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Google has updated its help documents to allow car dealerships to have multiple Google My Business listings within Google Local and Google Maps. Google said a single car dealership can have a listing for each brand it sells, plus a listing for each brand’s sales, parts, or services departments.
The only way this can work is is Google labels your Google My Business listing as a dealership and that would unlock this feature. Google wrote in the help document:
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.
If you want additional listings for the departments within your dealership, for example, sales, parts, or services, repeat the process above using the name of your dealership with the department name. When your listings are verified, contact support to have your service department labeled as within your dealership.
Joy Hawkins wrote about this in more detail. This came from a tweet about a month ago from Google My Business:
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
Is this a good thing? Well, it depends on who you ask. On the one hand, having all your reviews in one place is useful and helps you gain more reviews over time. Breaking them up means it can take a while. But if you think of it, maybe the service department has more negative reviews than the sales department and the sales department doesn’t want the service department reviews to hurt the dealerships repuation?
Here is some of the feedback from the local SEO community:
Yep. It’s dumb. But it will probably help with visibility for “[brand] Dealer” searches, so everyone will do it and it will create a huge confusing mess
— Greg Gifford (@GregGifford) March 4, 2020
I do think the separate brand listing is odd, they do not operate independently in most cases like Service vs. Dealer vs. Collision
— Krystal Taing (@krystal_taing) March 4, 2020
I was thinking the exact same thing Andrew! What about other business types like furniture stores that sell multiple “big” brands?
— Niki Mosier (@nikers85) March 4, 2020
The change is much appreciated for multi-brands that are at the same physical location but exist separately online with their own websites, Facebook pages, etc… See that a lot with Ford / Lincoln, Hyundai / Genesis, Chevy / Cadillac.
— Jamie Paton (@NJayme) March 4, 2020
This is chaotic. I always recommend dealerships NOT have a “group” type listing along with individual and department listings. This just dilutes the reviews and GMB engagement too much. There’s no logical difference for between Car Dealer Group and Car Dealer Ford listings.
— Nathan Schoell (@NateSchoell) March 4, 2020
Forum discussion at Twitter.