FAQ

This document contains answers to frequently asked questions about the Google My Business API Web Service. If you are unable to find the answer to your question here, you may find some of the following pages helpful.

General questions

Google My Business (GMB) API functionality

Lat/Long

Attributes

Associate Locations using PlaceID

AdWords and Google My Business

General questions

What is Google My Business?
Google My Business provides a fast and easy way for businesses, products, brands, artists, and organizations to manage their online presence with Google. Learn more

What is the Google My Business API?
The Google My Business API is a programming interface that allows developers to write applications to manage Google My Business account and location data.

Who should sign up for the Google My Business API?
Developers looking to write applications to manage Google My Business data, as well as developers who used the AdWords API to manage manual Location Extensions, should consider signing up for the Google My Business API.

Note: Access to the API should only be requested by companies directly developing an application using the API.

Should third parties request a separate project ID for every client?
No. Third parties should not request access on behalf of their clients. Third parties should request access using a single project ID for their entire application. Have clients invite you to their existing Business Account as a manager. You can then access their account through your generated OAuth 2.0 Token.

Is there a difference between managing my Google My Business account through the Google My Business API and managing through the Google My Business interface?
The Google My Business API currently supports only a subset of the features available on the Google My Business Interface. For the features that are available in the API, all functionality and quality guidelines are the same as that of the full interface.

Note: Verification is not supported in the Google My Business API.

Are changes I make through the Google My Business API reflected in my Google My Business account?
Yes, any changes made through the Google My Business API will also appear immediately in your Google My Business Account (and vice versa).

What are the best practices for using Business Accounts with Google My Business locations?
Business Accounts are recommended when you need to share access to a large set of locations with a group of people, all of whom need access to that entire set of locations.

For Business Owners:

  • If you manage only a few locations, you don't need to create a business account.
  • If you manage a large number of locations, business accounts provide a safe way to share management of your locations with multiple users. If you are currently sharing your account username and password with other users, you should transition to using a business account as a safer way to work together.

For Agencies/Third-Parties:

  • If your client already has a Google My Business account, they can add your agency account as a manager to their individual location(s) or their business account. Learn More
  • If your client does not already have a Google My Business account, they should create a Google My Business account (and business account if applicable) and then add your agency account as a manager to their individual location(s) or their business account.
  • If you are only interested in AdWords Location Extensions, see below for best practices.

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Google My Business (GMB) API functionality

Can I create business accounts via the GMB API?
No. You will be able to read business accounts using the API, but will not be able to create them. To create a business account, you must log into the Google My Business interface. Learn more

Can I submit a separate Google My Business API project that will be used for testing purposes?
No. We are currently only whitelisting one project per business. Please perform any testing with unverified locations in your primary project.

Will the GMB API support verification? If not, how can I verify my locations?
The GMB API does not support verification.

  • If you want to manage locations on Google Maps, you must verify each location individually. Learn more
  • If you own ten or more locations of the same business (that is, a chain), you may request bulk verification.


Will the API return notifications around listing states (active, disabled, Google updates, etc.)?
There are no proactive notifications, but the API allows you to see the listing state at the time you fetch the listing. In addition, the API allows you to see Google updates (if any) made to a listing. Learn more

Will feed fetch (an automated way to pull data from customers' servers) be supported in the future?
No. There are currently no plans to support automated feed fetch. Customers will need to push data to us either via the Google My Business API or via the Google My Business UI.

Does creation of a location via the API automatically create a Google+ page for the business?
Locations created through the API under bulk verified GMB accounts will generate a Google+ page. To generate a Google+ page for an unverified location, you can verify the location manually through the GMB user interface. Learn more

Will the API enforce mandatory listing fields (for example, primary category)? What is the full list of these fields?
Yes, the API enforces the same mandatory fields currently required by Google My Business. Learn more

Will using the GMB API prevent Google updates?
No. Learn more about Google updates

How does the GMB API differ from the Places API and Google+ Pages API?
The Google My Business API allows merchants or their representatives to manage how their data is presented across Google and who co-manages their data. The Places API primarily allows users to retrieve local business information and provide location awareness to end users.

The Google+ Pages Partner API is used by a whitelisted set of tool providers to manage existing +Pages created through the UI. For example, it allows developers a way to engage with social content through an API (+1, +mentions, circles, and post management).

Will the API support querying for user-generated data (for example, photos and reviews)?
Yes. Managing owner photos and reviews are both supported through the API.

Will the API provide validation that all values have been accepted and published to Google Maps?
No. The API does not provide any confirmation about values being published to Google Maps. You will be able to retrieve information about the status of the listing with values like is suspended, is duplicate, is google updated, etc.

What are labels and how should I use them?
Labels allow you to tag individual Google My Business locations with custom strings. Labels are primarily intended to provide a way for AdWords users to associate Google My Business locations with specific Ads campaigns. While you can use any string (as long as you keep track of it), one option is to use the AdWords customer ID as a label. Once the Google My Business account is synced with AdWords, you can associate the AdWords customer ID with the right location in Google My Business.

What days does Google consider holidays for special hour notifications?
Google considers these days as potential holidays. Maps and Search will warn users that a business location's hours may differ during these days unless you've explicitly set special hours in Google My Business. Special hours should be set for these days even if they remain the same as normal business hours to let customers know you are open as usual. You can set special hours during any day of the year.

