Google Places Announced Some Better Support Recently.
Google Places published on their blog:
That’s why we have the “Report a problem” tool on Google Maps, and also enable users to click on the “Edit this place” link at the top of the Place page to provide updates to a business listing.And while some business owners may have previously verified their organic listing to ensure that their company information was correct at that particular moment in time, we recognize that amidst all the work that goes into running a successful enterprise, remembering to update their Google Places account may not always be top of mind. Oftentimes, a neighborhood local or a loyal customer is eager to help their favorite business update its online presence when it moves into a bigger space across the street, or extends its hours for the summer season.
That’s why today, we’re introducing a new process that helps streamline the way updates are made to potentially outdated or incorrect business listings. Previously, verified business listings would always reflect the information provided by its owner – even if we received data about an updated name, address, or hours of operation. But now, if a user provides new information about a business they know — or if our system identifies information from another source on the web that may be more recent than the data the business owner provided via Google Places — the organic listing will automatically be updated and the business owner will be sent an email notification about the change. Without requiring any effort on the part of the business owner, we’ll take measures to keep their listing up-to-date if our system determines that the edit is accurate. Of course, if the business owner disagrees or has even more recent information, they can always directly log in to their Google Places account and make further edits.
Really?! Google Places With Better Support…?
At first I didn’t believe this would really be true, because in the past when I used the “report a problem” button I have never received any updates or any notice from Google Places. I thought, hell I’ll give a try again. I have 3-4 clients that have had duplicate listings issues that I have not been able to resolved (no matter what I’ve tried), so decided to used them as a test for this new Google Places support.
I went over to Google Maps and:
- Typed in their phone number.
- Then scrolled down the left hand navigation and
- Selected “report a problem” and selected “Results contain multiple listings for the same place.”
And guess what….?
A few days later we got this email from Google Places:
Dear Google Places user,
Google will soon update your listing data on our consumer properties such as Google and Google Maps to more accurately reflect the latest information we have about your business.
We use many sources to determine the accuracy of our listing data and to provide the best possible experience for business owners and consumers who use Google and Google Maps to find local information.
Below is a summary of what your listing(s) will contain once it’s updated in the next few weeks. This will be visible on your Place page and listings across Google properties, but it will not be reflected in your Google Places account:
(Business name here)
(Phone number here)
If the above information is not accurate, please sign in to Google Places. You may prevent any of these changes from being made on your Place page and listing by selecting “Edit”, and then pressing the “Submit” button to confirm the correct information about your business.
If you submit data to Google via a feed, please ensure that the data in your feed is accurate and current. Note that you must update listing data in your feed to prevent changes from being made to the above listings.
Note that if you are an AdWords or AdWords Express customer, your ads will be unaffected by this change and will continue to display the listing information you have provided in Google Places. To manage your online advertisements, please sign into Google Places or Google AdWords.
For more information about updates to claimed listings, please visit: http://www.google.com/support/places/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1318197
The Google Places Team
This is a amazing news! Duplicate listings just got a lot easy to deal with in Google Places.
Now I am still waiting see the change to take affect, but if they do what they say they are going to do in the email, then these duplicate listings challenges will finally be resolved. Just the fact, that they even emailed us blows my mind. Zero support for years from Google Places and now it finally looks like we might be getting some. One small step for Google and one giant leap for Small Businesses/Local SEO’ers. I’m super exicited!
Let me know in the comment section (below) if anyone else is experiencing suceess with the “report a problem” link in Google Places?