Google LBC Upgrades Business Communications

Google has recently added a new feature (hats off to Martijn for the heads up on this) to the Local Business Center allowing a business to receive more communication from Google. Of particular interest is the option to “Receive notifications when changes are made to your business listings.” These preferences can be changed at any time going forward in the “settings” area of the LBC.

It is not clear exactly what types of changes are covered but one would hope that it would include new reviews and updated information. In theory, this will allow a business a much better feedback loop on their listings and offers the beginning of a glimpse of the possibility of using the Local Business Center for customer relations management.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google LBC Upgrades Business Communications by

29 thoughts on “Google LBC Upgrades Business Communications”

  1. Mike, I just noticed this as I went in to check the status of my own updated listing from Oakland to Portland. Sadly, no status update but hats off to Google for making this effort. Can’t wait to see what their Newsletters say.

  2. Hi David

    I had someone add a review to my listing to see if I was notified but I wasn’t notified of the addition so it isn’t clear exactly what changes they will report.

    But yes it does appear to be a positive addition. I checked in the help files but they really have not described what it does.

    Mike

  3. Hi Mike,
    Hey, hey, this is a step in the right direction! I’m excited to see this and I bet you are, too. I hope the first person to receive one of these update communications will post it so we can all see it.

    Thanks for blogging about this, Mike.
    Miriam

  4. Hi Mike,

    I am wondering this, too.

    It could mean receiving notification when:

    You get a new review

    Which would make this a reputation management tool.

    Or, it could mean receiving notification when:

    Your business information (address, phone number, categories etc.) change

    Which would make this a possible bug fighting tool.

    But, the issue with either of these avenues is that if you get a poor review (or a good one) in Google, you have no way to respond to it, so reputation management in difficult, and if Google starts associating incorrect information with your LBC account, it’s so difficult to get it corrected. So, I’m not seeing the big implications of whatever it means, but I still think it’s a good sign that Google is trying to improve communications.

    Miriam

  5. Hi Miriam

    I received a review shortly after this was in place and I received no notification of the new review in Google.

    Which raises the question about the second idea you suggested: Who would be changing the business information beside the owner of the record?

    Mike

  6. This seems like a great idea! We’d love to know when new reviews come in and so forth… it definitely sets you up to be more in tune with what’s being said about your business online etc.

  7. It still doesn’t address who, how, or when a false, or spam rating about a business will be removed or dealt with. But at least they are listening thanks to guys like Blumenthal.

  8. Hi All,

    I ran across this when updating my some of my listings. This is definitely an interesting turn – not sure if it’s for the best or not.
    I must agree that why would you want an update to your business listing when you are doing the updating. It would be a great watch dog if someone were to mess with your listings – but how often does that happen?

    Joan

  9. @Joan

    My guess is that since sometime Maps listings randomly change without the approval of a listing owner, Maps wants to give you a heads up when and if it does occur.

  10. Mike,

    Any reason my listing would COMPLETELY disappear from the database, even though it shows as active, I cannot even find it at all in the maps, even when typing in my business name. The LBC shows the listing as active and everything is the same. 1 location for my business and prior to this my listing was active for at least 6 months, closer to 1 year though.

    I provide a Google Maps listing service to my clients and I normally get 1 to 2 calls a week from this listing. It’s been gone for at least 2 weeks now, with no explanation. In fact, it may have gone awry about the time you posted this and I logged in to subscribe to changes…

    My company is Dito, LLC and I am in Manassas, Virginia. The only thing that comes up is “User Created Content”, not my normal business listing.

    (I should mention that I was 1st position for all the services I offer in the area: web design, internet marketing, seo, web hosting. All of those terms I used to come up 1st when including “manassas, va” , now I am nowhere in the maps.

    Jim McNelis
    ditoweb.com

  11. A reason….The Google gods have misplace your record (best I could come up with). I have had this happen on several of our records.

    I have seen this happen on occasion. First step is to go into the LBC and make one change and resave. This may or may not work…the second choice is to wait 6 to 8 weeks to see if it shows up in the index. The immediate thing is delete and reenter…but it may take time for your ranking to return (but if all is ok it will)

    mike

  12. @Jim: A more probable reason. MAPSPAMMING. I was blocked for mapspamming. My listing still shows live.

