Are Coworking Offices Eligible for Google My Business Listings?
Posted by MiriamEllis
[Estimated read time: 7 minutes]
Coworking office spaces have existed for more than a decade around the globe, and I consider it a testament to their growing popularity for start-ups and agencies that I’ve been seeing an increasing number of questions about them in recent times at places like the Moz Q&A forum and elsewhere. The burning question on everybody’s mind is: do coworking locations meet or fall afoul of the official Guidelines for Representing Your Business On Google? This article attempts to provide the most thorough possible answer to this important question.
Google isn’t always completely transparent in their guidelines, so I went for the next best thing. In researching this topic, I communicated with Google My Business Community forum Top Contributor, Colan Nielsen, and want to thank him for conferring about best practices with me.
Virtual vs. coworking offices
Let’s sync up with a couple of quick definitions.
A virtual office offers a mailing address that is not physically occupied by the purchaser. This address is generally not a P.O. box. It typically offers some means of communication via a receptionist, call center and/or voicemail. A virtual office may sometimes offer rental of conference rooms. Virtual offices fail to meet Google guidelines, including:
- Make sure that your page is created at your actual, real-world location.
- Provide a phone number that connects to your individual business location as directly as possible.
- Provide your regular customer-facing hours of operation.
- If your business rents a temporary, “virtual” office at a different address from your primary business, do not create a page for that location unless it is staffed during your normal business hours.
A coworking office is a space physically occupied by practitioners during stated business hours. In addition to providing desks, rooms, suites, phone booths, and other amenities, coworking spaces often promote collaboration between tenants and offer educational and social events. Many do feature a central reception desk, but participants should carefully weigh whether using such phone numbers is a wise decision.
- Properly utilized coworking spaces can be eligible for Google My Business inclusion.
10 tips for coworking local SEO success
Over the past ten years, coworking spaces have popped up in cities around the world. They can be a good solution for:
- Startups with limited funding
- Sole proprietors who don’t like the quiet of working in isolation
- Home-based business owners who do not want to list their home addresses on the web
- Workers in rural areas in need of stable WiFi
- Professionals who consistently require office space but who can’t yet pay rent for a full, dedicated building
- Individuals looking for particular amenities, such as an address in a desirable location, a green environment (offered by some coworking spaces), or networking opportunities with other coworkers
If your business or your agency’s clients are researching whether a coworking space will help or hinder your local search marketing efforts, be sure any space you consider meets these requirements: