One long standing complaint about the Local 10-Pack has been that on certain searches it returns multiple results for the same company.
In July of 2008, Eric Enge interviewed Carter Maslan, Director of Product Management for Google Maps. In the interview he asked Carter whether it was appropriate to have single company dominate the listings such as on the search Public Storage San Jose CA:
Eric Enge:…See how 8 of them are from one vendor, and the information presented for each of their entries is identical?
Carter Maslan: Yes, in that case, even though there is nothing inherently wrong with a single business ranking prominently in the top results, we are working to modify the way we handle cases like that. The challenge spans multiple areas around the quality of the data, the way we index it, the way we score it, and the way we present the UI in showing it.
So we are working on variations on ways to handle those cases better, but that’s not to say that there’s something inherently wrong with one business having a prominent presence in the top ten.
There must not have been much wrong with the listings…now 10 out of the 10 listings are from one vendor:
I am as big of a fan of a good algorithm as the next person but if a disparity of knowledge in the market place allows this sort of manipulation then something is not right with the algo. The challenge may “span multiple areas around the quality of the data…” but it is time (past?) for the “variations on ways to handle those cases better” to be rolled out.