    The way I know I was blocked was my tenacious blogging at maps help group. Finally Maps Jen came clean and admitted I was blocked. I would bet you were also blocked.

    Did you, or someone you hired do bulk uploads?

  13. @panzermike

    Just because you’re many records disappeared due to being banned for spamming (for good cause), does not mean that all records that do no show up in the index are “more probably” caused by banning.

    Your frame of reference is distorted by your experience which I can assure you is not all that common. It is erroneous logic to assume that your limited experience can be extrapolated to all situations.

    Mike

  14. @panzermike

    I do not spam. I am a professional and I would not risk my reputation that I am working so hard to build.

    In fact, I have 2 Google Accounts: 1 with all my clients listings, and one account with only my business listing. So it is impossible that I was flagged for spamming.

    I did update 1 small item yesterday in my listing, to see if that would make it magically reappear, but I had done the same thing a week ago to no results.

    I am hardcore pro-Google so it really gets me when they do me dirty like this. They removed some of my web pages from their index some months ago with no explination (since restored, again with no explanation), and now this.

    I do not rely on these listings for business, but I have specifically targeted my area for business, and I am definataly feeling the loss of presence in their map index.

  15. @Blumenthals

    “Good cause”? You mean when there are no rules that are clear, you can extrapolate “good cause” from that?

    In all events, I agree I have limited experience. Don’t really want to argue with the Guru, but I know of at least 10 sites that were blocked. My WM copied those sites, so we can all assume that they were blocked for the same reasons I was blocked.

    My guess is that homeboy “probably” also engaged in the vague and ambiguous mapspamming and that is why his listing shows live, but he can’t see any of his listings live.

    The probabilities are greater that he was blocked, than it just being a random “loss” of records. Google is like big brother. It is less likely they “lost” anything. :-)

  16. I made a comment this morning but it seems to have been deleted…was there a problem, Mike?

    @ panzermike I am not a spammer and none of my actions on the net could be considered as such.

  17. @Jim

    Sorry about the missing comment, the comment approval system thought it was from a new poster. Thus it required my approval and I was on the road all day traveling back from SMXLocal and was unable to do so.

    You have my permission :) to ignore panzermike. He has a tendency to reverse the golden rule…”do unto others before they do unto you”….and that world view puts him in the situation of seeing conspiracy and evil as the the default explantation for life’s (and Google’s) many vagaries. Clearly, Google Maps and its integration with Google is still a work in progress and the likely explanation in that situation is a bug not evil Maps Jen :) pulling the spam switch.

    Mike

  18. Thanks Mike.

    You know, I have been making this one change a day to my listing to see if it does some magic and I noticed I am not receiving updates to my listing, even though I opted in to do so in my account.

    So this new feature isn’t working for me either unless it works different than I understand.

    My listing is still not showing up at all in Google Maps and the Local Business Center still shows it as active.

  19. @ Jim

    Hi Jim – I’ve had it upteen times that listings I have entered into the LBC have “magically” disappeared off of Google. Unlike you I’m not the world’s biggest proponent of Google, it’s more a matter of quiet submission to the Google Gods.

    What I usually do is an “edit” to the listing. Submit and generally within a couple of business days the listing reappears.

    *shrugs*

    Bless their little hearts.

    J

  20. @Blumenthal:

    Tanks for the kind words Mike, I was thinking your comment about me described you better. :-)

    In all events, I disagree with your opinion of me. I do agree that Maps is a work in progress, and only was offering a suggestion as to why his listing was down.

  21. And my listing is back….

    I have to climb to the top of the rankings again, but I am showing up for my company name as well as te services I offer.

    I wonder what the problem was? I still did not recieve any communcation from Google Maps on this, even though I opted into the feature you showcased above.

  22. I always hold the image in my mind of Google “loosing some records”, it puts things in perspective in the technology world in that even the mightiest trip over a cord, or crash a hard drive or more likely have a teensy weensy bug in their code.

    Did you end up deleting and reentering?

    Mike

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Comments links could be nofollow free.