To Find Primary Categories of a Competitor’s GMB Listing

Jesse Neubert 🎓
[LOCAL Google My Business (GMB) Competitive Intelligence Hack]
Did you know that there are over 2000+ GMB categories? Crazy right.
As part of your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy, being the good little SEOer you are, you no doubt scope the competition to see which categories they have selected (which may be influencing their ranking for various services).
Yet, Google is a selfish digital lord, showing you only the information they want you to see. A limiting factor if you're looking to EMULATE AN EXISTING WINNING FORMULA.
Think of the Primary Category as your H1 tag. It is the core of your business/what you are about. Additional categories are important because they tell Google about sub-topics/services you offer, thus helping you rank better for those. In this way, categories represent a type of relevancy silo.
So without further delay, I give you, GMB Category legacy MODE where you can find ALL the categories your competitor has listed for their GMB.
STEP 1. Search for your competitor (easy peasy)
STEP 2: Find their GMB listing and look for the URL that is structured as such:
^_^ That is the ONLY GMB URL that will work for this method.
STEP 3: View the source code for the page. If you're on a PC just right click then "view source"
STEP 4: Search for the primary category keyword (i.e. Plumbing, etc). You can do this by using CTRL + F on a PC.
Now, search until you find the FULL list of categories they have chosen.
STEP 5: Pat yourself on the back, you deserve it.
88 👍🏽 13 💟 101

to find primary categories of a competitor s gmb listing
[filtered from 58 💬🗨]💬🗨

Steven Kang 👑
Ok, just looked at 'Dallas Plumbing' as an example and can't find anything other than plumbing. Can you provide a screenshot of where additional categories are listed in the source code?

Jesse Neubert 🎓
Yep here you go. You have to go to > type in the actual business name (this ensures you have the proper URL for the listing…it only works on this one type).
Then its a bit of a pain but CTRL + F and search till you find the list of categories.
Bear in mind not everyone will list a bunch of categories, but many do.

Works! Thanks Jesse!
Jesse Neubert 🎓
*There is not a "category" identifier. You have to search using the primary category till you find the list (if there is one for that listing).
Koszo » Jesse Neubert
They're always in a list though yeah? As in one after another. Otherwise it'd be tough
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Koszo
Correct. They are grouped together as in the screenshot I posted above. Sean (further down in this thread) also posted a screen when he just tested this.
You da man! I will need to touch base with you on some enterprise GMB stuff, I'm working on some things you'd find interesting. Jesse Neubert

And how you get additional categories in there?

Jesse Neubert 🎓
Google allows you to select up to 10 categories when creating your GMB 🙂
Philipp » Jesse Neubert
Ok. Didn't remember.

tried that and cannot find the specific keywords

Jesse Neubert 🎓
You have to go to > type in the actual business name (this ensures you have the proper URL for the listing…it only works on this one type).
Then its a bit of a pain but CTRL + F and search till you find the list of categories.
Bear in mind not everyone will list a bunch of categories, but many do.
Jesse Neubert 🎓
Search using the primary category keyword till you find a list.


to find primary categories of a competitor s gmb listing

This is cool – I've known about it for a few years but it's a lot of work – so.. .. It'd be super cool if someone just invented some software that did this hint at Steven 🙂

Jesse Neubert 🎓
Software would be pretty simple. Only issue is there is no identifier for where the categories start in the code.
What you'd want to do is an "if this then that" where the software looks for any GMB category (out of the list of around 2500) then only returns the list if there are two or more in a row in a string etc. and ends when that list stops returning categories.
Or just have a VA do it manually?
I'm a BIG fan of replication of winning formulas as a baseline for marketing campaigns (BrandRecon is our comp. intelligence division) so its part of our analysis stack for Google My Business (GMB).
software – go to You'll see it in their tools
About – Local SEO Tools & Software to find and monitor your business

[funny image]


Do GMB categories need to be on the web site, if so how do you list them, within content, in bullets, footer, do you have an example?

