Messaging guidelines

The Google My Business (GMB) messaging feature provides customers and merchants with an easy way to communicate. To ensure the best experience when interacting with each other, please follow the guidelines below.

The following policies outline forbidden behaviours and provide information on how to mute a conversation, flag a contact or opt out of the service.

We reserve the right to suspend your access to Google My Business chat in case of serious or repeated violations of the product policies. Make sure that you also follow the general policies for Google My Business.

Guidelines for merchants

Personal and confidential information

Make sure that you don’t provide or request sensitive information during a chat with customers. Sensitive information includes, but is not limited to:

  • Credit card numbers
  • Social Security, passport or other government identification numbers
  • Login credentials, like passwords

Avoiding sensitive content during chats keeps your and your customers’ information safe. Lastly, using personal information in ways that the other party has not consented to is strictly not allowed.

Unacceptable responses

Slow or unreasonable response times to messages received from users represent a bad user experience for your customer. For example:

  • Failure to respond to the user
  • Waiting an unreasonable period of time to respond to the user

It is also unacceptable to send irrelevant or unwanted messages to users who have contacted you. For example:

  • Messaging about a product or service unrelated to the original request
  • Repeated messaging with no response
  • Excessively long message or excessive use of emoticons and URLs

Misrepresentation and misleading claims

Do not impersonate an organisation or individual. Do not make false statements about your identity or qualifications, such as falsely claiming to be an authorised representative of a company. Please also refer to our overall guidelines on representing your business on Google.

Do not provide inaccurate promotion information that omits or obfuscates how the user will be billed or charged.

Guidelines for merchants and consumers

Inappropriate content

Conversations should be focused on the business and services offered, avoiding any inappropriate content, including:

  • Content that promotes or condones hatred or violence against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran status or sexual orientation/gender identity
  • Harassing, bullying or threatening content towards individuals or groups
  • Graphic or violent materials for the sake of disgusting others
  • Sexually explicit or pornographic images or videos
  • Content that exploits or abuses children

Spam, malware and phishing

Chat is intended for quality conversations between merchants and users.

  • Do not spam, including sending unsolicited messages or unwanted promotional or commercial content.
  • Do not share content or engage in behaviours that harm or interfere with users’ devices, network operations or other infrastructure.
  • Do not use this service for phishing scams.

Illegal activities

Do not use this service to engage in illegal activities or promote dangerous and illegal acts. Fraudulent or illegal activities aren’t tolerated on Google and may result in account suspension and removal of business information from search results. In those cases we may report you to the relevant authorities.

It’s also your responsibility to comply with all applicable laws and regulations when using this feature.

Terrorist content

We do not permit terrorist organisations to use this service for any purpose, including recruitment. We also strictly prohibit content related to terrorism, such as content that promotes terrorist acts, incites violence or celebrates terrorist attacks. If posting content related to terrorism for an educational, documentary, scientific or artistic purpose, be mindful to provide enough information so viewers understand the context. 

Mute or stop a conversation

Both consumers and merchants have the option to stop communications in case of inappropriate behaviour or other violations.

SMS

For help with Google My Business chat via SMS, enter: HELP. You will then receive instructions on how to mute and stop conversation:

  • To mute messages from a contact, enter: IGNORE. This reply will prevent any further messages from that specific contact from being sent to you.
  • To mark messages as spam, enter: SPAM. This reply will flag the contact to Google as possible spam. It will also prevent any further messages from that specific contact from being sent to you.
  • To turn off all messages, enter: STOP. By sending this reply, you will be opting out from the messaging feature.

When using SMS messaging, standard message and data rates may apply.

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