Google Maps Local Business Center now offering instant listings?

One of the dreaded aspects of dealing with the Local Business Center in the past was the long delay of the PIN/postcard validation and the listing process in the Maps business directory. The phrase Awaiting Next Update took on a sinister character that often meant 6 to 8 weeks delay and sometimes never for the record to show in Maps.

Recently Google Local Business Center has been posting my new entries & edits immediately into the Maps listing with no verification and no delay.

Here is a screen shot from the LBC of a listing I created today at 2:30 p.m.:

lbcposting.jpg
Here is the screen shot from Google Map listing within minutes after entry:

newvisionsmaplisting.jpg

The listing is also showing at position 14 on the general search phrase “consulting Olean NY” within minutes of being posted.

This is a dramatic shift in policy on new business listings that I first noticed in early February and I mentioned here. Is Google doing this for every listing? From what I understand, no. Please let me know otherwise.

Is Google auto-approving certain types of business listings or do I have some “super user” privileges by virtue of the quantity of entries that I have made?

If it is some “signal” about the business, what could it be? This particular business is my wife’s run from our home and has been operating under the radar of the data collection world. There is no external indication to Google that it is legitimate other than the whois record with a 2006 creation and the fact that the phone and street address jive. She had no YellowPage listings, no public filings, no listing in other on-line directories or primary data providers that I know of. The phone is residential and has her name listed.

If they are providing me as an active LBC user more privileges due to the large number of entries in the LBC what is the benchmark? I have 43 entries in my Local Business Center and I noticed this on entry number 39 and each of the last 4 have been “instant” on in Maps.

Regardless, this is a welcome update. It is a relief to not have to worry about when it will show up, if it will show etc. It also feels good to compliment Google. I must have the title of grumpy google basher in San Jose.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Maps Local Business Center now offering instant listings? by

23 thoughts on “Google Maps Local Business Center now offering instant listings?”

  1. Hi Stephen,

    I am not sure that I understand.

    All of my entries have been single entries in the LBC. Previously I was required to validate via pin or phone on these one up entries. I am no longer required to do so.

    I understand that bulk upload has no validation process but when did single LBC entries stop requiring them?

    Mike

  2. Well, I’ll be…

    Mike, this is total news to me. We just submitted a new business and are having to go through the pin number thing. This was about 2 weeks ago.

    So, maybe what is happening is something from just the last couple of days – brand new!

    I’m as excited as can be about this. I hope it lasts!!!

    Miriam

  3. Mike,

    I’m new to your blog and have a lot to catch up on. I read your stuff on SEOmoz and honestly am really excited to see what other gold nuggets I can find throughout your site.

    I just submitted my brothers Lawn Care Business http://www.WrightLawnCare.com to the LBC just 2 days ago, and it has already shown up on the maps. Although I do have a #4 listing in the organic rankings for “Boise Lawn Care”, I am not sure if this is a factor or not?

    As a side note, If I may ask about the categories selection? I have noticed that the competitors appear under the category “Lawn Installation & Maintenance”. While I don’t see this as an option when I submitted Wright Lawn Care? I am missing something?

    Thanks a lot,

    BJ Wright

  4. Hi Bj

    Welcome. thanks for stopping by and taking the trouble to comment.

    It appears that website strength in organic does impact rank in Local. It is one of many factors.

    Here are all of the links you might want to read on the categories.

    •Part 1 – history of the problems,
    •Part 2 – background info on categories
    •Part 3 – possible work arounds
    •Part 4 – Google Category Upgrade Coming?

    You haven’t missed anything but 18 months of google imposed frustration :).

    Mike

  5. Hi Mike,
    Well, we’ve done a number of registrations over the past year or so, but hadn’t had to do one in awhile. This last one was for a past client who has now opened a second location, so we’re submitting that, and it went through the same old pin number process as usual.

    If a whole bunch more local clients would show up right now, I’d be very happy to test this out!

    Miriam

  6. Hello Again,
    Mike, I want to clarify…I’m talking about registering a new business. I’ve just re-read your post again (I often read your posts a couple of times to make sure I’m absorbing everything) and now I am wondering if your reference to ‘entries’ is meant to signify edits? Do you mean registrations or edits to existing accounts are showing up instantly?

