Best Practice For Your Google Listing- Record the URLs from +, Maps and MapMaker

MapMaker, despite its bugs and quirks, has taken on an ever increasing role in the health of your business listing in Google. Being able to find and edit the listing in MapMaker has become critical.

Last week in Dan Austin’s post: A Step By Step To Recover Your “We Currently Do Not Support This” Location in MapMaker he noted that it was a best practice to record your listing’s url in Google+, Google Maps and Google MapMaker. Having these handy in times of trouble will facilitate diagnosis and repair if your listing goes south. 

I wanted to highlight his suggestion in its own post so that the recommendation achieved the visibility it deserved. Here are the steps to obtaining this critical information for your listing:

1- From the Places Dashboard click on “view” from the analytics page or “See your listing in Google Maps” from the locations page and it will take you to the Google+ URL & number that will look like:

https://plus.google.com/102992615806778826953/about?gl=US&hl=en-US

Which can be shortened to:
Google+ Local URL: https://plus.google.com/102992615806778826953/

2- From Google Plus Local page click on the Map Pin for the listing and it will take you to Google Maps and give the Maps URL and its CID:

https://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&cid=9198701853947205333&q=South+Towns+Surgical+Associates+-+Alvarez+Julio+A+MD&iwloc=A&gl=US&hl=en-US

Which can be shortened to:
Google Maps URL: https://maps.google.com/maps?cid=9198701853947205333

3- You can then take the CID from that URL and insert it into the following Mapmaker url: “http://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=90&cid=”
to create the MapMaker URL for the listing:

Google MapMaker URL: http://www.google.com/mapmaker?gw=90&cid=9198701853947205333

With this information you can communicate clearly to Google Places for Business support and as Dan noted “If you have that info, then almost any POI [in MapMaker] is recoverable and editable, no matter what it’s status”.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Best Practice For Your Google Listing- Record the URLs from +, Maps and MapMaker by

20 thoughts on “Best Practice For Your Google Listing- Record the URLs from +, Maps and MapMaker”

  1. I wonder if anyone has an advice on what to do when Google removes a road from the map! Yes, we have a campground located on a road that has shown up for years on the google maps, but this year has dissappeared. This has also affected my google places listing, and for the most part, it won’t show up now, costing me business.

    Is there a place I can contact google and pray they do something?

    Thanks

  2. @Darren

    If you are knowledgable in MapMaker you can add it there. If you are not you can go into maps.google.com, find the area where the road is supposed to be and put down your mouse and right click… in the drop down you will see an option for “Report a Problem”. Follow that reporting mechanism and Google will hopefully add it back.

  3. I’ve got several listings that dropped, I deal with a lot of towing companies and some of those guy’s are sneaky and Grab a POBox in multiple cities and use it as a “street address” & For the towing companies that have an actual physical location and get dropped all i get is

    “Thanks for getting in touch with us about your Google+ Local issue. It
    appears that your listing is of a business type that commonly has issues
    with our quality guidelines. This can cause display issues with these
    listings.”

    Patients is key in the map world but not all business owners are understanding

  4. Hey thanks for the info, I have done both actions.

    Adding the road was actually very easy to do using maps, in fact, as soon as I went there, one of the large icons was “Add Road”. I drew a bunch of lines and then entered the information about the road.

    I hope it comes back eventually.

    Thank you
    Darren

  5. Mike: Thanks for reiterating the info about mapmaker and how to input data through MM to get to google to hopefully correct mistakes.

    Still I have to wonder about this. If I operate a business and have claimed my listing, what I am now presented with are 2 ways to try and correct information or update information–Let me repeat–2 ways to get information corrected in two different overlapping systems.

    This may well be Google’s current system. It is not optimal for a business operator though. I have to go update or correct info in one place–the places record….and then to be sure or by necessity–I have to go to the other place…MM and update there.

    Is there any other system like that anywhere in the world? Doesn’t make sense to me.

    Now the fact that this has been articulated by Dan, and you rearticulated it within its own article is greatly appreciated. But as a business operator dealing with the monopoly entity on user eyes….its somewhat troubling that this system has all the characteristics that scream of inefficiency and confusion.

    But as David Mihm said very appropriately on one of his articles: Its Google’s world.

  6. Thanks again Mike, just got an email from Google this morning and they have added the road back to maps. That was an incredibly fast turnover.

  7. @petra

    I am on vacation and not able to access a desktop to see what is going on exactly but one explanation that comes to mind is that the two listings have merged.

