In these types of businesses, both the practice and the practitioners should be listed in Google+ Local.
Apparently Google+ Local (aka Places) has finally established a firm policy on how to handle Medical/Legal Practice and Practitioner listings.
Previously, if you had a listing for the practice and a separate listing for the practitioner, eventually the two would merge. This created headaches for legal firms and doctors offices where there were more than one practitioner in the firm or office.
Now with the new Google+ local pages, there will be a great deal more trust placed on the data provided by the verified owners of the listing. Thus they are less likely to be merged or changed.
Some SEO’s are considering this to be a big departure from what we are used to and worried that it could make it really difficult to rank for Medical, Dental and Legal practices with multiple practitioners. However, the firming up of the policy in regards to professional practices makes sense.
This now involves having practice and practitioner listings which is great news for these types of businesses, especially if the practitioner or lawyer operates at more than one business as they often do.
So while it is a change, it really should make life easier IF in fact Google
- puts in place the technology to support the practice & practitioner listings in the index without merging and
- keeps that same policy firm going forward.