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:

“Does it matter if the street name of our business is “123 James Ave” instead of “123 James Avenue”?”


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).  

“If Google were not able to normalize this [business] data correctly, then virtually every listing in Google would show duplicates. They don’t. In fact, as a percentage of the total number of businesses in Google’s local index (somewhere north of 100 million), very few on a percentage basis have duplicate listings. So, for the most part, the algo handles those minor discrepancies well.” Mike Blumenthal 


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.

Business Name
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.
And  &        
Zip / Postal Code
5-digit ZIP 5+4-digit ZIP A1A 0A1 A1A0A1
Phone Number
555-555-5555 (555) 555-5555 555-555-5555 555 555 5555
Street Address
Alley Aly Apartment Apt Arcade Arc
Avenue Ave Basement Bsmt Beach Bch
Bend Bnd Bottom Btm Boulevard Blvd
Branch Br Building Bldg Bypass Byp
Camp Cp Causeway Cswy Center Ctr
Circle Cir Court Ct Cove Cv
Creek Crk Crossing Xing Crossroad Xrd
Drive Dr East E Expressway Expy
Field Fld Freeway Fwy Front Frnt
Gateway Gtwy Hangar Hngr Harbor Hbr
Haven Hvn Heights Hts Highway Hwy
Island Is Junction Jct Lake Lk
Lane Ln Lobby Lbby Meadow Mdw
Mill Ml Mount Mt Mountain Mtn
Northeast NE North N Office Ofc
Parkway Pky Place Pl Plain Pln
Plaza Plz Point Pt Ranch Rnch
Rapids Rpds Ridge Rdg Road Rd
Room Rm Route Rte Southeast SE
Skyway Skwy South S Space Spc
Spring Spg Square Sq Station Sta
Stravenue Stra Street St Suite Ste
Summit Smt Southwest SW Terrace Ter
Trace Trce Trailer Trlr Turnpike Tpk
Valley Vly View Vw Village Vlg
Well Wl West W  
United States
Alabama AL Alaska AK Arizona AZ
Arkansas AR California CA Colorado CO
Connecticut CT Delaware DE Florida FL
Georgia GA Hawaii HI Idaho ID
Illinois IL Indiana IN Iowa IA
Kansas KS Kentucky KY Louisiana LA
Maine ME Maryland MD Massachusetts MA
Michigan MI Minnesota MN Mississippi MS
Missouri MO Montana MT Nebraska NE
Nevada NV New Hampshire NH New Jersey NJ
New Mexico NM New York NY North Carolina NC
North Dakota ND Ohio OH Oklahoma OK
Oregon OR Pennsylvania PA Rhode Island RI
South Carolina SC South Dakota SD Tennessee TN
Texas TX Utah UT Vermont VT
Virginia VA Washington WA West Virginia WV
Wisconsin WI Wyoming WY American Samoa AS
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
Alberta AB British Columbia BC Manitoba MB
New Brunswick NB Newfoundland & Labrador NL Nova Scotia NS
Northwestern Territories NT Nunavut NU Ontario ON
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
Tasmania TAS Victoria VIC Western Australia WA
Download the List

Get The List.


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F.A.Q.'s

  1. Does it make a difference if I use ALL CAPS for an abbreviation versus not? NO
  2. Is there an impact if I use dots (.) versus not? Ok in the address, but phone numbers formatted with dots are not ok.
  3. Is it ok if my business name starts with "the" on some citations, but not others? YES
  4. Have a question that's not covered here? Leave a comment on this blog post and we'll answer it!
 

About the List:

  1. 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. 
  2. The list of street address abbreviations is taken directly from USPS’s Street Abbreviations index.
  3. 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).
  4. The majority of the abbreviations are valid only for the main English-speaking countries (USA, Canada, UK, Australia).