Keeping up with all the changes that Google makes can be a bit of a challenge. Hence, we wanted to take a minute to talk about the new updates Google Maps just released regarding prohibited and restricted content.

Let’s start with civil discourse, meaning personal information must not be distributed or posted without consent on Google Maps. It includes full or last names, images, videos, financial information, and other identifying information. While merchants are allowed to post contact information, an individual’s full name may only be used when it is part of their business or they are public-facing professionals. If you become aware of personal information being posted without their consent, follow the instructions on the Google Maps platform to report it.

Moving onto the next one – deceptive content. It is not allowed on Google Maps. This includes incentivizing, paying for, or encouraging the posting of fake content, as well as selectively soliciting positive reviews from customers. Additionally, businesses are not allowed to delete reviews or offer incentives in exchange for the removal of negative reviews. Finally, content from multiple accounts or services that mimics genuine engagement is prohibited.

For local businesses, customer reviews are a great way to get noticed and build up viewership. But, it’s important to follow Google’s guidelines and make sure the reviews you receive are genuine and represent your services accurately. No one wants to be tempted with rewards just to give a positive review, so it’s important to make sure that’s not part of the picture.

We hope this summary helps you to stay up to date on Google’s policies, so you can make sure you’re always in the know and running a successful operation.