Last Week in Google Local

Several interesting and developments last week from Google in the Local space.

Google declares the end of Panoramio and the rise of Google Views: With the release of Google Views, the new Map integrated photo application, Google has declared that they will wind down Panoramio as they wind up Views.

panoramio1Of course there is an uproar in the Panoramio community and the founders have created a petition to stop the closing. Not only will the many comments from Panoramio be lost but the strong community there will be as well. Google has never been very good at keeping these niche communities alive when they integrate the functionality directly into their mainstream products. I wish the founders the best of luck in their petition drive but if history tells us anything its that the axe is a common tool in Google’s tool box. They have nothing on the Game of Thrones.

Google Tests Call Reporting in Local: A feature that has long been requested and one for which Google has long had the data, it was noted last week by Owen Kane that Google was showing Call data in the Google My Business dashboard last week.

Apparently the feature is not yet finalized as Google noted: Nice catch! We’re constantly testing out new features for Google My Business. This one hasn’t officially launched yet, but we’ll share new feature updates when they become more permanently available in the dashboard. 

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 9.59.04 AMThis is a feature that was longed for as far back as 2007 and one that Google even tested in the 2009 timeframe. I suppose better late than never.

“Edit Details” Feature Gone? No More Mini-MapMaker?: Colan Nielson of Imprezzion Marketing has noted on Linda’s forum that the “Edit Details” link now directs users over to the much more limited Google Maps report a problem feature rather than to the MapMaker interface that has been in use since February, 2013.

The change means that the edits are going directly to Google for editing and are no longer going to be handled within the MapMaker community. This is one in a long line of  recent “demotions” to the volunteer editors at MapMaker. And a return of the the black hole where there is no public accountability of the edits. Can Google really respond to each report? Seems unlikely.  “Pissing in the ocean” is the  maxim that comes to mind.

Facebook now showing in the Google “Reviews From Around the Web”: Google is obviously scraping and now showing on the G+Page and the Knowledge Panel, links to reviews from Facebook Local Pages. If you had any doubt about whether you should use Facebook in your review strategy, you should doubt no longer. More tomorrow. Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 8.37.24 AM


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7 thoughts on “Last Week in Google Local”

  1. Mike –

    Funny you mention the ‘Edit Details’ change. I had an occasion to use it this week and the results were very disappointing.

    An affiliate marketer out of Toronto has stolen the identities of numerous local flower shops (both working shops and now-closed businesses.) One small local Mom & Pop florist was featured in a news segment about their troubles with this ‘Cyber Thief’: .

    Google recognizes the order pirate’s data and bogus website and displays his phone number instead of their legitimate number of 951-485-7770. Yelp, Super Pagers, YP, Yahoo, Bing and every other legit citation lists that shop’s correct number.

    So I reported the correct number through the new ‘Edit Details’ interface. Unfortunately, there’s no place to explain why the data change should be made.

    Google’s relatively swift response (approx. 24 hours after the report was filed): “Thank you for your suggestion. Upon reviewing your suggested change, we have decided not to apply your suggested change to Angel Flowers & Gifts at this time, as we found the existing details to be more appropriate. ”

    Has Pigeon made citations relatively worthless or was this Google staffer just lazy? At any rate, this small shop is suffering due to Google trusting a thief more than the data provided by a wide range of legit sources.

  2. @Cathy
    That’s too bad! I saw your G+ post and was going to follow up with you on this.

    Google has a predisposition to “trust” listings that have been verified regardless of whether they are legit or not. Was it verified? If so it points out a huge problem with the setup

  3. My big interest is about Facebook reviews as all my clients have much more stars in FB than in G+ probably due to fact that everyone is nice on FB we just share good things. The other info abot Panoramio is also very interesting : will prebious photos already mapped under PANORAMIO keep showing on Google Views or we start from scratch ?

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