    An important thing for me to understand ;)
    Miriam

  7. Hi Miriam

    It all types of entries. Whether I am editing an existing LBC entry, grabbing an existing record in Maps and adding to my LBC or whether it is a new business all together as my wife’s business is. I have all three types of edits/adds in the context of 5 different businesses and the only pin required was on the second side of one entry on the listing that was being suspended. The one of that pair that was being listed went in straight away.

    Mike

  8. Hi Mike,

    Art here again. We need to find someone else out ther that has as many entries as you do and see if they have the same results. I would lean towards the super user privelages theory myself. I only have 10, so I need to get more businesses under my belt. Have you tested using a different account with less entries?

    Art—

  9. Hi Art

    I haven’t done the test you suggest…not sure I can stand the pain. :)

    But I agree with you that I may have hit some more accomodating level.

    Mike

  10. Not long ago I entered a business under an entirely different account. The account had no history. The google maps entry went up immediately.

    could be luck.

    Dave

  11. Hi Dave

    Hmm…that throws the superuser idea out the tubes and puts me back to the first.

    You really think that it could random? That makes no sense to me. Also if it were random why did I get it on the last 4 entries, each with a slightly different non-standard twist?

    Mike

  12. Hi,

    I’m new to this blog, but I am not new to Google bashing. I have a LBC with over 400 business listings and bulk uploads don’t require validation as pointed out. However; when editing business listings that exist PIN are required, I did 4 listing last Thursday and each one required a PIN validation. I do beleive that any new listings do not require validation via PIN or at least not that I have noticed.

    I do wonder though if there is a limited amount of space in ones LBC… I had over 430 at one point and then at least 25 of them have “fallen off” my LBC. Anyone with thoughts on that? Google doesn’t seem have an answer.

  13. Hi Joan

    I have heard from another reader that the LBC gets flakey at 50! Obviously you are well beyond that and I was thinking that I was getting close to 50 and needed to worry.

    Could the “lost listing” problem recently announced be the culprit?

    When you say “new listings do not require validation via Pin” are you saying a completely new listing or simply any listing that has been grabbed in Maps via the Edit this Business button?

    Mike

  14. Hi Mike,

    I’m saying brand spanking new listings not currently existing on Google Maps. I’ve done a number of listings in my job and with new listings I have not been requested to validate with a PIN, with existing listings that I have to modify or edit, PIN validation is required.

    Oh thank you so very much for that link for the lost listings. I have been looking for them every day.
    Not only that but my listings are heading towards 45 days to update. I think now that I’ve found you ( ah-ha) I’m going to stalk your blogs and see what I can find out.

  15. Joan

    Hmm…I experienced no PIN on new listings as noted above but I have also experienced it on listings that were already in Maps but to which I added or changed significant details.

    Strange that your listings are taking so long to update. Is that on Bulk Uploads or regular listings?

    Are the listings gone from Maps view as well as LBC view?

    Mike

  16. One other note on the validation process. After I validated a business, the business decided to change their phone number. Once I changed the phone number in the LBC, I was required to re-validate the listing.

  17. Hi Art-

    Thats of interest but there is very little consistent in the above thats for sure. I really do not have a clue as to why or when Google is relaxing their validation standards.

    Mike

  18. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the link from the Google Maps forum to your post. I have 23 listings in my Google Local acccount and I only noticed listings did not require a postcard validation and were active a few days ago. Its weird why one of my accounts is like this and my other LBC require validation?:)

    cheers
    George

  19. Hi George

    Welcome.

    It appears to be account based that much seems clear. But what triggers it is not.

    It could be time based, number of entries based, some combination of that or something altogether else. By time based I mean from the inception of your Local Business Center account.

    How many accounts do you have in your second account? Do you remember when you created them?

    Mike

  20. Hi Mike,

    I have had my gmail account from the time gmail was released by invitation only so it has been a while.

    In my other account (which is just over 1 year old) I have 46 listings and each time I try create a new listing I am prompted with validation.

    In my account that still requires validation I created listings from May 2007 till just recently and this is the same with my account that requires no validation so I can’t find any connection.

    I even thought that potentially having some sort of Google qualification i.e Google AdWords qualified would have played some role but I have confirmed this with a friend and this is not the case.

    I am going to continue “playing” and will let you know if I find anything.

    cheers
    George

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