  8. Dave, completely agree. The multiple UIs are confusing, primarily because different groups managed different products, and never came to a consensus on the ‘best’ UI, and also because each UI accesses different types of information. Ideally, there would be one UI that would be familiar across the board, and it would treat the data consistently, and have as much data as is needed (with MM being the ultimate ‘repository’ of all Local knowledge, but in reality it’s not just two, but three UI: the Dashboard, Community Edits/Place page (or Google+Local), and Map Maker. My protocol, if I was managing multiple Place pages, is to first try to correct any problems in this order:

    1) Dashboard
    2) Place page/Community Edits
    3) Map Maker

    I wouldn’t rigidly adhere to that (sometimes the data you want to fix is only available in one UI but not the other, like Obscure names or extra telephone numbers), but in general, I would follow that in order to ensure that the changes cascade to the Place page and appear consistently across all three UIs. In many instances, you won’t have to ‘fix’ the MM page at all, since the changes instituted on the Place page or Dashboard will appear in MM automatically, but other times you will have to go in there and fix it yourself. It just depends. And sometimes, no matter what you do, you can’t fix the data using any of the three UIs, and presumably an engineer has access to another ‘super user’ UI that can fix all the associated problems (or he has to manually hack it) that the others can’t. Don’t really know on the last point.

  9. Good post Mike, I have had issues in the past with business locations being in the completely wrong place and have been unable to get them amended properly from the Google Places team (it seems there is probably only one guy who works there!). Fixed now, but this advice will surely be useful in the future.

  10. Thanks, Dan: I hate to be a perpetual whiner. ;) These posts on MM have been very helpful.

    As an SMB operator what this has told me is that there are 3 ways to adjust information:
    A) the dashboard
    B) edits in Places
    C) Edits in MM

    If I’ve claimed my listing that is simply “clunky”.

    It appears changes can occur from mysterious sources (the bots), traveling up the ecosystem of data, from deliberate sources (spammers)….and maybe others.

    If, as an SMB I run into one of the worst possible consequences (loss of a record) from a dup, a mistake, however…getting this corrected is subject to working possibly all three above referenced sources plus getting direct places help.

    Two observations:

    A). Its very complex.
    B). Why is that Mike’s blog is a better source of all this information than Google itself?????

    Seriously…google giveth…google taketh….and google doesn’t communicate.

    Very frustrating.

  11. Well, the last question is easy to answer: Google likes to keep everyone in the dark. Their culture, in many respects, is akin to the NSA: secrecy about really mundane things, their habit of massaging the truth when it comes to inconvenient revelations (like the wifi sniffing scandal), NDAs for everyone, and literally using darkness to hide their secrets (one story really stood out: Google has a locked and caged section of a data center that they share with their competitors like Facebook, and they required that the data center keep their section locked away and that the lights were turned off so no one could see in to their cage. When they’re working the equipment, they use headlamps instead of turning on the lights!). The only way to figure this out is to figure it out, because trying to get any answers out of Google–wow! I get a lot of the omerta from them.

    It’s too complex. It should be really simple. Ideally, you shouldn’t even have to visit the Place page or MM–the Dashboard should contain all the data, like Obscure names, bot added categories, etc. that MM has.

  12. Hi Mike, Timely post. Just got several calls from 650-253-2000 which is, from what I Googled, is a Google call center (doesn’t accept inbound calls and never identifies themselves as a Google entity – possibly outsourced and from the reps who I spoke with, clearly run offshore). The first 2 calls this morning came at 9 am when I was on the line with a client which is why I Google “650-253-2000” to see if it might be another perspective client. The thread mentioned the calls originating from this number were for verification of Google Maps/ Google Places listings and that they were giving some businesses a hard time. Something (a recent change in address from Road to Rd to align with legal address/citations or perhaps the migration from Google Places to Google+ local business page) triggered my Google Places/Google+ Local Business pages being audited unless they are “verifying” for all which cost a lot, even when obviously staffed overseas. They put my listings in pending status to review the change. When the same number called back just before 2 this afternoon, I was prepared to rattle off other nearby businesses as I knew the questions that were coming as had read the thread and knowing my office is near a residential neighborhood, even though it is my legal business address from a federal tax id, New York State Dept of State (for incorporation), D&B etc. I got two calls back to back from that number, one with a man and one from a woman. Both calls were a series of questions (interrogation-like) and ended with a polite and slightly dismissive thank you for your time. My gut tells me that my Places Listing (28 months old and 6 reviews) are going to get nuked along with my Google+ local page (6 months old – shared tons of content – some circled). Thanks for the advice as I captured the 3 URLs that you recommended and can hopefully recover them should the need arise.

  13. Thnks for the information Mike.

    Of late we have seen a large change in the internal mechanism of Google maps. We have been speaking to a google places rep for almost a month about a similar issue in a business listing continuing to be removed.

    The first three months of the year also marked a slough of what I have been told are called “merged listings” where Google places algorithm deem two listings are too similar and therefore must be the same business.

  14. Mike, have done this, but as a service business serving customers at their home, there doesn’t appear to be any mapmaker url in the uk. Am assuming that is because of ticking the “don’t show this address on maps”

  15. @Adrian
    Because of differing policies and practices, MapMaker WAS showing the service area businesses addresses even though it was hidden in Google Places…. Recently Google changed their practice and NOW no longer displays a listing in MapMaker that has the address hidden in the Dashboard. It will however show in Maps, + and search.

    This is a recent change.

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