GoogleSpeak – “We currently do not support the location” = Banished?

Google Maps has never been great at providing meaningful feedback in the Google Places management area (aka LBC) to businesses that encountered errors in entering their record or when being given a penalty. For a while this trend was improving as the messages were getting more specific and meaningful and at one point last fall, Google’s Joel Headly responded to my post complaining about the ever onerous “Flagged Waiting for Content Check” message, by saying publicly that “I take responsibility for this. I’m working through this issue now, and I expect to improve the experience for users by the end of the year”.

But we seem to have taken a big step back with the “We currently do not support the location” message now being applied in several situations, none of which make sense to the small business person making the edit.

The message has meant that Google hasn’t fully processed your recently added site and that they had not yet fully integrated the listing in the index. Thus users would generate the error when viewing their stats or viewing the listing in Maps too soon after creation of their listing. If you stopped backed a few days (up to 12) later, you would find all is ok.

Apparently though, the message now also means: Your listing is not in compliance with the Guidelines and is not showing on Maps.

This answer was recently provided in the forums by Google Employee Helen to a poster whose listing had disappeared from Maps (and in this post as well):

Check out this article [1] for details about why you’re seeing the message “We currently do not support this location” when you click on See your listing on Maps.

If you find that your listing receives this error message for an extended period of time, check to make sure that it adheres to our Google Places quality guidelines [2]. Some of our most commonly-violated guidelines include:

-Multiple Listings For Same Location
-Inaccurate Representation of Business Name
-Inaccurate Representation of Address
-Inaccurate Representation of Phone/URL

Cheers,
Helen

I support Google’s efforts to clean up the index, I support their right to not show listings that are not in compliance with their guidelines. I do not support their cryptic non-transparent communication and terrible error messages.

If a listing isn’t showing because of a violation, say so. If it is clear how the user can fix it, tell them explicitly. If they are being suspended from the index for a given time, indicate how long.

Is it really so hard to provide specific, meaningful messages to various error and/or punishment states? Can’t the error say exactly what went wrong, what needs to be done to fix it and which help page has more details. This is deja vue all over again.

Google has insinuated themselves into our business lives. That’s the reality. They offer benefit to those who manage to do well in Maps. That does not give them the right to not communicate to a business that has gone afoul of whatever the new rules are….

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
GoogleSpeak - "We currently do not support the location" = Banished? by

23 thoughts on “GoogleSpeak – “We currently do not support the location” = Banished?”

  1. Absolutely! If your product has evolved into such an vital piece of the puzzle, you have a responsibility to give me feedback when something’s not right – real feedback – feedback I can act on.

  2. Agreed!! Google Maps, as strong as a tool it could be, still has a long way to go before it’s a reliable platform on which small businesses can fully depend to bring their business details to the hands of their customers. As I’ve heard a fellow SEO say, it’s conceivable that a small business could exist online without their own website.

    For this to happen, though, Google Maps, Places, the LBC, whatever they decide to call it today, needs some serious fine tuning… especially when you look at the statistic that ComScore (http://internet2go.net/news/data-and-forecasts/comscore-now-30-browsing-mobile-web) released yesterday saying that approximately 75 million people are browsing the mobile web.

    It’s likely that the larger part of that 75 million people are relying on Google Maps on their mobile phones to find up to date information in an instant…and just hoping that 2 listings didn’t get crossed, putting you at Joe’s Magic Fingers Massage Studio instead of Joe’s Chicken Fingers.

  3. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Actually, I have been saying it on the forum for two years. Compared to Yelp, they’re perfect communicators, but if they are going to be gathering in the offering now through our $25 donations, can’t they afford a couple of folks in India to start giving us some straight answers.

  4. I see this issue happen a lot with companies that move addresses and don’t eliminate all their other references (if the locations are close). I thought it was just an error though and not a penalty. Very useful as usual Professor.

  5. @NiftyMike

    Thanks. The problem I have is that it is both an error and a penalty and the actual language describes neither accurately….I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t several other situations in which the message applied….

    Instead of hiring me, Google should hire Miriam for her copyriting skilss so that they learn how to communicate in English.

  6. here, here.

    I don’t want to go on rant here, but I too wish they’d take more responsibility to this product for the sake of sanity of the small business owners out there.

    mike always on point – I have no idea how you do it, but you always have something interesting to say about Gmaps! BTW, they should hire you! :)

  7. Well put!

    It would be in Google’s best interest to provide straight-forward communication in order that its users know exactly what’s expected of them. They do provide an awesome platform for businesses to participate in but they must state exactly the rules to do so.

    Google, lead us!

