Google Maps has started providing webinars as a means to educate more SMBs about the benefits and features of Google Places. Not much new here but note Google’s clear cut answer about call tracking numbers. Here is a summary of the May 10th webinar:
From: Brianna Brekke <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: May 17, 2010 4:50:51 PM EDT
To: Maps Guide Brianna <email@example.com>
Subject: Google Places Webinar follow-up
Thanks for attending the Google Places webinar on May 10. As promised, here are some resources below.
Google Places webinar recording
Plage Page Tour
Short Survey – please take!
Q&A Session for Google Places Webinar
Starting time: 10:00a
Q: Will Google ever offer an API? It would be helpful for agencies managing several thousand locations to pull reporting information, post to place page for several locations and manage locations across different brands.
A: We’re always working on new features and updates to Google Places, but are unable to comment on exact timelines or plans.
In the meantime, we encourage you to post this idea on our Google Moderator page for Places.
Q: My problem with Google Places is the verification process. We have multiple locations but listings are place in Google Places by the Corporate office. The phone verification will not work because we have so many customer services reps nationwide.
A: If you have more than 10 locations, please submit these locations via a bulk upload and then request verification for the bulk upload.
If you don’t have at least 10 locations but still experience difficulties with the verification steps, you can request assistance by submitting this contact form.
Q: The mail verification is also a problem bec our branch offices will receive the postcard but it’s corporate that placed or updated the listing.
A: Please make sure that you communicate this process to all branch offices.
Q: The mail verification also takes forever. is there a better way?
A: If phone verification is not available or not feasible for your business type, mail is the only option.
Q: If the people who initially placed the listing is no longer with our company, how can I disable theirlogin and yet keep the listing?
A: There isn’t any transfer functionality, so you should create a new listing in a new account. You can read more in this FAQ.
Q: How does choosing “service area” affect search results? Seems like we are coming up much lower on the results than we were before.
A: The ranking of listings with Service areas enabled can vary. Please read this FAQ for more information about ranking.
Q: Why isn’t there a choice for open 24 hours?
A: This is a great idea We’ll bring this feedback to our Product team.
Q: How can I claim a listing if the business that was at the address I am now is no longer there.
A: Try creating a new listing at google.com/places. Then, request removal of the old business by clicking ‘More’ > ‘Report a Problem’. More information about the removal steps are available in this FAQ.
Q: Can you set up a verification that will go to the corporate office instead of the address or phone listed there?
A: No, you must verify information from the actual business for your protection.
Q: What happens if you hit delete? Can you restore the business easily?
A: If you hit ‘Delete’, you will be prompted to select between two options:
‘Remove listing from Maps’ and ‘Remove listing from Account’. Please visit this FAQ for more information about what each of these actions means.
Q: if I change core business info how long to reverify and how long is my listing not shown??
A: Your listing will continue to show in its older format until you verify. The time to re-verify will depend on the verification method you choose. Phone verification is almost instant, while mail verification can take 1-3 weeks to receive your PIN in standard mail
Q: is there an export for the dashboard??
A: Not yet, but great idea! Please post this idea on our Google Moderator page for Places.
Q: We already have existing listings. Can I use bulk upload to update? But some branches do not offer the same products. How can bulk upload work in this case??
A: Yes, each time you want to update information for stores in the original bulk upload, just submit a new Complete bulk upload. You can also add new stores only by submitting an Addition bulk upload. Each time you update, be sure to keep your original store codes for each business location. More information about the bulk upload types can be found in our User Guide.
Q: If I do Google Places listings for clients can I do bulk uploads???
A: If you aren’t the business owner, you should be the sole authorized representative for the business. If the account is not clearly from the chain (@businessname.com), we will need to verify with the chain that the user is authorized.
There should not be any other providers for the business information. We also don’t accept SEO accounts that have many different clients. Only one account per business chain is allowed. If you meet this requirement, you can submit bulk uploads.
Q: how can I change the email addressI used for my google places account?
A: Changing your email address of your account entails changing your Google account entire. Please see this FAQ for more information.
Q: What if someone claimed my listings? What do I do?
A: Create and verify a new listing at google.com/places.
Q: What is Gogle doing about hijacked listings…how do we report and monitor the listing for hijackings?
A: As you are probably familiar, we require verification of a PIN before a listing will go live. This is for your protection, to prevent hijacking. More information about hijacked listings can be found here.
Q: How do you move the shopping bag icon on Maps if it is located incorrectly? Changing the point in the Places dashboard just moves the red location indicator.
A: If you see a place label that is in the wrong location or that contains incorrect information, you can report a problem. It may take over one month for any reported issues to be fixed, so thanks in advance for your patience.
Q: We have two locations, but only one is listed – do we have to create a separate listing for our other location?
A: Yes – please do create one listing per business!
Q: I see a lot of my competitors listings with fake google places reveiws. What can I do about that?
A: Fake reviews are against our Comment Posting Policy. Please report these reviews as spam.
Q: I understand that it might not be possible to fix every little problem but is there a way to escalate a problem if it is resulting in a dangerous situation?
A: Please see our Contact Policy Page for a number of options. If you don’t see any options there, post in our Help Forum.
Q: what causes a listing to suddenly drop in the Places rankings, or 7 Pack rankings?
A: Just as web search refreshes frequently, so do the local results. There could be a number of factors here including changes to any of the listings in the set of search results in addition to changes to our algorithm. It’s unlikely that search results will remain consistent over time.
Q: I cannot see the new $25 enhanced listing tags in my verified bulk upload dashboard reports for the supported cities. Are these new tags available for bulk uploads?
A: Tags are not yet available for bulk upload listings.
Q: What types of things can prevent your local listing from ranking well and what types of things can help it rank better?
A: Providing an accurate and complete listing is the best way to connect to users.
Q: Are the flat rate local ads coming back?
A: Please find more information about our most recent local ad product, Tags, on this page.
Q: Can we use call tracking phone numbers in our listings? if not, why?
A: No, please use the most local phone number available. As I mentioned in the presentation, Google aims to provide the most useful and accurate information for users, so a local phone number is preferred.
Q: Do we list all the practitioners on our wellness centre Palces account or have each business set up their own Places account? the phone number and addreess is the same for everyone. 18 massage therapists – acupuncturists etc. — thanks so much 🙂
A: If each practitioner is meant to be individually contactable or individually reviewed by users, then you should you should create one listing for the actual Wellness Center and listings for each practitioner. Each practitioner can create their own individual listings so that he/she can add more personal details about his/her specialities.
Q: When will driving direction stats be available in the UK?
A: Our team is working on making driving directions stats available in more international countries.
Q: When will mobile coupons be available in the UK?
A: Our team is working on making mobile coupons available to more international countries.