Google Updates Community Edit History with Editor Quality Comments

Google Maps has been updating a number of features of late, some small and some not so small.

Here is a detail of the upgrade that was pointed out to me by Alice, one of PureSheer’s staff, where Google is now including a great deal of interesting history of community edits. If you edit a non-claimed listing, Google is now presenting an incredibly detailed edit history :

What is so fascinating about this history is that it includes opinions (one presumes algorythmically derived) about the quality of the edits AND the quality of the editor. I have bolded some of these:

Changed 1 hours 34 mins ago
Phone: Deleted 415-373-1665
Interesting notes about this edit:
User is new to making edits of this kind

Changed 3 hours 43 mins ago
This edit is a suggestion
Phone: 415-422-9594 415-373-1665
Interesting notes about this edit:
User has some history of entering poor data.
User has made few edits.

Changed 3 hours 50 mins ago
This edit is a suggestion
Phone: 415-422-9594 415-373-1665
Interesting notes about this edit:
User has some history of entering poor data.
User has made few edits.

Changed 4 hours 33 mins ago
Phone: 415-373-1665 415-422-9594
Interesting notes about this edit:
User is new to making edits of this kind

Added 4 hours 33 mins ago
Name: SF Bay Locksmith San Francisco (English, type: Preferred)
Name: Available Locksmith San Francisco (English, type: Obscure)
Building / Ground: Establishment / Point of Interest
Geometry: Location added
Address: 236, West Portal Avenue, San Francisco, CA, United States, 94127
Phone: 415-422-9594
Payment types: Visa
Payment types: MasterCard
Additional Categories: Locksmith
Interesting notes about this edit:
User has increased their rate of edits.
Pornographic or curse words have been detected.

Bill Slawsky has written a number of posts on how Google may be rating raters. This might just be providing us a glimpse of that.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Updates Community Edit History with Editor Quality Comments by

13 thoughts on “Google Updates Community Edit History with Editor Quality Comments”

  1. Fascinating stuff Mike (and Alice), thanks for sharing! I’m glad there are algos in place to police community edits, if the algos are accurate of course. Any thoughts on how Google is identifying users who are entering poor data? Curious if you have any thoughts on if the accuracy is determined after the business has been claimed – as we can assume when a business is claimed that all of the info is correct?

    I have a quick question related to editing a non-claimed listing. I’ve never noticed it before, but why do some listings show both “edit this place” and “business owner?” links, while other listings show only the “business owner?” link?

    Here’s a link to one that I came across and it only contains the “business owner?” link:–bN43usAPL18nrDw&sll=47.614177,-122.336508&sspn=0.017528,0.009762&ie=UTF8&ll=47.625083,-122.359242&spn=0,0&t=h&z=15

    Thanks for any thoughts/insights from you, or additional commenters.

  2. @John

    Your question is a great one. I am not sure if Google is using some human oversight or if the ID of users inputting bad data is algo driven… With Google probably the later and I assume that the algo would come to that conclusion if a lot of the users entries were reversed by other users.

    The reason that the listing you linked to does not show the edit link is that the place has been reported to not exist. If you clicked on the “Not true” link, it would likely return to an editable state.

    Hotel Max?
    Reported to not exist. Not true?

  3. Hi Mike,

    Great information. Thanks to you and to Alice who pointed it out to you.

    Google’s patent on rating raters has some interesting approaches listed, such as identifying overly optimistic and overly pessimistic raters, who tend to rate everything either too high or too low.

    It also does provide some hints about other warning signs regarding raters, such as the raters who tend to rate many sites in a mighty small period of time. Ratings from raters who give everything the same score might be perceived as bots. Raters who haven’t provided many ratings, and haven’t established a “base of legitimacy” may not have their ratings count as highly as raters who have been more active.

    It appears that Google’s ratings for user edits on GoogleMaps appear to follow some guidelines that seem to be very similar. I’m going to have to check out some of Google’s rankings for past edits that I’ve made.

  4. @Bill

    Given that the context of community edits is slightly different than reviews, I wonder how the rating the rater function is repurposed from reviews to community edits.

  5. Hi Mike,

    A few things seem very similar, such as people who haven’t made many edits yet probably don’t get as high a score as people who have made a good number more – that concept of a base of legitimacy that seems to be a strong part of the “rate the raters” approach in action, and seems to apply to editors as well.

    A “history of entering poor data” or profanity might similarly undermine such a base of legitimacy, and possibly make it less likely that edits from those editors would be displayed.

    I’d definitely like to look at more edit histories to see what other signals they might be considering and identifying.

  6. One good way to find community edits is to use the * search in Maps. This * search in NYC brings up a number of popular, non claimed listings that have mostly “honest” edits.

    Interestingly there does appear to be Google human moderation of these high profile places pages.

  7. I am struck by the wierdness and hypocracy of google’s public “ratings of community edits”.

    Seriously is there a place where people can publicly evaluate Google’s customer service? Would google please highlight this for the rest of us. Who the H is Google to establish a “rating system” for community edits?

    I see too many situations brought up in the Google Groups forums for Maps/Business Owners (now Google Places) that simply never get solved, never get addressed.

  8. I think the “name is longer than average” note is interesting. I am seeing it on both the empire state building and madison square garden. Long names are more likely to have stuffed keywords.

  9. @Nifty
    I had noticed on the edge of my consciousness that comment about name length but your explicit observation of it helps put it clearly in perspective. Thanks.

  10. Their editor rating system is pretty poor. I’ve only made a couple of edits (location of a couple of buildings I own) and got a “has history of making poor edits” rating.

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