Acceptable Google Maps NAP Abbreviations and Variations
By Nyagoslav Zhekov
In our citation audit and cleanup service, we are frequently asked questions regarding address formatting. The enquiry often goes something like this:
As you can probably imagine, this question comes in different nuances and versions but the answer (almost) always boils down to the same thing – Google and Bing are smart enough to understand abbreviations (or slight variations) and to associate them with their non-abbreviated counterparts.
If this was not the case, Google would only be able to associate a minuscule part of any business’s online citations to their actual existing Google+ Local listing. Even worse, there might be tons of duplicate listings for every single business, a result of even the smallest of inconsistencies in formatting (see my comment on MerchantCircle here for comparison). Differences such as in “JSC” vs “J.S.C.” do not affect in any way Google’s ability to recognize these as the same thing for the purposes of business data clustering.
Put a Little Trust in the Algorithm
Mike Blumenthal discussed this topic back in 2012 by answering the question, Does Google Normalize NAP Data? (Name, Address, Phone). An article I have referred to hundreds of times (see the cached version - not sure how long this will be available, as the site is discontinued).
While many people understand that Google algorithms are capable of normalizing data, many people still want to know which address abbreviations and formatting are acceptable. In light of this, we have compiled a list.
What Business Details Does Google Normalize?
Basically, any of the variations below are a-ok and won't mess with your NAP consistency.
|Limited||Ltd.||Limited Liability Company||LLC||Company||Co|
|Corporation||Corp||Incorporated||Inc||Professional Corporation||PC or P.C.|
|Insurance||Ins||Certified Public Accountant||CPA||Esquire||Esq|
|Juris Doctor||JD||Medical Doctor||MD||Doctor of Dental Surgery||DDS|
|Doctor of Dental Medicine||DDM||A.A.A.||AAA||A Professional Corporation||APC or A.P.C.|
|Zip / Postal Code|
|5-digit ZIP||5+4-digit ZIP||A1A 0A1||A1A0A1|
|555-555-5555||(555) 555-5555||555-555-5555||555 555 5555|
|Nevada||NV||New Hampshire||NH||New Jersey||NJ|
|New Mexico||NM||New York||NY||North Carolina||NC|
|South Carolina||SC||South Dakota||SD||Tennessee||TN|
|District of Columbia||DC||Federated States of Micronesia||FM||Guam||GU|
|Marshall Islands||MH||Northern Mariana Islands||MP||Palau||PW|
|Puerto Rico||PR||Virgin Islands||VI|
|Canada / Australia|
|New Brunswick||NB||Newfoundland & Labrador||NL||Nova Scotia||NS|
|Prince Edward Island||PE||Quebec||QC||Saskatchewan||SK|
|Yukon||YT||Australian Capital Territory||ACT||New South Wales||NSW|
|Northern Territory||NT||Queensland||QLD||South Australia||SA|
- Does it make a difference if I use ALL CAPS for an abbreviation versus not? NO
- Is there an impact if I use dots (.) versus not? Ok in the address, but phone numbers formatted with dots are not ok.
- Is it ok if my business name starts with "the" on some citations, but not others? YES
- Have a question that's not covered here? Leave a comment on this blog post and we'll answer it!
About the List:
- The list includes only commonly used abbreviations in company names. If more rarely used abbreviations could be used within a company name, it is advisable that you do not rely on Google to know about these more unorthodox abbreviations.
- The list of street address abbreviations is taken directly from USPS’s Street Abbreviations index.
- Variations in the formatting of the phone number, such as “5555555555” and "555.555.5555" are not advisable to be used, because it is not certain if Google can recognize them properly (in some cases).
- The majority of the abbreviations are valid only for the main English-speaking countries (USA, Canada, UK, Australia).