How long will it take for edits to show up on Google?
Your changes may not be reflected immediately. Changes made to unverified locations through the Google My Business API will only show up in the Google My Business interface and can be used in AdWords location extensions. Edits that you make to your verified business locations are eligible to show up on other Google products and may be subject to review to ensure that they adhere to the Google My Business quality guidelines as well as the Google+ content policy. Learn more

Is there a limit on how many verified listings I can manage under one account?
Users who have not been bulk verified can create and manage up to 100 Google+ pages per Google Account. Learn more

Are there any rate limit restrictions on the API?
Basic access to the API allows for 10,000 updates per day, 100 creates per day, and 250,000 reads per day. If you need more than that you can request Standard access which allows for 50,000 updates per day, 1000 creates per day, and 500,000 reads per day. We additionally have a limit of 5 queries per second (QPS).

Who should I contact for help?
Any questions about the Google My Business API should be directed to the My Business API Forum. The forum is actively monitored by the Google My Business API support team. Developers can also use the forum to search for issues and solutions posted by other developers. Answers to non-API questions about Google My Business can be found in the Google My Business Help Center.

Lat/Long

Can I submit lat/long for each location via the API?
Yes. You may provide latitude and longitude for new locations to help us place them on the map. We'll only use latitude and longitude when we have trouble locating your address.

Why is the lat/long I provide not always accepted?
Latitude and longitude are only used when a location is first created in Google My Business and meets other criteria, and will not be considered if they're included in subsequent update calls for existing locations. Base your latitude and longitude on the center of your location. We'll only use latitude and longitude when we have trouble locating your address on the map. Even if you do provide them, they might not be used by Google My Business.

How can I fix an incorrect lat/long for a location?
The API currently does not support updating lat/long. If you want to edit a lat/long for a location that is already in your account and that is live on Maps you will need to use the Google My Business user interface.

Attributes

How can I provide additional attributes for my business?
You can use the GMB API to provide additional attributes about your business beyond the core GMB attributes. Attributes are based on business category - for example, for restaurants you may see things like "serves breakfast".

Where will I be able to find information about all the attributes that are supported for a given category?
Using the GMB API you can get a list of attributes for a given category/country using the attributes.list method.

When and where will these attributes show up on Google?
Attributes may not show up on Google surfaces like Maps and Search immediately. However, providing these attributes will help Google develop future local search experiences and better understand your business. We’re currently working on building consumer experiences around these additional attributes, and you can expect some attributes to start showing on Google soon.

Can I edit these attributes via the Google My Business user interface?
Additional attributes are not yet supported in the GMB UI. You can provide information about these attributes via the GMB API in the meantime.

Does providing these attributes impact my ranking?
Adding complete and detailed business information can help Google better understand your business and match your listing to relevant searches. See our guide on how to improve local ranking on Google.

Associate Locations using PlaceID

What is a PlaceID?
A Place ID uniquely identifies a place on Google Maps.

How do I find a PlaceID?
The PlaceID for a location can be found either through the Google Places API, or through the PlaceID Search Tool.

What does it mean to associate a PlaceID with a business?
Associating a PlaceID to a location helps us more accurately match your business with existing locations on Google Maps. For example, if two stores of the same brand are across the street from each other, associating a specific PlaceID will help prevent business locations from entering the duplicate state.

Can I update the PlaceID of a verified location?
No. You can only find matches for unverified locations in your account and associate a PlaceID to unverified locations. Once a location is verified and has a PlaceID, the PlaceID cannot be updated.

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AdWords and Google My Business

What's the best practice for creating locations in Google My Business and syncing them to AdWords?
Refer to the Google My Business Guidelines for representing your business on Google for policies on creating locations.

  • If you only have one Google My Business account, simply sync that account to AdWords. If the Google My Business account contains a large number of locations, you may want to map locations to individual campaigns / ad groups. Learn more
  • If your clients already have Google My Business accounts, or you want to work with verified locations, have your client invite you to their existing Google My Business Account as a manager. Use your credentials in conjunction with your client's Google My Business account ID when mapping to AdWords. Learn more
  • If you are only interested in AdWords and not looking to verifiy or manage locations in Maps and Search, you should create a single, partner-level Google My Business account containing all of your business locations. Use label filtering to associate Google My Business locations with specific Ads campaigns. While you can use any custom ID (as long as you keep track of it), one option is to use the AdWords customer ID as a label. Learn more


Will AdWords partners / agencies have to modify their existing AdWords API integration to accommodate the Google My Business API for creating Location Extensions?
Yes, if the partner / agency currently manages their Location Extensions through the manual Location Extensions feed in AdWords, they must integrate with the Google My Business API or use the Google My Business UI to manage their Location Extensions in Google My Business. Manual Location Extensions in the AdWords API will eventually be deprecated, however there is currently no timeline.

Will the API allow third parties to create unverified Google My Business locations without using the Google My Business interface, and then link their Google My Business account to AdWords to serve Location Extensions?
Yes. The Google My Business API allows the creation of a new location, and the AdWords API supports setting up the link.

Will using unverified locations as AdWords location extensions affect AdRank?
No.

I am an advertiser and only need locations for running location extension Ads (that is, I don't manage live locations for clients). Do I need to verify my locations in Google My Business?
No.

I am an agency and my client has a Google My Business listing, but is unable to access their account to add me as manager. What should I do?
If your client is unable to add you as manager to their business listing, either help them regain access to their account, or create an unverified listing for the same business in your Google My Business account and use this unverified listing as a location extension in AdWords.

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