In the article I voiced the opinion that Google in unleashing an immature product on us had gained much, while loosing little and that the real loosers were the hijacked businesses. Let me know what you think of the article.
Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Article at SEL: Despite Fixes, Google Maps Still Vulnerable To Spam
by Mike Blumenthal
I caught this earlier today, and I thought it was right on, Mike. You took a strong stand for accountability.
It’s hard to say what should happen (apart from Google not letting their Local employees leave the building until this is all perfectly fixed). What if Google agreed with you and took down Local. What if they took it away until it was out of its apparently perpetual wiki-based beta?
That’s something I asked myself, reading your article. The answer is, I would freak out, because I’ve now gotten so used to using Google as my substitute YP, despite the errors. Sometimes the data is accurate. Sometimes. So, from a user’s standpoint, there is some usefulness.
But then I look at this from a Local Search Marketing provider’s standpoint, and I know so well the talk I have to have with new clients, explaining, when it comes to Google, “we will work to take all of the right steps, but Google has some serious bugs, and also an extreme communication problem, so if things don’t go perfectly, chances are, we will not be able to get them instantly rectified.” Gee…it doesn’t sound like much of a service when you put it that way, does it?
I was looking at the Google listing of a brand new client today and see that, despite the fact that the listing has been claimed, Google apparently doesn’t know the company’s address. Now, that’s not one I’ve seen before…a claimed listing with no address? At least, that’s what David’s tool showed me at a quick first glance. Now, I’ve got to try to figure out what is going on with that, and I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that it won’t be straightforward.
Good SEL article, Mike. Straightforward in all things LBC would be awfully nice, wouldn’t it?
It is difficult to answer the question whether we would be better with Maps or without it because we really don’t know the arc of the quality of information….is it improving or is it degrading? If what we are seeing is improvement process, albeit a painful one, then we should hang on for a while prior to total condemnation…it is very hard to tell from my vantage point.