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

Google Maps Abbreviations -Quote Graphic

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.

Google Maps Abbreviations - Normalize details

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

Automatically download our list of Acceptable Google Maps Abbreviations by signing up for Whitespark Resources, just enter your Name & Email address. We will also send you new local search resources as we publish them, directly to your inbox!



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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  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

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).

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