Some Days are Just Shittier Than Others In Google Places

As you know, I am addicted to following and answering questions in the Google Places forums. My penchant for the foibles of others and Google is insatiable. This posting is why I just keep going back for more.

Someone uploaded pictures of poo on my business listing and I can’t get them off!!!

Topic of your question (reviews, categories, duplicate listing, etc.): VERY innappropriate Photos
Your business name as it is in your Google Places account: Jeff DiBlasi State Farm Insurance
Your business type/category (e.g. photographer, hospital, etc.): Auto Insurance
URL(s) if applicable: http://maps.google.com/maps/place?q=lansdowne+pa+state+farm&hl=en&cid=12400822114645752135

Someone put REALLY inappropriate photos of pictures of poo on my business listing.  I’ve discovered this business is currently claimed in 2 accounts and NEITHER account have these photos but it says “from the owner” on them.  I need these off my listing ASAP.  I’ve posted on other threads and reported the photos several times and I’m at a loss of what to do.  This is severely damaging to the company’s reputation and it’s been weeks since I first reported them.

Here is a screen shot of the Places Page. Sure enough there IS poo on his Places Page and according to Google it was put there by the owner (click to view larger :) ). Take a gander at the categories while you are there.

Update 1:45: Commenter Joe has noted that Google has sent in the cleaning crew and cleaned up the shit issue for Jeff’s Place as of 1:45 EST. They can work quickly when need be. :)

Update: 3:00: I just got off the phone with the State Farm office in Lansdown and apparently someone from Google actually picked up the phone and called Jeff DiBlasi’s earlier in the day. Not only can they work quickly but they seem to know how a phone works.

Update: 5:00: I just checked their Places listing and the categories have been fixed as well.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Some Days are Just Shittier Than Others In Google Places by

26 thoughts on “Some Days are Just Shittier Than Others In Google Places”

  1. His listings is so heavily merged with other stuff – it has 11 categories – and that is his main problem.

  2. @Plamen

    While I do think it is merged with another record, I think the other record is his record. To me the likely scenario is that the record was previously claimed into another account. Access to the account is still available to the prankster where they added the photos and the very odd categories.

    Some of the others seem too random to be random: Off Track Betting Agency, Air Traffic Control Tower, Gambling Instructor, Dried Flower Shop. Usually with a random merge the phone and or url is different.

  3. I’ve always thought that official Google customer service was akin to being in the toilet….but this is absurd. At this point we are going to start seeing suggestions for care and improvement in this journal: http://bit.ly/iZus02

  4. I was going to blog this today too, but I saw you working on it last night.

    If this was my biz or my client’s I would be LIVID if I could not get Google to fix it.

    There are more ‘shitty’ pics on page 2 of images. Looks to me like the work of a previous shady SEO company upset that the client ended their contract or something.

    This is an extreme example of how frustrating it is when a hidden merged dupe somewhere still has partial control over the listing, which happens all the time and causes all kinds of problems.

    I wish Google could make it so that only data from the most recently claimed listing was active. That would solve so many problems!

  5. @Linda
    Yes giving precedence to the most recently claimed and possibly requiring reclaiming of previously claimed would help.

    It would be an even larger improvement if they provided full transparency of the data in their cluster so you could see not just what was on the Places page but could check 3rd party sources for accuracy.

  6. Mike, could you update your post to encourage people to “Report Inappropriate Photo” on this guy’s places page?

    Enough flags may help him out.

  7. Yeesh, that’s just not good for anyone. I’m hoping he’s looking for an SEO as I type this! I wonder if he’s seen a jump in business since this story was picked up? I wonder if ‘crappy’ advertising is better than no advertising because come to think of it, if I ever find myself in Lansdowne, PA and I need myself some insurance I guess I know who to call now! Thanks!

  8. Google just cleaned up the poop. :-)

    But he’s still listed as “Off Track Betting Agency, Air Traffic Control Tower, Gambling Instructor, Dried Flower Shop”

  9. @Mike, so the secret to getting fast action on Google Places is to place photos of poo on your Places page?

  10. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Oh Mike. I started laughing the second I saw the title of this post and haven’t stopped. I am super glad you covered this one.

  11. @John
    I think the secret might be to get some poo on your places page and then shine a very bright light on it :)

    @Mike
    I am very glad that I made your day. It certainly made mine when I saw the past last night.

  12. This is pretty powerful info. Next time I need Google to take action on a place page, I’ll just upload some pics of poo. “Hey, I’ve got poo on my page! While you at it, can you please take care of these duplicate listings? Kthnxbai.” :D

  13. Aside from being hilarious (for everyone except the poor State Farm agent) this shines a light on some loop holes in Places. We all know how important it is to be listed in the right categories. Now you know how to get more than the limit of 5. And if 10 photos and 5 videos aren’t enough for you, well, you get the picture.

    I wonder how long it will take (or even if) Google will close this loop hole. It will be a sad day when/if they do – I’ve been using this trick to get extra categories/photos/videos for some time now, with pretty good results.

    C’est la vie!

  14. @Jim

    This “behavior” of allowing a listing to be claimed into more than one account (have you ever tried more than 2?) has been around for a long time. One wonders whether it is a remnant of a bad system design, a kludge to just allow for the specific use case of a lost password or the inkling of some future multi-user feature. Regardless because of it’s “semi-hidden” nature and weird implementation it is not a blessing and can be abused as you noted. Even when it isn’t abuse it causes lots of confusion about the source of photos, errant categories and who has the “right” to respond to reviews.

    Nothing increased visibility into the cluster via the dashboard wouldn’t solve.

  15. Hey Mike,

    Thank you so much for bringing light to this situation! I was the one who posted that on the forum and it was incredibly frustrating because we had posted on the forum before and got no response. I didn’t give up and kept creating threads and putting the word “poo” in the title of my thread apparently got it noticed!

  16. Hello all! Special thanks to Mike for bringing some attention to this situation. First, Mike, I am sorry I was not able to speak with you last week as I was out of town.
    So, with this situation, I cancelled my contract with a Company, and conveniently a few days later, these pictures appeared on my site. And of course, they claimed innocence and that they never received the cancellation either. My new company was working with google to get rid of these pictures. It took 4 contact points for them to finally respond. You can see they are removed, but looks like everything is getting worked out, but was not easy and my site was unfortunately “blessed” with these great pictures for a few weeks.

    mike, feel free to call my office if you like.

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