Want to List Your Business on Google Places? Oops, You Cannot!


abeen notified in the comments that the issue with the postcard verification has been resolved. However, a new issue – with the phone verification, has popped up. Definitely some tweaks on the verification side are going on.

Yesterday I wrote about businesses having problems setting their service area or hiding their address at your Google Places page. Today Google decided that it will disallow yet another core function of its product – adding a new listing.

Google Places System Error

Numerous business owners have been complaining that since yesterday they are unable to list their business on Google Places. The problem occurs after they fill in their business data and click “Submit”. They are given the normal postcard verification option, but when they click “Finish”, a message shows up saying: “System Error We’re sorry, but we are unable to serve your request at this time. Please try back in a few minutes.” However, the few minutes never come and while some have tried numerous times, they had no success. (see complaints here, here, here, here, here and here). The error message started showing up today (US time, yesterday Malaysian time), and the first to report it were a few Australian business owners.

One is coincidence, but two (especially in Google Places) is already a trend. These bugs seem like a definite sign that something is being tweaked on Places, and we will soon be witnessing a new major change. As the problems are with the “Areas Served” and verification options, I believe the modifications should be expected at these settings.

  1. Jo Shaer
    Jo Shaer09-20-2011

    Hi Nyagoslav

    You’re right, there’s definitely summat going on over there :)

    Yesterday I was trying to create a new Places Page here in the UK and the category options were all US ones where normally we have our own, complete with British spellings. I never got as far as submitting the page because I decided to wait until they had sorted themselves out – there was no way physical therapy was going to work for the British market who would be looking for physiotherapy.

    • Nyagoslav Zhekov
      Nyagoslav Zhekov09-20-2011

      Interesting. I haven’t heard of this bug. Obviously it is going to be something big, because usually before a regular Google Places update the only things that get screwed are “We currently do not support the location”, followed by popping up duplicates, a few merges, and probably suspensions, loss of reviews, etc. These ones currently are abnormal. Let’s sit tight and observe.

  2. Phil Rozek
    Phil Rozek09-20-2011

    Hi Nyagoslav,

    Great post, as usual! Thanks for the intel. Let’s hope that Google fixes this one quickly; unlike many other bugs, this one is truly paralyzing. What would be amazing is if they came out with a better verification method that doesn’t rely on snail mail…

    • Nyagoslav Zhekov
      Nyagoslav Zhekov09-21-2011

      Hi Phil,

      I unfortunately doubt that they will cancel the snail mail verification, as this is one of the best ways to prevent spam. However, different ways of re-verifying already verified listings, or modifications in the verification requirements when doing changes on the listing would both be great and, I believe, probable. Hope springs :)

  3. abeen

    let’s hope there will be a quick fix. The phone verification and sms seems to work fine. “System Error” message showed for postcard. Try claiming any not verified business from map

  4. Del

    Oh yes! I was so excited to discover this google service (oh use the term lightly) yesterday. Only to get that dreaded error message! On flicking through the net I discovered that this problem was happening way back last year! Don’t know if they fixed it back then and now it’s reared it’s ugly head again!!
    Spent 5 days learning how to “broadcast” our website out there in web world…. Oh the pain of it all!!! It should be called the World Wide Waste of time, because it was 5 days of my life I’ll never get back! There has to be an easier way, than pinging, ponging, spider crawling, paying $100US to google, to get our site up on the “keywords” listing!
    Finally managed it, see it there today…. but then here today, gone tomorrow!!

    • Nyagoslav Zhekov
      Nyagoslav Zhekov09-23-2011

      Del, unfortunately the competition is way too harsh, so there are no easy ways in online marketing nowadays.

  5. abeen

    News, I was able to verify via postcard in Google Places. Seems this issue has been fixed, but was not able to verify via phone now. Error message was “we tried calling but the call was not successful”. Tried with two different businesses.

    • Nyagoslav Zhekov
      Nyagoslav Zhekov09-23-2011

      Thanks for the notification! I just updated the post with a link to your article.

  6. abeen

    another update. Phone method is fixed. Green box, “Google is now calling your business phone to give you a PIN”. Thanks for your update and link.

  7. Mark Hedley
    Mark Hedley10-06-2011

    Why am I now only getting snail mail verifcation option. I used to have SMS verification to mobile which was much easier and quicker of course but landline would suffice!!!!

    • Nyagoslav Zhekov
      Nyagoslav Zhekov10-06-2011

      Mark, you can use phone verification or SMS verification only up to 3 times per phone number.

  8. Bob

    For information. My last try at verifying a new, unlisted business about a week ago – I was not able to get the final verify button in IE to show, so of course could not get the postcard (the only option I was given). Tried everything from deleting cache and rebooting and the button still would not show. Read a Google help post that this was occurring and to use Firefox. Still nothing. I then tried Google Chrome and it worked fine. Just in case you are running into the problem. I had never had this issue before.

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