Google My Business made a big change that will have a profound impact on car dealerships effective immediately. That change is that a car dealership is now eligible to have more than 1 listing to represent their brand and the brand of automotive they sell.
Up until now new car dealerships were only allowed one listing for their dealership business and then separate listings for each of their departments (parts, sales,etc…).
Used car dealerships are not allowed to have multiple listings now as this rule only applies to new car dealerships. That means new car dealerships now have a major advantage over used car dealerships when it comes to being listed on Google Maps.
What’s really interesting here is how this change came about. Greg Gifford, a well-known Local SEO with a deep background in the automotive space, was discussing an issue with another Local SEO in the automotive space publicly via Twitter when someone from Google My Business joined in and appeared to correct Greg on this very point.
Hey there! Car dealerships are eligible to have a page for each brand at the location, as well as a page for the departments. Feel free to send us a DM if you have any other questions. Thanks! -Brad
— Google My Business (@GoogleMyBiz) February 11, 2020
Brad from Google My Business then clarified that this apparently new rule applied to dealerships with separate brand departments.
Hi there! Per our guidelines, there should not be more than one listing per location. However, car dealerships are businesses with exception and are eligible to have separate listings on Maps. This is for larger dealerships that actually have brand departments. Thanks! -Brad
— Google My Business (@GoogleMyBiz) February 19, 2020
Following this Greg pointed out that none of what Brad was saying was (at the time) in the Google My Business guidelines.
A few days later on March 4th that change actually took place as recorded by Joy Hawkins over at Sterling Sky. She pointed out that GMB added to the guidelines for new car dealerships the following:
“New car dealerships are eligible for multiple listings. You can have one listing for your dealership and one listing for each brand you sell of new cars.”
Here the guidelines do not stipulate any additional rules or regulations, only that they sell different brands of new cars / automobiles. Joy says she followed up with a Google employee (uncited) and discovered that each brand of new vehicle being sold doesn’t need its own staff, separate entrances to the showroom, etc…:
“It does not matter if they have separate entrances or staff.”
To summarize here are all of the ways a new car dealership can now have Google Maps listings:
- 1 listing for the main dealership brand
- 1 additional listing for each brand of vehicle sold
- 1 additional listing for each department
This is fairly big change for new car dealerships that they should find helpful in building and growing new business via Google Maps.