Where does a Psychic turn when they need an answer? Google Maps

On late Monday afternoon I received a call from Elissa Heyman, a Psychic Counselor from Santa Fe, NM inquiring as to how she might show up in the Local OneBox for Psychic in Santa Fe, NM. I was intrigued that a pyschic would turn to me from results she found in Google. After a bit of due diligence to make sure that she wasn’t some sort of flim flam artist I decided to take the case.

What interested me was the fact that Google, Yahoo or SuperPages had no record of her business. She had operated out of her home for a number of years and had never registered the phone number with the phone companies as a business number. Her website, which ranked well in the organic results, had been in place since at least 2004 but she had managed to avoid being identified as a business by all of the major data collection players.

Entering her new record (as opposed to editing an existing one) in the Google Local Business Center I learned several things:

•The Business Title field allowed an almost unlimited length for her business title. When editing an existing record the length seems to be limited to some small percentage of increase but with a new record the sky seemed to be the limit.

•There was no verification of any sort required. There was no automated phone call to answer, nor post card sent with a required PIN entry. It just accepted my entry with no questions asked. Hmm….

•The record was listed in Google Maps almost immediately. I went to check Tuesday morning and the record was visible in Maps. It was not yet in the OneBox but there is every indication that the OneBox has some sort of waiting period before it ranks Maps data.

•And finally I was able to get listed with other Psychics despite the fact that a category for it doesn’t exist in the Local Business Center(details to follow).

Perhaps now I will have another resource to figure out some of Google’s more cryptic behavior. :)

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Where does a Psychic turn when they need an answer? Google Maps by

13 thoughts on “Where does a Psychic turn when they need an answer? Google Maps”

  1. Mike you’ve just dropped three valuable pieces of information there – thanks for that.

    I’ve got a local client we’ve just finished a website for so I’ll have a little play with Google Maps to see if what you’ve found has filtered down to the local level in Australia.

  2. Unfortunately it seems that down here Google still wants the listings verified by phone or mail and the only choice of listings was the limited number that Google supplied … none of which quite fitted the client’s kayak sales business.

    This client already has a listing in Google Maps for another business (with a different website) at the same physical address.

  3. Stuart-

    So you are going to create a totally new record? There is one difference with my situation and that is that the phone is already in use. Who knows if that will affect what you can or have to do.

    Mike

  4. Yes it was created as a new record because the nature of the two businesses are different. One business is a cafe and jet ski hire while the other is kayak and surf ski sales.

    The two websites aren’t even hosted on the same server. One is hosted on our server in the States and the other is hosted on our server here in Australia

    The similarities were the phone number, the street address and the name of the person that both domain names are registered in.

  5. Keep me posted and track the outcomes to let me know how they differ. We won’t be able to tell if it is a function of you being down under or the differences in the situations but it will be of interest regardless.

    Mike

  6. I just tried entering a new business as well. I also had to verify via phone or postcard. I’m located in Philadelphia PA. Looks like you got lucky!

  7. Art-

    You are right…I was lucky…this allowed me to put the finishing touches on a problem I had been working on for almost two years… or perhaps is was fate…:)

    My theory (aren’t I just full of them?) is that Google checks phone number and/or the street address and if either show up in their data base they move to verification mode.

    Is your phone number or street address currently (or in the past) used by a business?

    Mike

  8. Art

    I was thinking about this discrepancy and have two more variables that Google might look at to ascertain if they will require verification:
    1)whois record and website age
    2)LBC registrant quality

    I am going to perform an experiment that tests my home phone/previously used phone # above to see if the non-verification occurs again and I will let you know.

    Mike

  9. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you Mike. The phone number I used was ficticious as well. I’ll try using a new number and see what happens.

  10. Art-

    Ah, ficticious. That could be a big difference.

    I am in the process of structuring an experiment to explore the issue of when they do and don’t require verification. My wife has started two businesses that will offer a good comparitive approach to find out the answer to this question.

    Today for example when I edited an existing record that had not been touched before and changed it significantly (business name, phone #, website, email) it only asked for a PIN to delete tthe old record but not a PIN to add the new record. In the past they have asked for both.

    In the meantime please keep me apprised of your progress.

    Mike

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