03-25-2018 02:49 PM - edited 06-09-2018 10:41 AM
[As an experienced Local Guide, I now sometimes come across inconsistencies or notice that errors have been made that I used to make myself when I started out. So I am now publishing a few 'best practice' posts, in the hope it can help others.]
Selecting the correct category for a point of interest (POI) can be challenging. Sometimes there simply is no category label available that perfectly describes the main characteristics of the POI. An example from my own experience is a particular type of vending machine that you find all over the place in Belgium: one where you can buy bread. Some types of vending machines have their own category (such as coffee vending machine and beauty products vending machine), but not this one (probably also because you don't really find these in any other country) - and neither is there a category label for vending machine in general.
In other cases the difficulty is that different category labels are available for what basically is the same type of POI. So far, no one has been able to explain to me the difference between a DIY-store and a home improvement store. Feel free to leave a comment if you can shed light into the darkness on this one!
The issue I want to point in this post, however, is that quite a few points of interest have a category which is not incorrect as such, but also not the best possible one. In almost all cases, the POI then has a general category, where a more specific one is available. Let me give you 2 examples:
* car dealerships: those often have the general car dealer or even garage, but for most popular brands there is a specific category: Ford-dealer, Volkswagen-dealer, Toyota-dealer, etc. (Google doesn't seem to like French cars, though: Peugeot-dealer and Citroën-dealer are not available)
* sports clubs: these often have the general label sports club, but several popular sports have their own label: football club, tennis club, karate club, etc.
Adding a missing category or replacing the existing one with a more relevant one will bring you 5 points, so you should definitely take this into account when collecting local guides points.
Other posts in this series:
Best Practice: Entering Opening hours
Best Practice: ALL CAPS / all lowercase
Best Practice: Correcting pin location
Best Practice: Submit changes one by one
Disclaimer: the practices described here as best practice are my personal interpretation, and I don't claim any level of official endorsement.
03-26-2018 06:42 AM
03-26-2018 12:35 PM
@davidcox WOW! That really is a useful tool, thanks a lot for sharing that.
Their website mentions "This tool generates а full list of Google My Business Categories." so I guess that whenever you use the tool you get the up to date list as it is being generated at that moment. I've started downloading a few lists right away and will see if this can help me with some older category related topics (like this beverage store one).
03-26-2018 02:16 PM
@JanVanHaver Be aware that the categories do get edited and changed. The big controlling issue is the website and other online information that refines Google's knowledge of a location. The category is the starting point.