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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

Google Maps Update: See your Listing in Maps (Or not) & What to do about it.

Lisa Barone in reporting that Google Maps now provides a direct link To “Find Yourself” noted that it is not exactly clear what is going on with the missing listings. In the past many reported cases in the forums of missing listings were in fact due to falling rank or a business not knowing how to locate their listing.

I think have identified a cause of some verifiably missing listings that seems to occur rarely. It appears that if Google is completely unable to geocode the address of the business, the listing has no place to appear on the Map and will not be shown. In some situations when this happens, Google will show the business listing as a circle but in other instances like the one below, the listing will disappear completely even when the link in the LBC is followed.

Here is the screen shot from the LBC and the view upon clicking the link to find the listing in Maps:

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When you search for the address of the business in Maps (11110-C. S 82nd Pl E Bixby OK 74008) you are presented with this screen:


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This is most likely due to the recent change away from using TeleAtlas mapping data. It is possible that it was also occurring using the old geodata but relatively unsophisticated users were unable to document it properly in the forums.

The recent change in base geodata has led to two situations that can lead to a listing dropping off the map. One is the rare, situation mentioned above where a listing completely disappears.

Another, which appears to be more common, is where Google is now geocoding the location incorrectly, placing it on the wrong side of town, even if it was correctly geocoded prior to the change.

See this example of a business located in the same office building as mine (this also happened to my listing). There are now two listings, one being approximately one mile north of the actual listing, despite both having the same address.

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This can result in bad driving directions for your customers. It can also result in a duplicate of your record showing up in Maps (“under clustering”) thus diluting your record’s strength and rank. For this client it meant that on one of their key searches, their local listing did not show.

This makes it imperative that even businesses that have previously claimed their listings in Maps, go back into the LBC & Maps and double check their record.

Here are some things to look for/at:

1)Using the Map in the LBC, be that your record is located where it is supposed to be. Relocate within the LBC map as necessary.
2)Use the link to “See the listing in Google Maps” and make sure that the listing is properly geo coded AND showing up in Maps with a Pin.
3)If there is an error in the geocoding, report this to Google via the Report an Error feature. Google is stating that they will repair these problems in less than 30 days.
4)And finally do a search on your “business name + locale” in Maps to be sure that any geocoding errors have not created duplicate listings. If they have, claim and merge the second listing.

In the new era of algo generated listings, there are number of factors that can lead to a listing loosing its standing. The time of giving your listing to the YP saleman are gone and any business show now check on their listings in both the LBC, Maps and elsewhere on the internet on a regular basis. I would recommend once per month for most businesses and as often as weekly or daily if your Maps listing constitutes your lifeline.