Does Google Maps hate Advertising Agencies?

I spend way too much time looking at Maps and so I often see the “mistakes” that remind us the Google is human too. EarlPearl, the moderator of Geo Targeting Forum at SeoRefugee, pointed out to me the odd results on the search advertising agencies + locale on which he wondered “What does Google Maps have against Advertising Agencies?”:

It doesn’t seem to matter which city you search on, Advertising Agencies New York or Advertising Agencies San Francisco return equally bizarre results; hotels, book stores, restaurants and museums. No agencies though. The search phrase in the singular or agencies other than advertising agencies return reasonable results.

While I doubt that Google hates advertising agencies there is more than a little irony in the error which I presume is caused by bit being switched in their tagging/category structure and not a personalty quirk.

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Does Google Maps hate Advertising Agencies? by

13 thoughts on “Does Google Maps hate Advertising Agencies?”

  1. I was amazed to find this to not only be true for Chicago, but also the western suburb of Oakbrook Terrace where we are located. A little searching for non-branded terms and I was able to find us as the #3 listing for “B2B branding.”

    It makes me wonder why the algorithm can’t get it right. Until then, Local ads listings are the way to go. If you haven’t moved your Google maps peg to the front entrance of your business I highly suggest taking the fifteen minutes to do so. Get your peg out of the middle of the road, and then use highly targeted Adwords campaign to run local ads separately from other campaigns.

    As for what Google has against ad agencies…
    …I can only speculate it has something to do with the ad agencies hosting the sites of the companies that are at the top of the listing…
    …but that’s only speculation.

    Randall Gniadecki
    Google Advertising Professional

  2. Hi Randall

    Thanks for your comments. Your idea on highly targeted ads is a good one!

    The reason I don’t think that the bug has to do with who hosts the sites is the similarity of the results from Chicago to NY to SF…the results for each have museums, hotels and restaurants….that is more than a coincidence.

    It is a black box, though, and if they do fix it, it is unlikely we will find out why it happened.


  3. Hi Paisley

    Thanks for posting…

    The search for “agency” works in all cities. It is the search for “agencies” that returns to bizarre results:

    The search for advertising agencies Dallas Tx returns a lawyer, bailbondman, a symphony and a market center. It does have a more advertising agencies than NY or SF, though.


  4. and the first review from the first ranked of “advertising agencies near Washington DC”……””Lovely Hotel….. We spent 4 nights, splitting our stay between the Dulles WA Marriott Suites in Herndon to visit the Udvar Hazy Air …

    Maybe Google believes the reviews are being written (faked) by advertising agencies. Maybe that is why this particular phrase is so off base. πŸ˜€

    I wonder how long it will be before Google corrects this wierd representation in Maps.

    I also wonder how many other nonsensical lists for search phrases pop up in G Maps.


  5. Hi Dave

    Google must be pretty busy fixing things right now given the entries in the Google Maps for Business Group….coupons broken again, router incompatibilities, browser issues…it might be a while πŸ™‚

    I have not seen any other of these “weird” types of results. Has anybody else?

  6. Searches for advertising agencies Milwaukee and advertising agencies St Louis include a couple of real agencies within the 10-pack along with the usual assortment of totally unrelated answers.

    Hmmmm… they are messing with the mess. I wish they would be either consistently wrong or consistently right. πŸ˜€

  7. Hi Dave

    I have seen the occasional agency listed in the Dallas search as well….they have managed to sneak in there from time to time. I haven’t seen any significant changes.


  8. Another reason you see low numbers on the Advertising/Marketing agencies is they don’t get it! From an Internet Marketing stand point, many outsource, or they are still stuck in the “old” ways of doing business. I should know, I am slowly trying to get acceptance happening, sadly many here just think I am crazy…

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