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Consequences of The Google Places Pending Review Status

7

There is nothing predictable with Google Places. That statement has been proven on numerous occasions, when completely out of the blue something happens and millions of listings go pending review. The case from the last week is neither the first, nor (I suppose) would be the last, so everyone used to dealing with Google’s whims was not that surprised. However, something worse happened as a consequence of people trying to overcome the issue as fast as possible.

In my previous post on the topic I wrote about a recommendation: “Without changing content… hit edit >> then submit”, thus reverting the listing back to “Active” status. It seems that everyone who has followed this advice is now in an “enemy” of Google and got penalized with extreme instant decrease in ranking. It seems like Big G doesn’t like being over-tricked.

Here are two examples of listings ranking very well before the pending review era, and after trying the forementioned trick they got lost, (forever?):

AttaBoy Plumbing Co. – the thread on the Google Places Forum

Santa Barbara Adventure Company – the thread on the Google Places Forum

Any of these hasn’t changed anything on their Place page, neither there are some reasons for them to be penalized. The only common in both is that they tried to outsmart Google, instead of waiting patiently for the problem to be fixed (which could have taken weeks).

Here is the answer of Google Employee PlacesPro.Jay to this problem:

If you added or updated your listing and you’re unable to find it when doing a search, there’s nothing to worry about. In most cases, you should be able to find your listing by performing a search for [your business name in your city, zip code]. If you just added your listing, it can take 24-48 hours for your listing to show up on Google.

Keep in mind that when you make changes to your listing, it may shift that balance a bit. Your listing’s placement in search results will vary, but in the long run, having a correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date listing is the most effective way to ensure the best possible ranking.

As always, the answer of G staff does not actually answer anything, neither suggests any resolution of the problem. This is an obvious consequential bug and they don’t seem to be worried about it. The bottom line is that the small businesses that care and are very dependent on Google Places suffer.

  1. Yam Regev
    Yam Regev07-21-2011

    Over the last 4 years, i learned something really important about Google Maps: Don’t mess with it. Meaning, like in nature, Google needs time to do what it does & any interference can cause you to get a hit which needs to be absorbed during time. The listings will come back, no doubt about that & they’ll come back & gain positions ONLY if the owners will not touch’em (AT ALL).

    Let nature do what it does in his own way.

    Just for the record, in this Pending glitch that we all experienced, i paniced & edited 1 of my many listings. Unfortunately i was asked to verify the changes by letter, reluctantly, i clicked OK & my listing dropped 2 pages (!!). Now it back to where it used to be 7 after I’ll verify it, I’ll get into the 1st page, I’m sure (as Google LOVE changes in listing’s content, pics, etc..).

  2. Nyagoslav Zhekov
    Nyagoslav07-21-2011

    Hey Yam. All you say is very true. And can you imagine if you panicked what it is for a normal business owner, who gets big part of their business —> house income from the leads coming from Google. I think even no one can convince such a person to lay back and drink mojito at the beach while its listing is pending review.

    I would be interested to hear if the listing mentioned by you returns its previous ranking.

  3. Alex
    Alex07-21-2011

    Does this mean I should not edit My Places in Google Maps? I’m a little confused on the difference between “personal” favorite places and the integration of a KML file to help your local SEO on Google Maps results.

  4. Nyagoslav Zhekov
    Nyagoslav07-21-2011

    Alex, they fixed the issue with the pending review a few days ago. Now you can (hopefully) edit the listing without problems (although I hear there is another problem now too). However, I couldn’t understand your second question.

  5. Abby
    Abby07-25-2011

    What about listings under ‘Active’ status but with no statistics or dashboard? That is even more problematic than the pending one since it doesn’t matter how hard you try to edit your listing- it doesn’t change the listings’ status.
    I guess it’s a matter of time until those kind of listings are kicked off online.
    So I do agree with Yam that in most of the times you should do nothing however in some cases you better be prepared & start thinking about an alternative plan.

    • Nyagoslav Zhekov
      Nyagoslav07-27-2011

      Hi Abby,
      I recently heard about these no dashboard listings. However, I haven’t really seen them myself, and have very limited amount of information about how they actually appeared. It is most probably a long-term bug, like the one with the “We currently do not support the location” status. You are right that in the most of the cases not doing anything works, but in some it doesn’t (as with the mentioned status).

  1. Consequences of The Google Places Pending Review Status | OptiLocal | Local SEO and Local SEM | Scoop.it07-21-11

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