Have you ever had a problem with trying to add a business listing, but the categories that the business falls under simply don't exist in the drop down auto suggest feature below?
One of the most annoying experiences with Google Places could be trying to find and select the appropriate categories that a business would belong to; only to find that the auto-suggest feature has decided to take annual leave (aka stop working).
We've seen our clients experience this issue on many occasions.
Our initial thought was that this was the result of a glitch, occurring with the new Google+ Page management interface and the new Google Places dashboard. So we decided to postpone the entire process in hopes that the system will magically fix itself - that didn't work either sadly.
Giving Google a call put us on the line with a very friendly account manager, who suggested that it may have been the result of browser incompatibility (queue the Internet Browser war here). So we tried Mozilla Firefox and Safari - but still no luck.
The conversation ended with a ticket support request, and a notification that the service was experiencing some functionality issues.
Satisfied? No! There had to be an alternative
Google Places Categories List
We eventually discovered that we could manually enter categories into the suggestion field, however, they would not verify because Google had a very specific category structure for business listings. All we had to do was find the category structure that Google uses and the problem would be solved.
Easy, right? Unfortunately not for the non hardcore web developer folk of us out there. Without the programming experience to make use of the Google Places API category list, what could be done? We put the power of the internet to good use and came across a resourse that provided a massive data export of all the Google Places categories into one Excel file - voila!
We might also add that being able to browse through the entire category system is a great way to learn more about how businesses are classified according to Google, and also potentially use it from a sales or marketing perspective when dealing with new clients.
Google My Business Categories
So if you have experienced the same problem with Google Places categories not showing; then feel free to use the following Google Doc link below and get yourself a quick reference list ofthe Google My Business category list.