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Search for matching listings

With the Google My Business API, you can create a platform for your merchants to manage their business on Google. On your platform, you can allow your partners to search for listings that match their business's name, address, and phone data. They can establish ownership of a location, as well as accurately place the business's physical location by latitude and longitude.

Before you begin

Before you use the Google My Business API, you need to register your application and obtain OAuth 2.0 credentials. For details on how to get started with the Google My Business API, see Basic setup.

How to work with address data

To work with address and geolocation data on your platform, you may use two different sets of APIs and resources: the Google My Business API and the Maps API.

Commonly used Google My Business resources

The GoogleLocations API lets the merchant see in advance if a location has already been claimed in Google My Business. If not, it allows the merchant to immediately request access to it.

The PostalAddress object represents the physical address of a business.

Commonly used Google Maps resources

The Maps JavaScript Places Widgets are commonly used in partner workflows to create an interactive map. In addition, the following Maps APIs are also useful:

One or zero matches

When a partner searches for matching listings for a location, their goal is to narrow their search results to one or zero matches. This means the location either fits their search criteria or doesn't yet exist in Google My Business, respectively.

Where there are one or zero matches, use the accounts.locations.create method to create a new listing, or follow the GoogleLocations guide to claim ownership of the existing listing. If Google is unable to geocode the address, the location creation fails and the API response includes a request for LatLng data. For information on how the merchant can provide their LatLng data, see Manual adjustment of geolocation data.

Once the LatLng coordinates are determined, the new listing is created.

Partial and multiple matches

When a business owner or the partner's operations team searches for listings that match a location, the information they type might result in only a partial match, or they might receive multiple matches to their search query. To narrow the search results down to one or zero matches, partial and multiple matches are manually resolved by two Maps API use cases.

When a user of the partner platform searches for a location and is faced with multiple partial matches, they can resolve the issue in one of the following ways:

  • Analyze the partial matching addresses and select the correct one.
  • Edit or retype parts of the address to be more accurate and narrow their results to one or zero matches.
A user is confronted with several partial matches in response to their address search.

User selects from one or more full matches

In some cases, multiple locations might fully match the user's search address. For instance, a user might enter the following address into a partner platform:

Burung kolibri, Collmin Sq., GRN No. 1, Wonokromo, Jawa Timur 60983, Indonesia

Suppose the following responses are returned, all of which match the address given:

  • Kasperson Printer Center, an unverified location.
  • Bengo Seguro, a verified location.
  • Garush Productions, an unverified location.

The user needs to manually select the matching business. To ensure consumers are provided with accurate directions to the business, the latitude and longitude (LatLng) data for these locations might need to be adjusted to provide higher accuracy. For information on how users can enter their LatLng manually, see Manual adjustment of geolocation data.

Manual adjustment of geolocation data

Businesses can add the latitude and longitude (LatLng) coordinates of their business to increase the accuracy of their listing on Google My Business. New businesses might not know their LatLng coordinates, so they can instead manually drop a pin with the Maps JavaScript Places Widget to establish accurate LatLng coordinates.

A single address resolves to three locations 1,500 feet apart. To accurately associate the business address with its LatLng coordinates, manual adjustment of each location’s coordinates is needed.

Quality of search results

Search results vary widely based on the accuracy of the address that is searched for and by geographic region. Developing regions often show fewer Maps places and inconsistent compliance with Google address formats. This leads to lower-quality search results and an increased need for manual address formatting and Maps API use.