A Google Postcard Verification Issue That I’d Never Heard Of Before

Here’s a really interesting scenario being described in the Google Places Help Forum, to wit:

We are a national home builder with sales offices in about 150 communities in 8 states. In most cases, the sales office addresses are on brand new streets with brand new addresses that Google Maps does not yet recognize. We are able to overcome that by properly locating the map marker in consultation with our people in the field.

However, the problem we are now running into is in many cases the USPS has not initiated mail delivery to these new addresses where our sales offices/model homes are located. Because of that, postcard verification is not possible.

All of these offices have phones, however. Is there some way to change settings to verify by phone by default? If that could be done, it would be simple and we’d have everything verified in minutes. But if we are stuck with verifying the listings by postcard I’m not sure how we’ll be able to do so, despite the fact that these addresses are very real, and we are conducting business there every day.

I’d never thought of this situation before. What if you’re developing new neighborhoods and they haven’t made it securely onto the map yet or aren’t yet receiving mail delivery? As many of my readers will already know, Google has been offering postcard-verification-only options more frequently over the past half year or so, and very frequently for brand new businesses.

Back in February, I highlighted the issue of whole communities not receiving USPS mail delivery and thereby being left out of the whole Local game. But I’d never considered what happens when a development is brand new.

I’m not sure what the business owner of the contracting firm can do. If the post office eventually starts delivering mail to the new neighborhoods, then he will be able to take advantage of Google Places marketing. If Google starts offering more phone verification options again to new profiles, that would solve his problem, too. For now, I think he may be stuck with Organic SEO of his website, unless he can get into direct contact with someone in Mountain View.

Do you have any thoughts on this? I’d love to know!

9 Responses to “A Google Postcard Verification Issue That I’d Never Heard Of Before”

  1. on 30 Jul 2011 at 4:31 am Nyagoslav

    Mirriam, there are a few ways to get your listing verified by phone, even if it is a new one. Furthermore, there are ways to actually “create” the streets if they are not there yet. However, the case is truly interesting and worth mentioning. Thanks for the heads up!

  2. on 30 Jul 2011 at 5:53 am Yam Regev

    Tough one indeed! Never thought about that as well.
    Here is a solution:
    Put “Mail to – ” and your mail address on line 2 and remove on verification.

    This tip came from Andrew Huskinson.

  3. on 30 Jul 2011 at 11:33 am admin

    Hi Nyagoslav!
    It’s so nice to see you here and I’d love it if you’d elucidate on the phone number verification. My understanding is that if Google doesn’t offer this to your profile, you’re stuck. Do you have a tip to share? Thanks for stopping by!

  4. on 30 Jul 2011 at 11:37 am admin

    Greetings Yam!
    It’s a pleasure to see you here. If I’m actually understanding the tip right, you are saying you can put the words ‘Mail To’ in the second line of the address fields on the Place Page (where a suite number of something like that might go) and then, once you verify, remove it? And the address you would put would be different than the main address? Is that right? I want to be sure I and any readers understand. Thank you for sharing what you know!

  5. on 01 Aug 2011 at 7:33 pm Abby

    This address line 2 reminds is discussed in Mike Blumenthal’s article 8 months ago about the “Illusory Laptop Repair – A Most Elegant Google Places Hack”, isn’t it?


  6. on 02 Aug 2011 at 12:15 am Nyagoslav

    @Yam and @Abby:

    Yes, the trick works, but however, you have to be aware this is against the quality guidelines, and if you don’t act fast and skillfully, you could end up both losing citations and getting suspended.

    From the Quality Guidelines:

    “Do not create listings at locations where the business does not physically exist. P.O. Boxes are not considered accurate physical locations. Listings submitted with P.O. Box addresses will be removed.”


    “Do not include information in address lines that does not pertain your business’s physical location.”

    @Mirriam: I would not like to share the tip publicly, but I could give a little hint:

    Google still DOES offer phone verification, but just in some cases. You have to realize which these cases are and how to get to a state, where your business/business listing would fit into these phone verification cases.


  7. on 02 Aug 2011 at 4:41 am Yam Regev

    Yes. You got it right.

    If we’ll not stretch the limits from time to time, we’ll be lost & bored ;-)

  8. on 02 Aug 2011 at 12:31 pm admin

    Greetings, Abby!
    Yes, I thought of that, too. Thanks for pointing to the link. Appreciate you stopping by.

    A-ha! I think I know what you mean and agree, probably not a tip that should be published. Thanks for coming back to comment on this.

  9. on 15 Oct 2011 at 2:03 pm Andrew Huskinson


    The tip was one I picked up on in the Forums and propagated.

    It was ‘endorsed’ by Cecelia repeating the tip in a post.

    This is dealt with properly by other search engines and its just Google who have to rely on a work round to give this service.

    Google did not seem to understand the situation in their own country that many perfectly valid business locations do not receive post.

    Cheers. Andrew.

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