Google Maps: More reports of merged listings

Yesterday I reported an example of two listings of different businesses with the same address being merged. There are more reports of similar problems in the Google Maps for Business Group recently being reported (here and here).

The first instance reported in the Group has a number of similarities to the case reported yesterday; it occurs in England, the businesses occupy the same address, there are issues with uploaded images, the websites are conflated and both phone numbers show in both records:

You can view the pin/profile by searching for ‘web design’ in Huddersfield. My company, Archa Solutions, is listed right at the top of the second page of results. Or follow this [ link and this link]

The issue is that our profile has been merged with the company whom we rent an office from, The Media Centre. It’s a large building that has lots of office space and many companies in this building have their own pin/profile page on Maps but have not been merged with The Media Centre’s own profile.

The Media Centre, the many companies within it and my company all have the same UK postcode – HD1 1RL, so I imagine this could be the problem. However, it only seems to have affected our business. If you click on our pin and then onto the more details section you will see that it lists two phone numbers (the second of which is not ours), it also includes some of The Media Centre’s email addresses, opening hours, service information, photos, web pages etc.

Another issue is that our company logo is not showing up. I have tried uploading the logo to Google and pointing it to a version on our web site. Both of which do not seem to work.

It is interesting that Google would merge two distinct Local Business Center records. It is possibly a spam control strategy to prevent multiple optimized listings from the same business. A technique worth trying for those that have a legitimate need to distinguish their record, would be to create more signals for Google to understand that the businesses are in fact distinct. Perhaps adding a Suite # or a second more detailed street address would do the trick.

Maybe Google is confused because they drive on the wrong side of the road.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Maps: More reports of merged listings by

11 thoughts on “Google Maps: More reports of merged listings”

  1. At first I thought there might be a problem with someone else’s data (e.g. an IYP) that G is pulling from, but when I searched Google, it appeared that http://www.the-media-centre.co.uk/clients.php is the only page in the index that has both “Archa Solutions” and “44 870 990 5000″ on the same page.

    The problem might be solved by convincing the Media Centre to put “Archa Solutions” in the anchor text of the link to the Archa Solutions site instead of the url. This is a common way to reduce keyword competition between two pages that are targeting the same term by telling G that the page you are linking to is more important for the keyword in the anchor text.

    Not sure if this will work with GMaps but certainly worth a shot.

  2. Hi Andrew

    That’s a good idea. I once ran into a problem where I put a client’s street address etc on my website and Google used it for MY plus box…a similar but different problem.

    Mike

  3. Mike, a client’s been having the same issue. They run a hotel and a hostel, and the front office for both is in the hotel. THis is killing reviews because the average rating for the hotel is dragged down by the hostel. Any ideas on fixing the situation? I’ve created two new, separate listings. But getting the reviews moved is apparently impossible at present :(.

    Here’s another person with the problem:
    http://groups.google.com/group/Google-Maps-For-Business-Owners/browse_thread/thread/373f8df9c4fa99f0

    I tried to find my own google maps groups thing, but couldn’t. No helpful advice there anyways. Thanks for bringing up this important issue at least!
    Sphunn :)

  4. Hi Gab-

    Thanks for the Sphinn…

    I don’t have an absolute solution at this point but I would suggest 3 things:

    1)Make the LBC records more distinctive by the addition of Suite #/Rm #/etc
    2)I think Andrew’s suggeston above that it might be caused by “ambiguous signals” on a website is very plausible….be sure that link anchor text is clear and unabiguous
    3)I would suggest that you make the same differentiation as you did in number 1 on all of the ciritical feeder databases-Localeze, infoUSA, Axciom, SuperPages, AllPages so that the distinction is clear and reinforced
    4)Say 5 Hail Mary’s
    5)Take 2 asipirin

    Let me know if and how it resolves itself.
    Mike

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