Google No Longer Waiting For You To Update Your Business Listing

At least they'll notify you when it's updated

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Google No Longer Waiting For You To Update Your Business Listing
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Google announced that it is now updating business listings on Google Places for businesses, rather than waiting for businesses to do it. That’s not to say that you can’t update it yourself, but Google basically says it will do so for businesses who don’t count this as a priority.

Google may get data from users who provide it, or if their own system acquires data by other means. Luckily, Google will send business owners email notifications when their listings are updated.

Here are the exact words from the announcement:

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That’s why today, we’re introducing a new process that helps streamline the way updates are made to potentially outdated or incorrect business listings.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.

Not that it’s every really stopped, but Google seems particularly focused on the local/maps side of things at the moment. Google Maps were even brought up in the company’s Q3 earnings call yesterday.

“I am super pleased with Google Maps–it’s a favorite with our users, especially on mobile devices,” CEO Larry Page said on the call. “In August we launched in 40 new countries–taking our total to 130 countries.”

He also mentioned the “baking” of identity into all of Google’s products (via Google+). “The new visual redesign–beautiful, consistent UIs for search, news, maps, translate and lots of other features,” he said. “It’s only the beginning of that process!” It’s going to be quite interesting to see where that goes.

One can only assume that when Google finally rolls out business profiles for Google+ that they’ll be heavily integrated with Google Places business listings.

Google notes that the new changes to the business listing updating will not affect online ads from business owners using AdWords, and that ads will continue to display the business info the owner has provided. I can’t imagine the backlash they would face if that wasn’t the case.

Google No Longer Waiting For You To Update Your Business Listing
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  • http://www.optilocal.org Nyagoslav

    Chris, actually Google already started sending notification emails. I saw a few examples in our clients’ mail boxes. You can see an example here.


  • http://www.TheOkayNetwork.com Steven

    It’s about time that Google started policing and correcting it’s own databases besides waiting for the public to do so when it comes to Google places. Honestly I would prefer they remove anything that is not verified, and build up from there. That’s what we had to do when Adsense banned us for taking the Google approach to a directory, just to get our Adsense account back. It’s kind of a double standard that Adsense doesn’t feel the same about Google places, but then it’s their parent company, so they’re given so much latitude when it comes to violating their own policies that it’s sickening. Now we have one of the cleanest directory sites out there and have been getting way less correction requests and bounce rates than ever before. So in the end, it was a good thing, but really sad to watch Google violate their own policies and take years to finally take the initiative to correct their mistakes.

  • http://www.simplyclicks.com Simply Clicks

    Seems like a good idea for the uninitiated but I’d rather be in control of the information presented than rely on some of the stuff I see in directories.

  • http://www.mykitchenfaucet.com kitchen faucet

    sound good to my i am poor at up dating, when i get the email i can fix what i don’t like but when you move across town if let people know faster.

  • http://4localonlineadvertising.com Tony Short

    I think it is a very smart move on googles part and a good benefit to their users. thanks Chris

  • Looter

    Too bad it still doesn’t work. I got an email this week from them stating they were updating my listing (3 duplicate listings actually) with an address that was 9 years old. Email said I could edit the listing in my Places account. But the listings in my Places account didn’t have the info (old address) from the email. They had my business’ correct address.

    So how can I correct the listings if they aren’t show in my places account. the bad data will probably be pushed through soon.

    I feel Places is a true headache for business owners. No real way to contact Google. There are 9 listings for my one business location. Verified listings spontaneously become unverified. Verified addresses are inexplicably changed to old addresses. Listings in Google Maps show an old address but are mapped at the current location. The bad listing says it is verified, but when I go to correct the address in Places the address doesn’t match what Google published.

    This is a lot of work just to TRY to keep Google from publishing inaccurate data about my business. I find they blindly publish stale/data from INFOUSA. For a while they were publishing a random address where my business was NEVER located AFTER I HAD VERIFIED THE CORRECT ADDRESS.

    • http://www.commissionexplosion.com/blog/ Nick J. West

      I had a similar issue with a client whose information was constantly shown to have a store in Phoenix despite the location being closed for over 15 years. Despite asking numerous times for it to be removed by INFOUSA it would invariably show up again within six months.

  • http://www.CaptainCyberzone.com CaptainCyberzone

    I received a “robo” call several days ago stating that it was “Google” and that I was being called to update my business info.
    I hung-up!
    How would I know who’s phishing, even if it was Google to me it’s still phishing (no caller ID verification and even that’s been shown to be hackable)?!

  • http://www.bingohouse.com Anthony Wayne

    I always neglect to send in these updates to Google and other similar listings for my mobile marketing business so I’m not surprised that it has decided to take the updates into its own hands.

  • http://www.commissionexplosion.com/blog/ Nick J. West

    “One can only assume that when Google finally rolls out business profiles for Google+ that they’ll be heavily integrated with Google Places business listings”.

    Very similar to a prediction or observation I made August 1st on my Commission Explosion Blog

    Another is that until Google Apps users are included the future success and adoption of Google+ is seriously in question.

  • http://renegade-advertising.com Renegade Advertising

    Google seem to be working pretty hard to “integrate the web”. I also receive a “robo” and hung up…Didn’t realize it was from the real Google.

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