Blog

Turnaround Times for Google Places Listings Edits

6

Google shared some really useful and needed information regarding the turnaround times for different types of edits on Google Places to go live. Here is what Vanessa Schneider, Google Places Community Manager, shared:

What will usually update in a few days:
• Newly verified listings (even though it reads “Active” in your dashboard)
      –> This includes newly verified bulk uploads (and any attributes, as noted below)
• Business titles
• Addresses
• Phone numbers
• Website URLs
• Pin marker moves
• Descriptions
• Hours
• Categories
What will update in about a week:
• Photos
• Videos
What will typically take several weeks to resolve:
• Merged listings
• Duplicate listings

Some of these, as Vanessa notes, are new. It is particularly interesting that information submitted by business owners would take “a few days” to show up live. It’s a major changed compared to the state of things up to now when most of the updates done via the verified owner’s dashboard appeared on the front end almost instantly. This post also gives an insight to what might have been causing the numerous problems with images that many people were complaining about lately. Vanessa shared the following as a reason for that change:

“We’ve been doing some work on our backend, cleaning up the pipes in order to make more improvements to Google Places over time.”

Unfortunately, these updates seem to not cover (at least for now) the withstanding problems of the long turnaround time for seeing mergers and/or duplicates resolved.

Another interesting announcement from this post on the Google Places Help Forum was the new “Technical Issues with Reviews” help file. While there is a lot of useful information there regarding possible reasons and some solutions to problems with Google Places reviews, owner responses, fighting against spammy or fake reviews, etc., what is very interesting is the following two claims:

  • We have data spread across multiple databases, and we bring all that information together to create your local listing. Reviews can sometimes be dropped from Place pages when we’re trying to reconcile all that information. As we mentioned at the beginning of this note: This is a known issue, and we are working to make it better.
  • Occasionally, there is a technical issue that causes Place page reviews to drop from Google Maps for a short period of time (a few days) and then reappear on your listing. This happens every several weeks, when we push out a giant housecleaning update to our listings database. Again, this is a known issue, and we are working to make it better.

In other words the problem with missing reviews is very often caused by imperfect syncing of data and the association of the business information database with the Google reviews database. Furthermore, Google shares publicly that the majority of the problems that occur on Google Places happen during the “housecleaning update to our listings database”, which happens “every several weeks”.

What is your takeaway on the situation? How do you see Google going with Google Places – right/wrong way?

  1. Jo Shaer
    Jo Shaer03-07-2012

    Good info, Nyagoslav. I had missing reviews myself recently but just kept calm and they reappeared after a few days.

    We know there are big things going on with Google Places UK because of the number of bugs in the system recently. To confirm your ‘syncing’ issue, we are experiencing roll backs to versions of Pages that were put right only weeks before – it takes about 10 days to two weeks to get these put right again. I have used both the community edit feature and report a problem.

    We also have a lot of duplicate listings appearing. For example:

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?ix=seb&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=local+seo+services+in+leigh+on+sea

    The first listing is like a barebones copy of the second but does not appear in the dashboard.

    We’ve been seeing this a lot – would you suggest claiming these pages or just waiting to see if they disappear when Google Places UK gives itself another shake?

    We have also lost the ‘from the owner’ comment box on the dashboard, which is frustrating because it means we cannot alter existing ‘from the owner’ comments which are now out of date :(

    With Best Wishes
    jo

  2. Phil Rozek
    Phil Rozek03-07-2012

    Hey Nyagoslav,

    Brilliant post (as usual) and very timely. I’ve had a number of reports of updates that are taking unusually long to materialize, and have noticed it first-hand with a couple of clients as well.

    Until Google drops its “housecleaning” change in our laps, I don’t think any of us has much basis to say whether the changes are good (I know you weren’t saying that).

    However, what I LIKE is having specific information–like this info from Vanessa–regarding what to expect and when. I don’t really care how long it takes for updates to be processed. Even if the missing-reviews problem and so forth persists, so be it. But what’s tough is tearing a client’s listing upside-down and going on a wild-goose chase to find a mistake, when it’s simply Google being slow.

    For me, the welcome change is that Google is keeping us more or less on the same page. A little bit of this kind of communication goes a long, long way. More communication would make me one happy bloke :)

    @Jo

    Odd that the “from the owner” disappeared after all. I haven’t been able to update the “from the owner” for my fiancée’s Places page since January, and one of my clients has had the same problem. Almost as though the functionality is gone–as it seems to be with you in the UK–although the box still shows up on our Dashboards anyway.

  3. Jo Shaer
    Jo Shaer03-08-2012

    Agree with Phil. Like the missing reviews, if we know it’s down to Google then we don’t panic so dissemination of information about when this is a possibility would be a real step forward.

    And re the ‘from the owner’ box – how on earth do we get rid of stuff that’s now on the listing as ‘from the owner’ now then? It’s all very well them taking away the feature but surely they should remove what’s up there too…? Or maybe that means it will be coming back…? I just wish I could do something rather than having incorrect information on my Places page :(

    @Nyagolav, do you think this ‘from the owner’ issue is something we could/should report a problem on?

  4. Phil Rozek
    Phil Rozek03-08-2012

    @Jo

    The “from the owner” blurbs are supposed to expire automatically 30 days after you post them–and I’ve noticed they do. Of course, by day 29 I imagine you and your clients would really be itching for them to go away (kind of like house guests). Still, probably worth reporting them as a problem in the meantime–and certainly if 30 days have passed.

    That’s my two cents–not to answer for Nyagoslav or anything, though :)

  5. Jo Shaer
    Jo Shaer03-08-2012

    @Phil, You’re right! Checked again today and it’s gone :)

  6. Phil Rozek
    Phil Rozek03-08-2012

    Score 1 for the good guys and gals – excellent!

    Leave a Reply


    - four = 4

    Optilocal, Ltd., Professional SEO&SEM | 415-800-4888 (USA) | | Sitemap