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Great Article By Miriam: Gets To The Nuts And Bolts W/ Problems In Google Places

unraveling google places

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#1 earlpearl


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:23 PM

Miriam wrote a terrific article on her blog: http://www.solaswebd...rdpress/?p=1128
Interview With Google Places Help Forum Top Contributors: Blumenthal And Zhekov

For those that have worked with Google Places it is a buggy, spammy, complex, index, subject to spam and subject to endless problems.

Businesses with local websites and their SEO's often find there way into the google places forum to try and solve endless issues. During this year a couple of interesting changes and improvements occurred including:

1. more direct customer service
2. Adding Top Contributors Who have direct access to Google Personnel

Miriam's article interviews 2 of the Top Contributors (TC's). Very interesting interview with terrific questions plus tremendous insights in how to work one's way through the opaque and confusing world of Google Places.

#2 SEOigloo


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 06:25 PM

Hi Dave,
Thanks so much for taking this notice of the interview:)

It occurred to me that the opportunity to ask questions of Mike and Nyagoslav would result in more visbility for the fact that Google has ramped up this type of support, as well as shedding light on exactly what the Top Contributors do. We've all bad-mouthed the Google Places Help Forum for so many years, this was a great chance to feature something positive! Mike and Nyagoslav answered very thoughtfully. So glad you found it good reading!

#3 earlpearl


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:46 PM

Miriam: I've been working through issues at google places for years. Its still confusing to me. Mike is certainly more familiar w/ google places than anyone outside of google...and probably more familiar w/ it than a lot of people inside google ;). His part of the interview references that it still maintains opaque and confusing elements.

Interviewing them is a window on how to get things corrected....and frankly that is an ever challenging proposition.

Its really a worthy article and well done.


#4 bwelford


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Posted 07 February 2012 - 11:23 PM

Yes indeed, many congrats, Miriam.

However how sad it is that a major corporation like this should be so inept in dialoguing with its stakeholders. Google has got to learn that you've only done a good job when all your stakeholders say you have. That's what excellence is all about. OTOH if you're happy to deliver a take-it-or-leave-it product, then you only do what you feel like doing. Google is capable of so much more. How can they have any pride when they leave this morass?

#5 SEOigloo


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Posted 08 February 2012 - 07:37 PM

Hi Barry,
With a market share so large, even the smallest improvement (like giving forum TCs person-to-person contact with a Googler) feels like a huge improvement...and in a sense, it is a major improvement because so many more people are being helped than previously. But I am 100% on board with you. Google can and should do better than this. Thanks for taking the time to read the interview!

#6 glyn


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Posted 09 February 2012 - 02:55 PM

It was a good read for sure, and Mike is such a guru on the local stuff..his citation sources helped me in the past.

However, let me have a conversation with myself.

As Google is able to get right what it wants when it is important to them, for example, the ease at which you can signup for a gmail account, the ease with which you can add your friends to be added to your googleplus network, the ease with which it is possible to add yourself to Google places...and then in following through on that data...for example if you haven't received a coupon or a call from Google about whether you want a free adwords voucher, or could be interested in a special advertising campign, you are probably the one of the few left. That is evidence of left hand and right hand working is there.

However, once the data has been collected, post-op things get a little bit blurred.

From your interview:

1. The search on their forums is limited (G's a SEARCH company remember)
2. There are 8 people attending to the questions'
3. Things just go wrong when showing things.

This does kind of paint a picture of where the importance in the exchange of information is placed.

I've always said Google Places was a contacts database, not because it was anything particularly intelligent to say, it's pretty damned obvious.

I think that the slightly sad point is that there seems to be nothing to convince me otherwise that the motivations driving things are to do with money and business, and that's just fine, I'm not a hippie anymore :lol: . It's just when G has such a monopoly on search, there's an ethical question if people's livelhoods, through poorly mapped listings, are at stake.

I just feel sorry for those companies that get poorly listed or can't afford an seo technician to intervene and fix it.

Thank goodness Bing is now starting to deliver some really good stuff since it took over Yahoo's search as well.

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