This clarification from Google arrived late yesterday afternoon in regards to my articles on the Reported to Be Closed feature and perhaps did not receive the visibility that it deserved. When I showed it to Joey, my PR guy, he felt that a clarification to the clarification was necessary. Google’s and Joey’s clarification follow.
Clarification re: closed listings
I saw your recent posts about business listings that are reported/marked as closed and wanted to reach out with some clarification.
Every year, thousands of businesses open, close, move, change their hours, get a new website, or make other types of changes. We can’t be on the ground in every city and town, so we enable our great community of users to let us know when something needs to be updated. The vast majority of edits people have made to business listings have improved the quality and accuracy of Google Maps for the benefit of all Maps users. However, we’re aware that abuse – such as “place closed” spam reports – can become an issue, and we’re working on improvements to the system to prevent and flag any malicious or incorrect edits.
To be clear, the system currently displays the UI message “Reported to be closed. Not true?” when there is a pending edit that marks a place as closed. Only when that pending edit is reviewed and approved goes the UI message change to “This place is permanently closed. Not true?” We know that accurate listings on Google Maps are a vital tool for many business owners; we take these reports very seriously and do our best to ensure their accuracy before updating a listing’s status.
Hope that helps, and thanks for your understanding,
Global Communications and Public Affairs
If you received this communication by mistake, please don’t forward it to anyone else (it may contain confidential or privileged information), please erase all copies of it, including all attachments, and please let the sender know it went to the wrong person. Thanks.
Clarification re: Clarification re: closed listings
Mike passed me your clarification about business listings that are reported/marked/erroneously tagged as closed and he wanted me to circle back with you re your clarification with some clarification from the SMB point of view. The executive summary: A little communication on your part would go a very long way.
It is true that every year, thousands of businesses open, close, move, change their hours, get a new website, or make other types of changes. It need not be true that every year thousands of businesses are erroneously marked as closed on Google Places. A business on the ground can’t constantly be in the ether monitoring these occurrences as we are too busy taking care of our great community of shoppers. These shoppers stop into our stores on a regular basis and they also seem too busy to alert us to your carelessness.
We have empowered Google to both assist in marketing on our behalf and to use reasonable judgement when something needs to be updated on our listing. We are now distraught that we need to put in place ONE MORE process to be on the watch for any malicious or incorrect edits that you have allowed to occur on our Places listing.
To be clear, the very large yellow flag that you have placed on our listing might just indicate the rumor of closing and not the actual closing itself. It does however send inappropriate signals to potential customers that are considering shopping at our location. It creates unnecessary effort for monitoring on our end and leads to endless stress contemplating which competitor is scheming our undoing. We depend on the accuracy of the listings on your service and we take these events very seriously.
Hope that helps you understand the unnecessary aggravation that you have caused. Thanks for your understanding.
Joey The PR Guy
Local Jack of all Trades and brother in law
If you are reading this communication by mistake and are unable to change your processes, please forward it to someone in your organization that can.Clarification re: Clarification re: closed listings on Google Places by Mike Blumenthal