  8. Another great article – I actually came back and read it again today. I look after a number of Google Places accounts (in Canada) and many of the changes I make don’t seem to appear; a lot of the data is a mess. I only hope things will get batter soon. I also noticed on several accounts that the Category selections were deleted after Google changed over LGB to Places, resulting in my having to re-categorize them. I’ve also noticed keywords in the description are playing a much bigger role in placement than they were in LBC — which worries me as the spammers will mess things up if/when they figure this out.
    Andy :-)

  9. Looks like I’ve been cursed by the above mentioned statement. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that my Google Business listing had this message and hey presto the inevitable happened and I’ve now had my account suspended.
    I have had a legitimate address listing for 3 years and this is the 2nd time this has happened. I noticed that 6 weeks ago a new listing for my business had appeared on google maps but I had not created this listing. So now I had 2 listings under the same address that contravenes the guidelines. I tried to get informtaion about remving it from the Google forum but got NO replies and now my account has been suspended.
    Other than wipe the slate clean and go thorugh the whole setip process again I can’t think waht else to do.

    Its bloody annoying that Google treats a legitimate business like this and yet does nothing about the many spammers who plague the listings.

  10. I also get the message:

    “This message does not comply with our policy of allowed terms” – and listings get disapproved, while others, exactly the same (because of feed data) do get approved. It looks like the ones being disapproved are in conflict with (non validated) listings of the business already in maps.

    Googlespeak indeed :(

  11. Having worked in Google Maps every day for the past year I echo these frustrations. I also think, if search continues to evolve locally and Google does not take steps to remedy these problems, I can see how Google can be vulnerable in the local search arena.

  12. The interesting thing to me is that there are no easy answers to these challenges for Google. The answer lies in their threat to require actual dba’s or corp names for each and every listing. However, that would be expensive for them to monitor.

    On the other hand, maybe the cities and counties would be willing to pay Google for such a solution. How many non-licensed operators would have to get a city license were this the case. lol

  13. Thanks, Mike :)

    The thing that drives me crazy with the Do-Not-Support message is that I’ve had to conclude that Google has this text set as some type of default error message, almost like a 404 error page. I encounter it frequently just looking up businesses that are definitely supported…sometimes even claimed. I’ll be looking for the phone number of some local business I’ve previously found in G Maps, only to be given this message. Then, sometimes, if I keep inputting my search, the listing magically appears again. It’s mighty buggy. And yes, the vagueness of the copy irks me. One customizes one’s 404 error page to be as specific as possible. Wish Google would do the same with their own error pages.

  14. There is something fundamentally wrong with the whole issue and I would like someone to explain to me the following.

    Why if Google Places haS decided that they do not ‘support my location’ and have now suspended my account but I can still synchronise my listing with my Google Adword campaign?

    It doesn’t make any sense.

    Something stinks with this whole setup. What Google are basically saying is that as long as I’m paying for the privelege I can get my listing available on Google maps, but since Google Places is free I can GTF?

    Anyone have any views on this blatant hypocrisy being orchestrated by Google?

  15. My issue was the same: I had 2 business locations out of like 6, give me that error. So I assumed it was another “guess what the problem is and hope you get it right” issue I experience often with Places.

    My guess was right. I deleted one of my locations giving the error, edited the one that had the best traffic, and voila, I was able to save one of my stores. But it asked me to move my marker, which I did. Then I had to re verify this location (which BTW Google has created its own listing that clusters data from my live “owner verified listing”, making the owner listing weaker since it steals data). And when I did, I lost a lot of ranking for that listing.

    Google Local/Places has hurt my business more than any single thing. With organic, I did fine. Now, I’ll be humming along, then boom, the phone stops. Then I go online, and sure enough some other new Places error, or Google creates like three or four “owner verified” listings, and I am biting nails wondering when I get suspended again for duplicate listings I did not even create.

    Then it was verified today by this blog post . Yup, somehow I was being penalized. Shoot, I can’t even advertise one of my store locations.

    And as for adwords. It is clear that SEO companies and competitors click these ads till your budget is exhausted. Places is the new organic search, adwords unreliable. Places needs to sell sponsor placards. Places allows reported spam to remain for months on end.

    Data does not merge. Data splits into two or more listings. Account can be suspended for claiming Google created listings. No clear answers. Very frustrated Panzermike today.

  16. Do you think this could also be code for: Someone has reported your site as being out of compliance? This new code, new to me anyway seems to be rolling out at the same time as Google’s new “Ad Boost”, Hmm.

    What really bothers me is that if you are in your Google Places management area, all listings that I manage, still show as active!

    Clicking the link “see your listing on Google Maps” reveals whether or not it is actually active.

    I am very familiar with their guidelines and am in compliance, but have many ads in Google Limbo.

  17. Google maps is more bother than it is worth. Why put a lot of detail on the map when apparently, at a whim Google, can ignore you.

    I am not in league with a mind reader, and blanket cover all rejection notices are utterly useless. It is just not good enough. Are we supposed to spend the next 5 years finding out exactly what is wrong by trial and error?

    I own two distinct businesses that share one website, but which have two different business locations. Simple enough you would think, but it would seem not.

    In fact I have come to the conclusion that mighty Google is perhaps too mighty and high handed, and it is perhaps time to use other search engines.

    If enough of us start to change our web usage then perhaps we will have an improved service. It really is that bad.

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.