Jesse Neubert 🎓
I think it would make sense to do so.
The primary category is essentially the primary business of you or your client and much like how an H1 tag is the primary "topic". Think of additional categories as additional relevancy signals tailored towards your or your clients' offerings.
If you were a contractor you might also do: remodeling, renovations, home building, etc.
I feel like you'd want to mention those in H tags on your home page, as well as have individual pages for each specific service.
Taking that further: Service + City for GEO targeted traffic and ranking.

but the domain name is owned by a domainer
BRANDBOOSTR.COM for Sale/Lease – Make Your Offer

Jesse Neubert 🎓
I own the ",net"
We're in the middle of a major consolidation and migration of (most) of our service lines under one single site to better serve customer. So the site is in progress but a number of pages are live if you felt inclined to keep an eye on it for updates 🙂
Xuezhi » Jesse Neubert
You are calling yourself a growth hacking agency. a friend told me the SEO agency he worked at x3 their revenue by just doing the same work and calling themselves growth hackers
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Xuezhi
Nice. We don't really do standard "managed" services. Outside of a few "basic" options, we focus on actual "growth hacks" and outside of the box approaches that can be leveraged to an end goal.
I've ran a traditional (and successful) SEO agency in the past, but I just don't find it as interesting.
I also focus a lot on competitive intelligence and data that can be handed to a business or agency to replicate existing "winning" formulas.

I'm mobile at the moment so not able to do this but had a question. Does this strategy show actually "primary" or is it a list of the categories they chose? Reason I ask is that I have seen google change the categories around before.

Jesse Neubert 🎓
I want to make sure I'm understanding you properly.
Google DOES add, remove, change or rename categories on a fairly regular basis.
The category displayed to you as a normal customer looking at a GMB should most often be the actual "primary" category…HOWEVER, if Google changes the name of that category it will NOT change in the display but rather just be mapped to the new corresponding category Google updated to.
For example,
At one point Google updated the "Heating Contractor" category to be "Central Heating Service".
If you had the old "Heating Contractor" category listed, Google would NOT visually update your category to "Central Heating Service".

Now i have the list of primary categories what is the next step to do ? Mention them in my GMB or my website ? If my competitors are already using the primary categories, am i doing anything out of the box that will help my ranking ? 🤔

Nick » Rehan
Think which of those categories apply to your business aswell and add the most important ones as secundary categories in Google My Business (GMB).
Jesse Neubert 🎓
Like Nick said, presuming you have your primary category in place for your business, adding additional RELEVANT sub-categories for those types of additional services you offer can help you rank for them in Maps.
Think of your Primary Category like an H1 tag, it is the core focus. Think of secondary categories as H2 or H3 tags. They are sub-topics to your core topic, or in this case "service".
I would personally make a dedicated web page for each category and perhaps even a mini-silo of supporting sub-sub-topics depending on the niche.
You can also further GEO optimize these pages as well.

Zaire 🎓
I have been following this GMB strategy, within a week I got really good progress. Thanks Jesse for another tip.

Jesse Neubert 🎓
You are very welcome! I'm happy to hear you're getting good results 🙂

I must be a numpty! Found my competitor. They have 3 listings but I can't seem to get to step 2.
STEP 2: Find their GMB listing and look for the URL that is structured as such:
Can anyone help please?!

Jesse Neubert 🎓
Sorry for the confusion there. The easiest way to ensure you have the correct URL that works for this method is to search on and look up your competitor's map listing directly.
Keep in mind also that not all competitors will list multiple categories…although you'll find in more competitive areas they tend to use this to their advantage.
Saddat » Jesse Neubert
Thank you very much. I have found the listing, their name and co-ordinates. Clicked View Source. Pasted all into notepad. But when I look up the keyword term or their name, nothing comes up.
Jesse Neubert 🎓 » Saddat
I took a screenshot and DMd you the categories just now 🙂

This has been effective for a while now 🙏


These may satisfy you:
» 7 Points to Improve Our Local SERP Rankings through Google My Business (GMB) optimization
» Ten Tips for Getting a Plumbing Business on GMB in the 3-Pack Locally

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