Google Giving Tips for Places


It seems like Google has really heard of the problems and numerous complaints of all the users of Google Places and started taking some action to provide them some truly valuable tips. Here is what I saw today when I tried to join the Google Places “Create New Listing” Page:

These tips address some of the most common mistakes made by the newbie Google Places users, which are mostly small business owners, who have no idea what problems are awaiting them. Google says:

Before you create a business listing, think about which Google Account you are using. In the future, you may want to share this account with other people at your business.

This is a very often encountered problem, because usually after the small business owners realize that they need professional help for their Google Places, they mostly need to give away their Google Account’s password, which hides potential threads, the least of which is that someone could intrude their private business information and the worst being that someone could steal their Google Account, including not only the Google Places page, but also Gmail, AdWords, Docs, Blogger, GTalk, etc. so you can imagine what the harm could be. Such cases started popping up more and more with more frauds showing up and pretending to be helpful specialists, but instead cheating the money or worse – blackmailing the business owners. It is nice of Google that they address the issue, and it is at least some kind of start. But one could speculate if the real reason is not that Bing included in their Bing Business Portal a multilevel system for managing the account. Let’s talk about that later.

The second thing that Google shares as a tip is:

Enter your business’s main phone number to see if Google Maps already has some information about your business. You’ll then be able to edit any existing information and add new details, including photos and videos.

This is also important as most people are not aware that Google is actually scraping business information from the web and creating its own Place pages for their business. Most of the owners would never think of that, but would rather directly create a new Place page, an act which hides a lot of troubles if there is another Page already created for their business. When you search by phone number and Google does not find any listing using that phone, it automatically redirects you to the page where you could start creating it. However, if there is already a page for this business, the following screen appears with the map on the right side:

The third tip seems to me to be giving the answer to the question I was wondering about above – what is the real reason for these Tips to appear:

Have more than 10 business listings?
Add them quickly by using bulk upload.

You wonder why? Because as Matt McGee noted yesterday, Bing added bulk uploads to Bing Business Portal.

Whatever the reason is, this is a first step to improving the service of Google Places and providing at least some helpful tips for the millions of small business owners wandering out there and pulling their hair about the hundreds of problems that Google Places might cause.

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