Google My Business API policies

The goal of our policies is to ensure that the API is used in ways that support and enhance Google My Business, and also provide a transparent and consistent experience to the end customer, which is the business owner.

We may review your use of the API at any time and for any reason in order to ensure that it complies with the Google My Business API Terms of Service. Because we may change our policies at any time, check this Google My Business API policies page often for updates. It's your responsibility to keep up-to-date with, and adhere to, the policies posted here.

General API policies

You can only use the Google My Business API to create, manage, and report on business listings that you either own or are authorized to manage on behalf of the business owner, or to develop tools for end-clients to similarly manage their listings. Use of the Google My Business API for purposes outside the scope of these policies is prohibited. Users of the Google My Business API must adhere to all Google My Business policies.

Google may deactivate your API project ID after 90 consecutive days of inactivity. If your project is deactivated for zero usage, you may reapplyat any time.

Third-party policy

This section applies to the following groups:

  • Agencies and other third parties that manage business listings on behalf of end-clients and provide software tools to those customers.
  • Software developers that manage business listings on behalf of end-clients and provide tools to agencies and third parties.

Guidelines

Agencies or other third-parties that manage business listings on behalf of end-clients must follow the Google My Business third party policies and the Guidelines for representing your business on Google: Additional guidelines for authorized representatives.

Transparency

No matter what tool business owners use, we want them to understand how Google My Business performs for them. When you report and manage Google My Business data, be transparent to your customers. Also, be transparent to end-clients about any changes you or your tool makes to their accounts. If your tool makes any changes to an end-client’s account, such as when you add a new manager to the account, provide notice to the end-client of the change within 48 hours after the change is made. Make this notice separate and distinct from any other notices that Google My Business might automatically provide as a result of account-level changes.

Reviews

Business owners have the ability to respond to reviews of their business on Google. If you respond to reviews on behalf of your end-client, you must receive their authorization first. All responses to reviews must follow Google’s Prohibited and restricted content policies.

Security

Business owners who have their business listings managed by third-parties have the right to expect their accounts to be kept safe. You must ensure the integrity and security of your end-clients' account credentials. To do this, you're expected to employ related best practices. For example, do not share account usernames and passwords, and do use business accounts. Third-parties are encouraged to follow Best practices for creating business accounts to limit the risk of unauthorized access to end-client account credentials.

You're solely responsible to Google for your use of the Google My Business API. You must notify Google immediately if you become aware of any unauthorized use of your or your end-clients' password, Google Account, or any unique identifier that Google may require you to use, such as an API key, client ID, or a "developer identifier."

Termination of end-client relationship

You must provide your end-client with a quick and easy way to stop use of your API. When an end-client gives notice that they no longer use your API to manage their Google My Business accounts, you have seven business days to provide them the ability to disassociate their Google My Business account from your services and developer project, and regain exclusive control of their Google My Business account(s). If your tool had permission to manage or otherwise change the end-client’s account, you must also relinquish and remove those permissions accordingly.

Policy enforcement

Google My Business API policies are strictly enforced.

Policy violations and termination

Failure to comply with these policies may lead Google to disable your API project. If the violation of your API project is severe, we may disable it without warning. Communications about policy violations are sent to the email address associated with your API account.

Demo account

Upon request from Google, you must provide a demo account to your API tool within seven days of the request. The demo must be a live version of your tool, or a demo with the same functionality as the live version, so that we can review it for compliance with our policies. Failure to provide the demo, or any attempt to provide a false account of your live tool, constitutes a violation of these policies.

Prohibited practices

There are several practices with the API that Google prohibits.

Supplemental API projects

If you provide the Google My Business API to end-clients or other third-party clients, you cannot require them to apply for their own Google My Business API project in order to use the API. End-client applications for such projects are denied.

Automated use of your API project

You cannot allow agencies, end-clients, or other third parties to use your Google My Business API project, or your own API, in a way that allows those third parties to avoid applying for their own Google My Business API project. Any automatic or programmatic use of Google My Business by agencies or end-clients requires them to use their own Google My Business API project. You cannot provide indirect access to your API project. End users of your API need to manually sign in to use it. They're not allowed automatic access to make manual or programmatic changes to their accounts.

For example, if you're a tool provider that licenses listings-management software to agencies and end-clients, you cannot develop your own API that allows your clients to access the Google My Business API through automatic or programmatic computer scripts.

You may not use the Google My Business API to engage in abusive behaviors, which includes but isn't limited to fraudulent, abusive, or otherwise invalid activity. For example, you must not automate or trigger review replies, Q&As, listing creations, listing edits, or other actions without the user's prior specific and express consent. You may not use the API to automatically revert changes made by Google.

Content storage

You cannot pre-fetch, cache, index, or store any content provided through the Google My Business API ("Content") for use outside of your Google My Business project except for limited amounts of Content. You can store limited amounts of Content only to improve the performance of your project.

Stored Content must meet the following requirements:

  • It must be stored temporarily for no more than 30 calendar days.
  • It must be stored securely.
  • It cannot be manipulated or aggregated in any way.

At no time may you store Content in order to prevent Google from tracking usage of your Google My Business project.

GoogleLocation

You're only allowed to use the GoogleLocations endpoint to find the status of locations of merchants that already have a business relationship with your company, and only to use the endpoint to create or claim those locations on Google My Business.

Use of this endpoint for any other purpose, which includes lead generation or other analysis, is against Google’s policies and will result in immediate revocation of your API access.

Verification

Verification options can only be initiated by a direct request from the owner of the location.

Unauthorized use of branding and trademarks

Your Google My Business API must not replicate the look and feel of the Google My Business user interface. Otherwise, it can confuse others and lead them to believe that your tool is a Google product.

Content provided to you through the Service may contain the "brand features" of Google, its strategic partners, or other third-party rights holders of content that Google indexes. When Google provides those Brand Features or other attribution through the Service, you must display such attribution as provided, or as described in the Google My Business API documentation, and you must not delete or alter the attribution.

You must comply with Google's brand permissions guidelines.

Publicity

Use of the Google My Business API doesn't create, suggest, or imply a partnership with, sponsorship by, or endorsement by Google. You cannot make any statement in regards to your use of the API that suggests these types of relationship without Google’s prior written approval.

Interference with Google activities

Google may monitor and audit any Google My Business API activity to ensure compliance with all applicable policies and terms. You're not allowed to interfere when we monitor or audit your Google My Business API activity, nor are you allowed to conceal it from Google. Any interference is considered a violation of these policies.