Google Places Poses Problems for Local Search
Local search can offer numerous advantages, especially for small brands just starting out. People often search for items and services within their area so developing a good local SEO campaign is crucial for success. However, Google Places has offered a series of problems for businesses when it comes to local search.
What happens when your business has multiple offices in separate locations?
The question that has cropped up recently is should a business with multiple offices, have one Google Local/Places listing or two, one for each location? In order to apply with the Google Places guidelines, each location has to have its own unique phone number, yet it’s unclear whether they require their own unique Google+ local listing per location.
Some business owners suggest having one phone number clever enough to decipher which office to ring. A thread on Google forums identifies a business owner who wants a centralised number for his business, despite its various locations. Is this really going to be possible we ask?
What happens when you try to upload a photograph for your location?
Another bug that has shaken up Google Places sees users unable to upload their photos. The tab that usually appears at the bottom of a listing has disappeared. This has been reported to Google via their product forum and is currently in the process of being fixed.
If you decide to relocate your business then Google automatically marks this as a closure. All the reviews you have created for your businesses’ listing are lost along with the listing. Despite introducing a ‘we have moved’ sign it isn’t always clear as to which is the new location, as it just says both are closed.
What happens when you try to verify your business?
Recently those who have submitted for a location on Google Places have received a blank verification postcard from Google.The verification code that users need to register their
business simply isn’t on the postcard. This has been reported to Google as another issue waiting to be fixed.
In an attempt to redesign Google’s business verification postcards Masrur Odinaeva, a consultant of Google posted this picture on Google+. But is this really helping tackle the issue of blank verification postcards? It appears like Google’s trying to distract us from the real issues.