Registering Businesses and Google Business

About this time of year we get inquires from a few businesses asking why their business doesn’t show up in the drop down listing of the ballot. And they wonder if it is because they have registered. The fast answer is: no. But let’s get into a little bit more detail….

The Purpose of Registration

A few years ago, we started having businesses “register” for Simply the Best. Essentially, they provided us with very basic contact information. We collect this because it helps us contact businesses about Simply the Best. We only use this info to send out details about Simply the Best and we NEVER share it with anyone else. Harrisburg Magazine is a small organization and trying to locate tons of contact info for all these businesses is too much for us.

Registering your business also tells us you are interested in participating in Simply the Best. We don’t want to give an award to a business that doesn’t want it. So this helps us eliminate businesses that don’t want to compete. To register, all you need to provide is your business name, address, and a contact person (with their phone number and email). The other questions on the registration are optional and help us identify businesses that are eligible for various “specialty” categories (like minority-owned, etc.).

Register by going here:

But What About the Dropdown Names?

The businesses that show up on the ballot in the dropdown are determined by Google Business, not us. Google Business. We encourage every business to get into Google Business because it provides the most up-to-date info in Google (and we all know Google runs the world, right?). We published a guide on this a couple years ago here. If you business isn’t in there, it may take a couple of days for it to show up.

Being in Google Business is something we strongly recommend. It would be like not being in the phone book 40 years ago. This has nothing to do with Simply the Best or Harrisburg Magazine. It’s Google and it’s a good practice to provide information to Google so they can help people find your business.

Only Business Categories Use Google Business

Only “business” categories will have names appear in a dropdown. Any category where a person is to be nominated won’t have it because people are not listed in Google Business. You will know it is a “person” category because it will say (name & business) after the category name to prompt people to input both the name and where they work.

For these categories, a nomination/write-in will be suggested if it has been submitted at least two times before by other users. Keep in mind that the system might not immediately understand two names are the same until they are reviewed. For example, if someone submits “R J Harris” and someone else submits “RJ Harris” the system won’t immediately assume they are the same until it is reviewed and confirmed by a human.

Google Tries to Guess Your Answer

When typing in a name, Google will try to guess what you are looking for. It typically takes what you are entering and looks for similar names that are geographically close to your location. It’s a good idea to check the address before making your final selection if you are nominating a business with several locations.

You Don’t Need to Select From the Dropdown

If you don’t see the name you want to nominate, that’s fine. You can submit a name that isn’t in Google Business. But be sure to let the business KNOW they aren’t in Google Business so they can correct this fact. And also make sure they registered for Simply the Best. The two things are not connected.