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A law firm has a Google My Business page for each of the attorneys. The names of the pages are written as <company name> <attorney name>and they all point to the same exact address on Google Maps.

What is the SEO implication? Does this hurt SEO, or is it okay as soon as they have different titles?

  • Your customer would be better of having 1 page and then adding multiple locations to that page (one for each attorney). Not only will this improve their rankings but it'll appear in more local results for where those Attorneys are located. – Simon Hayter Mar 15 '16 at 18:03
  • Hi Simon! What do you mean by adding multiple locations? The business has just 1 main office and all attorneys work at that one location. Could you please elaborate? Thank you! – Lucia Brus Mar 16 '16 at 18:48
  • Think businesses with multiple addresses, these are locations but appear as one but still count for local seo... these are locations. It's possible in Google Business to add multiple addresses and click 'We serve the customer at their address', this will hide the attorneys address but not the office, and still count for local SEO. Adding multiple Google pages is silly and will be last weighted. If your attorneys however don't serve customers outside the office then its best just to have one locaiton. – Simon Hayter Mar 16 '16 at 20:41
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Assuming the attorneys are all "public-facing" with their own customer base, there's no problem with them each having their own listing. However, by including the practice name you are breaching Google's guidelines:

The title of the page for the practitioner should include only the name of the practitioner, and shouldn’t include the name of the organization.

Whether or not listings for each attorney is the best strategy depends on the specifics of their business.

For instance, if each attorney has their own area of specialism, it's probably a useful approach in that each can be optimised for their specialism: "divorce attorney", "medical negligence attorney", etc.

In the absence of such differentiation, it may be more beneficial to consolidate into a single listing for the entire practice.

  • Thank you! In fact, that's what I did right after I posted the question. I made sure each page is titled according to the name of the attorney only, not the organization name. I also made sure to have only the categories in which they specialize and that each had a unique description. And yes, they are all public-facing and some have their names on directories online. I read that Google scrapes the internet and if it finds locations/names on directories, it might create a default Google Maps location, so it might be better to create the pages for each attorney and have control over them. – Lucia Brus Mar 16 '16 at 18:40
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Yes it will hurt SEO because basically they are fragmenting momentum and funnelling. It will also hurt their Google reputation:

We have a few properties pointed to one physical address. Granted they are different "microstores" on different domains, but all under the same parent company. So far 3 of them have been flagged duplicate, 1 of them is impossible to reactivate either due to bug, or hardcore duplicate flag (ban). The one that is locked is the most "different" of the rest too which is strange. I spoke with a guy at Google maps about this and he was adamant that you should be careful with things like this. He actually said he wasn't sure how all the properties weren't flagged and taken down for abuse. I had to explain to him that each domain sells different things (microstore) and that the location is the parent company. After about 10 mins of convo he said this might be one of the very very few times that he would allow this to happen.

So how does that relate to your case with the lawyers? Well first some logic:

  • A lawyer employed by a business is not the business and should have no location/maps Google+ page
  • A lawyer is a person therefore should be using a Google+ profile instead
  • Google+ profiles can be linked to Google+ pages more naturally than just copying as a location

So by not using the proper types of profile, mis-using the pages, and spamming locations, the firm is basically "gaming" the system. I would strongly suggest taking them down and consolidating into 1 business and multiple attorneys profiles before your location (and G+ biz profiles) get locked too by either automation, a human marking "duplicate" on maps, or a Google employee realizing that the firm is "gaming" their service.

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