Last Week in Google Local

Mb-hairtl;dr: Lots of small updates last week. And soon, very soon I won’t be pulling my hair out. :)

The transition to the new dashboard status: Judging by the fact that there were lots of complaints over the past two weeks in the forums about THE EMAIL and that my crufty, 2007 dashboard was finally converted I am assuming that Google has been making significant progress in the conversion to the new Places Dashboard.  And along comes some new issues and features and changing rules.

Bulk Uploads and Security: When the hotels were hijacked earlier this year, I noted that the bulk upload was a not very secure feed as opposed to true claiming of the new dashboard that locked down the listing. As Google moves to the new dashboard though, those feeds are becoming more secure as people can not add a listing uploaded in bulk to their new dashboard. “New dashboard users are blocked from verifying pages that are already verified by another user (either old dashboard, new dashboard, or G+). Being verified in a bulk account counts as being verified in the old dashboard. So, new dashboard users can’t claim pages that have already been verified in a bulk account”. OK that doesn’t mean that they are yet secure because a bulk listing can still be claimed in another approved bulk upload or an old Places Dashboard but it is step in the right direction. One day the transition will be over and we won’t be able to kick that dog any more. And then the real fun will begin as Franchise and Franchisors will actually have to talk to one another and possibly cooperate on their listings.

Orphan Plus Pages: In early February, Googler Jade noted If you’re creating a listing in the new Places for Business dashboard, now, you won’t have to wait to complete PIN verification before you can see the +page, for most businesses. Just follow the link from your dashboard to see the new page. You will be able to use Google+ social features on this unverified page, but please note — you still need to complete PIN verification before the page will start showing up in Google Maps and across other Google properties. Makes sense that a new claimant wouldn’t want to click on the G+ Link on the right and be confronted with another command to create an additional G+ Page.  Jade just updated that post and noted:

Accounts that have been migrated from the old Places dashboard to the new Places dashboard will have these changes retroactively applied. This means that when the account is migrated, unverified entries in the old dashboard will become unverified Google+ pages. If you don’t want to use this page, please remove it from your account, which should delete the page.

It also means that listings that were suspended, or were otherwise removed from the index but stayed in the old dashboard will also sort of show up once again. These pages are somewhat difficult to find, never showing in Maps but they will show up in G+. If you clients surface them, just go into the new dashboard and delete them

Google Maps for Android now showing owner responses: The mobile apps and mobile browsers have long had fewer features than the desktop vis a vis reviews. The new Google Maps for Android v 7.7 has recently been upgraded to show owner responses. OK that is a step in the right direction but the feature is still missing on Google Maps for iPhone and MORE IMPORTANTLY there is still no way to leave a review on mobile with the iPhone or Android from within the browser. This feature has been missing for nearly 2 years. At the time Google had indicated that they were aware of the bug and were working on a fix. Hows that for release early reiterate often? Baby steps are good but shouldn’t a user be able to leave a mobile review easily in 2014?

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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8 thoughts on “Last Week in Google Local”

  1. I’m seeing tons of small updates up in Canada. Have our clients are merged into the new dashboard, while half aren’t.

    What’s really crazy, is some clients are listed in our company dashboard, which means they’re a duplicate – and we have to transfer ownership.

    What’s really, really crazy is most of the dashboards aren’t displaying 100% profiles (even though they are), but on the front end in the SERP’s it’s still showing correct information….

    Fun times indeed …. just run Google AdWords is my motto!

  2. Some of our clients are getting duplicate pages messages, but we can’t find the duplicates. Could they be in another account somewhere that we don’t know about?

  3. Hi Cathie,

    If your clients are merged into the new dashboard, it will show ALL history of that account, including ‘duplicate pages’ which are not active.

    You can usually tell there’s an issue with an active listing if there’s a little yield sign, with an exclamation point (may require you to do some manual updates)

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