Google Local Business Center listings propagate like rabbits

googlelocal1.jpgBirds do it, bees do it and apparently Google’s Local Data does it too….recreates your business record like crazy. Some sort of asexual digital reproduction I suppose as some business records start appearing in Google Maps multiple times…not just once or twice but possibly as many as 4 or more (users report as many as 12 records).

Its disconcerting for a business owner to search Google Maps for their single store listing record only to find a plethora of them, some accurate and some not. The problem is widely reported in The Google Groups for Business forum.

The problem partially stems from from lesss than clear instructions in the Local Business Center. If you “delete” a record from your Business Center it actually returns to the index. You are in fact just deleting it from your Business Center control panel. It is necessary to “suspend” your record instead. While this contributes to the multiple listing problem and makes managing them more difficult it is not the core of the problem.

Google’s algorythm (originally described here and here by Bill Slawski) aggregates information on businesses from multiple data sources and websites. These sources are as varied as Yelp, its own indexes, internet yellow page sites, InfoUSA and other buinessnes listing aggregators.

In the ideal world their local algo sifts through all of that data,matches data source X with list Y and successfully creates or augments your business record in Google’s Local data set. It then presents the for the business owners control in the Local Business Center.

But the world of local data and Google’s manipulation of it is far from ideal. Apparently when records are scoured from across Google’s multiple data sources they frequently show up as a new records rather than merged with the existing (hopefully accurate) record.

Google’s expectation is that the business owner will take control of these additional listings and suspend them as appropriate and then wait the 6 to 8 weeks for Google to update their local index. This decidedly low tech response to a hi-tech problem has proven frustrating for the many business owners that comment on the Google’s Maps for Business Group.

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2 thoughts on “Google Local Business Center listings propagate like rabbits”

  1. There is something to be said for having one’s business show up in a listing/directory like Google Maps multiple times. For all the complaints I suspect there are many that value the multiple references to their businesses. Don’t get me wrong. Old or errneous addresses are a big problem. On the other hand, old phone numbers that redirect into the current phone number can be a benefit.

    On the other hand->168 different ways to contact Blumenthals.com. Ouch. That would make me dizzy.

    Dave

  2. Well actually those 168 were web based references not listings in the directory. There were only 3 of those. One of which I modified to see if it changes rank….the others I attempted to get rid of…but I managed to get rid of one but not the other…..I am hoping that it will drop off over time.

    The question is “where do they come from?” and “why doesn’t Google’s Algo consolidate them?” There have been reports of people who eneded up with 12 and some of which had WRONG phone numbers. This is then compounded by people ‘deleting” the record rather than “suspending” them.

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