News Flash: Google Mt View Reported Closed!


In the spirit of discovery, I have once again embarked on a project to determine exactly how many “closing reports” are required to actually show a business as closed on their Places Page. The answer: Only 2 even if you are Google.

Update 12:39: 16 minutes after it was reported as closed, the listing had the yellow flag removed and it once again notes that there are unverified edits.
Update 1:33: After a few more reported closing reports, Google Mt View has once again been closed for the past 30 minutes. The experiment is open to all. Be sure to use a throw away Google account. :)
Update 1:40: It is once again showing as open and no longer showing as having unverified edits.
Update 5:27: Deanna Yick has just forwarded me this clarification from Google that I have posted it and responded.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
News Flash: Google Mt View Reported Closed! by

40 thoughts on “News Flash: Google Mt View Reported Closed!”

  1. @Linda
    My nature is in fact in question. It took a few minutes to decide to pull the trigger but in the end I couldn’t resist.

  2. Mike, it depends how many reporters it takes. If you reported it via your account, which probably has already hundreds of approved changes, that was already almost 100% enough for the algorithm to make the changes go live.

  3. @Nyagoslav

    I reported it via a secondary account with no cred. I don’t know which account reported it the second time.

  4. Mike, you closed Google? Should i sue you for losing my source of living?

    What the hack, I’m going to Fiji, who’s coming?
    Thanks, Mike!

    ;-)

  5. Mike: Well done:

    Again I have an observation and a question.

    On a separate issue I had noted that there was dramatically more responsiveness on the “report a problem” link in a places page. In fact I reported a problem twice….and there was a correction.

    The experiment you just performed plus my experience suggest a SEA CHANGE….with regard to the “report a problem” link on the Google Places Record….going from virtually no responsiveness to virtual immediate responsiveness.

    In my opinion, responsiveness is great. Unfortunately in this case it seems to have created a different set of problems.

    I’d so like to see a response from Google. Here is an issue wherein you have highlighted an issue and a vulnerability.

    Hey Google. We aren’t always out there to criticize, but at many times want to help you do better.

    In my mind the answer is to add human beings to the process. Filter out the spam. Have humans contact humans to ascertain if these various reports have credibility or are in fact spam.

    Any other suggestions?

  6. Interesting. The changes are actually Pending on MapMaker, and it seems that all the people that reported the business as closed are having either no or not good reputation on Map Maker. Still the changes went live. I believe this is something new after the last update. It just seems too easy for someone to get you out of the search results this way…

  7. This is so funny. Reminds me of Catch 22 where they moved the bomb line on the map. What if they actually close up now?

  8. can’t help but point out that their listing violates their own TOS. Not supposed to have the city in the company name. Should just be Google, or Google Inc, right?

  9. Outstanding Stuff Mike…I just got thru with a Google Places rant elsewhere, and you brought a smile that got my BP back to normal (well as normal as it get these days)… Good Job!

  10. @Jeffrey M. Ya made me look….. “restaurants 94043-1351″, alas they came in fourth place…..wanna team up and see if we can get them the top spot? As a community service project of course…..

  11. Mike, you have the savviest ways of making a point. :) This issue really needs attention, and you sure got it.

    One other thing about G’s listing… the ‘from the owner’ pic is either a joke of a really odd choice.

  12. Geeze —

    Looks like your previous post drew some additional attention to the use of proxies + accounts to mess with Google places listings.

    Maybe now Google will pay attention to this recent epidemic that more and more of us are experiencing?

  13. Google sending notifications of significant changes to verified owners and giving them power to make certain corrections (such as to allegations of the business being closed) would provide a quick and efficient way to minimize the damage of such reports. One would think the “on the ground” owner would be the authoritative source to confirm or deny allegations of closing.

    To Google’s advantage, owners knowing they would get this information and could protect their businesses from this new hazard would be a major incentive for owners to verify their listings.

    Since the hazard of malicious or mistaken reports is wholly generated and maintained by Google it would seem like the right thing for them to do to provide owners with all the protection possible against malicious or mistaken information. Otherwise they are being careless with the livelihoods of those owners and their employees.

  14. Wow, I have not seen the label in Japan.

    But, there are some listing which

    And your trial and report?has got in news in Japan.

    I wonder “closed label” make rank of the listing down?

  15. Hi Taku

    The “permanently closed” label most certainly does make the listing down. The “reported closed” does not initially but it might over time. That is unclear. Is the “Report a problem” available in Japan? If it is then the closed label is likely to be there as well….

  16. @Mike – I think the “Report a problem” option is not available in Google Maps Japan currently. And also as far as I am concerned black hatting in Japan is rather a rare event, but I hear that more and more companies are using Chinese “SEO” services.

  17. @Nyagoslav

    Thanks for the update. I wholeheartedly agree that American cultural values exacerbate these sorts of issues.

  18. Thy this one, start a duplicate listing with just the basic info as Google and when it shows up on organic search flag both Google listings and duplicate and see how long it takes to affect the listings. This is one of the ways the locksmith spammer in San Antonio is affecting local business.
    Also flagging Googles reviews as bad info is another i was hit with. There pictures being flagged with inappropriate content maby.

    The spammers here have been delt a blow from a few map makers and now are listing in pay per click areas or maby that’s what google wants anyway ?

  19. Why not the phone call to the business number like maps does for address correction when a report is flagged on the listing. Why could not that fix most of the bad flagging?

  20. LOL! Mike your the best! You closed Google’s office.

    2 – wow! That’s insane. I’m worried the wrong people will be reading this. Google has to fix this.

    Q: Even though I have looked at hundreds of GP accounts now, I have not seen any clients hit by this (knock on wood), but can anyone tell me if Google emails the registered or claimed owner of the listing when it’s been marked as ‘closed’? I understand if the listing is not claimed they probably can’t do this, but if it’s claimed they should be able to do that, right?

    Do they do that…? If not, this is really really bad.

  21. @Matthew
    Google sends an email to claimed businesses IF the listing is marked permanently closed but has not been doing so on the “reported as closed”.

    If the listing is unclaimed they could
    1)Check with the cc card companies to see if there were recent charges
    2)Check with the phone companies to check if the phone is still active
    3)Call the number with an auto dialer and ask for affirmation if the location is still active ….

    Before any action

  22. Hi.Mike

    Thank for your recommend.

    I have never seen the report botton of “closed” direcly in Japan.

    But, in according to this article(?http://digimaga.net/2011/09/google-map-closed-error),?”Report a problem” was available in Japan(in former article, the listing of Tokyo Tower is picked up for example).

    And now, I can’t confirm?”Report a problem”. Probably, it has already removed from listing.

    By the way, I have just little change of rank of google maps in Japan.

    If you hope, I will report you Japanese google maps trend at all such times.

    Here is my Google?URL?http://goo.gl/Wca1p

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