20 Responses to “Merging Google Places Listings Just Got Easier”

  1. When I read the title of your post, I got super excited that Google was actually responding to reports of inaccurate listings. But I think the timing of the email sent to you was just coincidence, as they send the same email to all Google Places account owners. Mike Blumenthal wrote some more about the email here: http://blumenthals.com/blog/2011/10/14/google-places-now-updating-your-listing-automatically/

    In any case, it does seem that Google is taking Places support more seriously, especially in the midst of some major changes (G+ integration w/ Places pages, maybe??!)

  2. Hey Gary, Thanks for stopping by. I’m a fan.

    I hope its not just a timing thing and I hope it was triggered by “report a problem” button. I’ll do a few more and report back my findings.

    I read Mike’s post and in the comments there seems to people complaining a ton already. I think though the people who are having challenges have probably not kept clean accounts and have messy NAP on the net. It takes very little for things to go wrong with GP. :(

    It is not clear how abuse proof this “report a problem” program is and how much trust Google will put in end user edits…. this could work really good or it could be a total mess. Right now for most the accounts I am managing things seem to be working OK. Knock on wood! :)

  3. There have been a couple of cases up here recently in the Carlisle area of the UK. One of my clients is a kitchen and bedroom manufacturer who two websites; one for their range of kitchens and also has a website that sells door handles and other accessories online. The kitchen manufacturer works in a big factory space while the website works from the same office within it. There are 2 places listings. The separate onlins retail website has its places listing on top of the correct location while the manufacturer has its listing on a house across the road. The manufacturer is the customer facing visitor oriented business and the handles business is almost exclusively online. the two businesses use the same phone number.

    I switched off the manufacturing places listing and it seemed to kill their website traffic dead. The online retail traffic also declined – over a period of a week. I have reinstated the dodgy listing.. I am still worried that the duplication of phone number is suppressing the 2 websites and places listings.

    What would your advice be in this situation?

  4. Ray,

    Yes you have to get the NAP clean. Was it “pure” results or “blended” results coming up? The reason I ask is if it’s was blended and you switched the website it could make some major drops since the rankings are mostly determined by regular SEO. If is was pure results, it could be the change in NAP not matching citations + reviews out there.

    I’d have to see the listings to really know what is going on.

  5. Matt,
    Hi, I’m a new fan. I have a question about how this duplicate to update to merge process plays out. You report the duplicates and Google sends you an update notification. But what is it updating to and how does the merge play out?

  6. It would be nice to really see some examples of how google is handling the listing in order to understand a bit more about this. Thanks for this excellent article!

  7. Jim, thanks for stopping by. Yeah I think… this doesn’t seem to be working that great anymore. I’d still use the report function, but then I’d merge duplicate listings by this way.

  8. Hey Matt,

    I enjoyed the video and felt an extreme sense of hope for a second! I ended up with a duplicate listing when I tried to make a name change to my places page. One site read “NJ Personal Training” and one read “NJ Personal Training and MMA”, both in Red Bank NJ.

    After doing a couple of standard “Report Duplicate Listings”, I ended up with two places pages that now say, “NJ Personal Training and MMA”. When the one site added “and MMA”, 15 of my reviews materialized, but my other site has 22.

    It’s annoying because the site with 15 reviews ranks B and the other F in the top 7. I don’t know which page to use in order to keep aggregating reviews, and it seems like the site that I’ve removed from my Places account always wants to rank higher. I don’t know if I should reclaim it or what.

    I just used the function in your video to potentially merge listings. Do you think that this will resolve the issue? Is there anything else that I can do?

  9. I also just watched the video that you just reccomended to Jim, which involved claiming both pages, and then leaving a skeleton listing which google would then merge.

    If I was to leave a skeleton listing, would it be the one with fewer reviews (15) that ranks higher, (letter B), or should I skeleton the one with more reviews that ranks lower, (letter F)

    Thanks so much for your time.

  10. Hey Travis, I have found it doesn’t matter as long as the core NAP is the same, GP will merge them just fine in the end and take data from both listings and merge it into one.

  11. Travis, best thing to do with merging listings is to claim both (if possible) under one account and make all the core NAP the same, then give GP 4-6 weeks to sort out the data, You’ll know it’s merged when you look on the backend of your GP admin and your analytics will all be the same.

  12. Better Support is complete rubbish.
    We have a listing that has been setup and verified by an ex employee, with all the incorrect details including his cell phone number. This listing appears first when googling our business name.
    He has setup in direct competition to us, and claims he has no idea how to change this listing. Yet it seems the listing is recent. And it’s highly likely we are losing business to him.
    I have been trying to communicate with google maps to report a problem and remove, edit this listing for months, and all I keep getting is a generic email! The only way I’ve had a real response, from a real person is to contact them through google places for business.

    However despite explaingin the problem, and the fact we may be taking legal action, the only response I’ve had is that we’ll be able to claim it, in 6-8 weeks. How much business could we lose in that time!!!

  13. Hi Lisa, I hear and feel your frustrations with Google. I see this happening all the time to SMB’s. It’s not very clear to most SMB’s on who to use Google Places. This is often why many SMB end up getting help from a local seo’er to assist them with Google Places marketing. Even though GP support is not the best, it has improved over the years… not that it doesn’t have a long ways to go.

  14. Thanks for the helpful video and info. this has been a major problem for me for months now. You gave me some great clear info, that even though I implemented some of it in the past, I think I was still doing some things incorrectly. Thanks again for sharing- i will follow up if it works and share with others what i did wrong, and how your advice got it fixed!
    Cheers
    Todd

  15. Just a FYI, our first step to duplicate listing issues is to go to:

    http://support.google.com/places/bin/static.py?hl=en&ts=1386120&page=ts.cs

    Then do this:
    Choose “I have verified my listing in my Google Places for business account.”
    Choose “Yes (or it is not available on my listing)”
    Choose “There is a duplicate listing that I would like to have removed.”
    Type your email and paste the URL to the duplicate listing
    Explain the problem in the Additional Details box (I usually like to list both links to the two listings here.)

    Wait a week and you’ll usually get a response.

  16. Thanks for the info. Would be good to see a blog post date when you make news of announcements, it’s good to see what date this post was made in relation to Google’s news.
    Also, not sure if it’s just me on FF 11, but there is a floating “like” bar that takes covers a large part of the left side, including overlapping the content, making much of the content unreadable.

  17. marcus, thanks for the advice. i will look into social buttons. what browser and device are viewing the site in?

    FYI, this post is about a year old BUT I have been updating it via the comment section.

  18. I’ve tried this so called super service, but it doesn’t work and to prove it I’ll try again and post my updates here the super service that google places provides. Here are the current listings in my google places account – some I have created and some google merged information from other sources incorrectly: google places would not update the old information so I tried creating new listings and the problem got larger. It’s a big mess that I have spent countless hours trying to correct and report to Google Places but they won’t help correct it, so here goes another try.

  19. @john Cobb – b/c you are a realtor, there are all kinds of major issues. especially now that google is no de-duping professional listings even though they share the same address and/or phone as the main agency/brokerage. Best thing to do is to claim them all and optimize them. If they end merging, then you’ll see it on the backend in your Google Places dashboard as having the same analytics. YOu then can purged the merged listings from your GP dashboard.

  20. To get real live support from a live person at Google Places read this video http://www.smallbusinessonlinecoach.com/blog/google-places-support-live-real-person-2-minutes/

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