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What It Takes for Google to Fix Problems Promptly

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Update September 15:

Mike Blumenthal that Google fixed the problem with the “closed” issue. Here is the official statement of the G team:

As promised, we’ve recently made a change to our process of displaying when a business has been reported to be closed on its place page. More specifically, we have removed the interim notification about a report having been made so that a listing will only be updated after it has been reviewed by Google and we believe the change to be accurate. (from 9/14/11 at 6:26pm)

It took exactly 10 days since the NY Times article issuing, while previously there was no response to the problem for more than 2 months.

I recently posted an article listing some ways to get support for problems with Google Places. Although these are the best ideas I’ve come up with and they work most of the times when implemented patiently and rigorously, they require a lot of time and effort to lead to final success. Fortunately, a faster option seems to exist. The only thing you have to do is… get the New York Times pick the story!

The drama began around end of June when reports for businesses being marked as closed on Google Places started flooding the Google Places Help Forum. However, the not-so-loud cries of the small business owners were not heard until one of Mike Blumenthal’s clients – Barbara Oliver & Co Jewelry, got cyber-attacked by a competitor. Mike responded indirectly by targeting the main villain of the story – Google. He “closed” the G’s headquarters, and it took way too little effort to do that.

A few days later Google started sending notification emails to the verified business owner when their listing was being marked as closed, which meant that Mike’s nagging had positive effect.

Unfortunately the cases of malicious reporting didn’t stop, and it was not until the New York Times entered the game, when Google decided to publicly clarify the situation and promised to fix the problem:

…since then, we’ve been working on improvements to the system to prevent any malicious or incorrect labeling. These improvements will be implemented in the coming days

So what does it take for Google to fix problems on Places promptly? I hope this simple graphic answers the question:

How to Get Faster Support on Google Places Problems

Click to view more clearly

  1. GEO21
    GEO2109-07-2011

    I have always found that leaving the listing for 2 weeks before trying to make any edits is the best way. If it does not resolve itself, look in to all aspects of the listing to see if you are breaking any terms of Google Places.

    Small changes can make a big difference.

    I just recently blogged about the missing URL on Google Places listings which was picked up on twitter by many,
    http://www.geo21.co.uk/google-places/important-google-places-update-glitch-fix/ it might be of use.

  2. Nyagoslav Zhekov
    Nyagoslav Zhekov09-08-2011

    Hi there,
    I read the article a few days ago. The work around is really a clever one, but unfortunately seems not to be working 100% of the time. I see more and more businesses saying they actually already have the “http://”.

    I am also writing a series of articles about solving problems on Google Places, but as I mentioned in this post, these ways are rather slow and for Google to act promptly you need some more pushy approach.

    You can find the other articles here:

    A Few Ways To Deal with Google Places Problems (Part 1)
    A Few Ways To Deal with Google Places Problems (Part 2)
    Ways to Get Support for Google Places Problems

  3. GEO21
    GEO2109-08-2011

    Nyagoslav: Yes it does work even if it has the http:// on just delete it all and re-add with http://www. and then submit. Another way to get Google to ping your information quickly is use the blog feature by writing a simple post, anything will do.

    Hope this helps you.

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