Google Maps has recently added a new piece of information with a business: their category. Whether this is a test or a permanent addition is unclear.
What is clear is that it is not done with consistency with a given search. The reasons for this are not obvious. For example on the search (inside of Google Maps) “web design Olean NY” some businesses have no category listed, some have the one category description and others have a different category (obviously provided by different 3rd party providers). Google has acknowledged that these categories are from other data providers.
I have noted in a previous post how this can play out in unusual ways and the likely source for the data. Another outcome of the use of categories from other sources is that it leads to small business frustration.
With this new change that shows the 3rd party category, there is more transparency as to why a listing is where it is but there is still no option to include your specific business in this category.
As sophisticated as Google’s local algorithm is one would think that they could come up with a single comprehensive list of categories that would be transparently available to every business in their local database.