Google Upgrades Local Business Center

Google has upgraded the Local Business Center with a range of new features. You can now:

*Add photos to your Google Maps listing (within the guidelines)
*Add custom attributes to your business listings
*Correct and adjust your Google map marker location, so if it is slightly off, you can move it to the right spot
*You can now see statistics on how many people viewed and clicked on your local business listings

The ability to correct your map marker has been a frequent request at the Google Maps for Business Owners group and will add one step to the process of improving data accuracy.

The custom attributes feature holds out the promise of solving one of the vexing problems facing businesses that serve larger areas than the locale in which they are located and possibly solving the categorization issues as well.

The other very interesting feature of the custom attributes is the attributes differ by industry group. The default values for a Physician are different than the default values of a restaurant. It appears that Google is in the race to build the “semantic web”.

Barry Schwartz at SearchEngineLand has a great summary of the other new features in the Local Business Center..

customweb.jpg

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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4 thoughts on “Google Upgrades Local Business Center”

  1. Wow, Mike, wasn’t that a great post? I must say, I’m an awfully big fan of screenshots. They so reduce the margin for error or misunderstandings.

    I have yet to see these images show up in Google Local, but I’ll surely be keeping my eye out for them, and I know that some of my clients will be really ideal candidates for improving their listings with photos.

    Despite the hangups with bad data, I think Google Local is just getting better and better!
    Miriam

  2. Hi Miriam

    I agree that it is getting better and I believe that the data set will continue to improve.

    Obviously there have been some errors that have focused a spotlight on Google. As users rely more heavily of Google the perceived and real impact of the errors will also increase even as the number of errors actually declines.

    I am confident that the current correction system with some tweaks will ultimately provide clean data for stable, on-going businesses. I am not so confident that it will allow Google to keep up with and present accurate data in regards to business closings. But Google is changing the system all the time and maybe they will solve this problem too.

    Mike

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