Vanessa from Google announced a new PO Box policy in the Google Places Help forums.
The new policy forbids you to place your PO Box information in both the address 1 or 2 fields. Previously, if you had a PO Box, Google recommended you put it in the address 2 field - that is no longer the case.
As it stands today, we allow users to list their P.O. Box in Address Line 2. This sends your listing for manual review to our teams (that’s why you might see your listing’s status as “Pending”), who then verify the accuracy of Address Line 1.
Because Google Maps listings should be reflective of a business’s physical location, and mail receiving locations don’t fit this description, we’ve made a change to this policy. P.O. Boxes are no longer permitted in either Address Line 1 or 2.
Now, we know many businesses can only receive the verification postcard at a P.O. Box. If you are one of those businesses, or if you have a P.O. Box in the address field for an already verified listing, please see these next steps:
So what do you do, it depends on your situation. Here they are:
(A) Have a verified listing containing a P.O. Box?
Make sure your listing remains active:
1) Sign in at places.google.com
2) Select “Edit”
3) Remove the term “P.O. Box” from the address fields
4) Save your changes
If this change requires reverification, and you can’t verify using the available options, please visit this contact form and select the following options:
Select: I tried PIN verification for a single listing → Yes, the listing already appears owner-verified
B) Are you setting up a brand new Places listing?
Try creating and verifying the listing using your physical location. If you don’t meet customers at your address, make sure you hide your business location. Places may give you the option to verify by phone.
If you cannot verify using the available options, you’ll need to request a manual verification using this troubleshooter path: Select: I tried PIN verification for a single listing → No, I am attempting to verify my listing --> The status is not Needs Action --> Postcard --> Yes
Once you submit a request via the contact form, please give the Google Places support team up to a week to get back in touch with you via e-mail.
Note: Users with a “P.O. Box” in Address Line 1 or 2 should have received an e-mail by now explaining this policy change and next steps (via the e-mail associated with your Places account).
Forum discussion at Google Places Help.
Image credit to ShutterStock for PO box