Understanding Google My Business & Local Search
Google Business Group Survey – Not from Google
Update 12/11/08: Cathy has pointed out, and I believe correctly, that this survey is NOT from Google.
If you were the “Lord Ruler of Google” what would you do to improve the local search results? In the Google Maps for Business Owners, Someone Google (NOT…this is my error …) has invited users for feedback on their Local business listing efforts. The survey, which is very short, is available here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=00w8nd9ZZr2HXyWmnsR_2fkA_3d_3d.
The survey had some interesting questions pertaining to the importance of business listing accuracy and spam. There were several questions that stood out (notice in the last one the question about paying for local):
4. What are you currently doing to help improve the Google Local search queries?
5. Is what you are currently doing to improve search results working?
6. If you were the “Lord Ruler of Google” what would you do to improve the local search results?
7. If there were a service available that implemented your solution would you be willing to pay for such service?
I am not sure that businesses that don’t know what they don’t know will have much success with the poorly worded question 4.
It is of interest to me that Google is asking about willingness to pay. In the end analysis, accurate, reliable Local results benefits the small businesses of the world. A sustainable, equitable ecosystem that is spam free will only be achievable with a reliable source of income. If advertising income is perceived to be a different pool of money and not available to support Local, than charging for accurate, monitored, supported results is the only answer.
If the survey is no longer available, you may view the pages here: Page 1 – Page 2 – Page 3
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I don’t know about you, Mike, but I find it somehow humorous that the options in question 4 include ‘I have no idea what to do’ and ‘I have given up trying to do anything.’ It all sounds kind of hopeless!
I’m not sure what to make of the paid idea. Who would be providing this ‘solution’ spoken of? I’m assuming the survey means Google, but it is worded a bit vaguely.
This survey could have benefited from an editor.
Yes this survey could have used an editor.
On 4, it seems to be acknowledging that Local SEM is effective. Perhaps with that acknowledgement they will be more forthcoming about how it all works so that local search marketers are not wasting effort.
And the last question about paying only refers to the mythical feature that anyone would create as Lord Of Google….so it is all very confusing…
I don’t need a Lord of Google level idea to be willing to pay…I would pay for just good old support, a human voice, no spam and accurate records….I guess if you carry the analogy a little further what I am saying is that I don’t need a lordly creation in 7 days to be willing to pay, I just need a little fresh air, clean water and some green grass under my feet to be willing to pay.
I’m not really sure this survey is from Google. With no identifiers, and the way it was written – especially the ‘Lord Ruler of Google’ quip – it looks almost like a lead generator for a local SEO firm.
[…] Asking Businesses about Local Services By Greg Sterling Mike Blumenthal points out that Google is surveying SMBs about their attitudes toward Google’s local services: […]
Thanks for pointing this out. I did not check it very carefully. My apologies. Thanks again.
Cathy and Mike,
This survey did not originate with Google. I’ve replied to that post so other users will know.
Just as an FYI, anything coming from Google will be accompanied by that blue “G” badge, and would most likely posted by one of the Maps Guides.
I choose option 4. After e-mailing, corresponding and coming clean, they just ignore me anyways, so what’s the point?
It may very well be a company who depends heavily on Google in their business model. In my conversations recently with one of Google’s data suppliers, I got word that certain changes were being made with respect to agreements between Google and data suppliers.
I immediately surmised a change in the way G gets its data or just how many data sources they use would affect those supplying the data and other service companies who’s interest is in maintaining the current status quo of Google features.
I hope to stop by more often to visit Mike’s blog.
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