Webconsuls Blog

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Where's Joel H Google Employee?

This week I have been researching reported problems with Google maps. I have read through many forums, blogs, and news articles; however, last night I came across a Google forum in "Maps help". The topic was Incorrect information in Google Maps / local business center and the poster opens her post with this statement "To the poor already-beaten-up soul at Google who looks at and responds to these issues..." I implore you to read through this forum. It starts on April 1, 2009, and on April 6th Joel H Google Employee joins the forum to aid these Google users. Before you know it people are posting from all over the world and Joel H is being besieged with questions and he is responsive through April 22. Others keep posting but no word from Joel H. Where's Joel H Google employee?

I googled this phrase {Joel H Google employee} and found mention of him in other blog posts and other Google maps forums. I will say this, Joel H seems to want to help and if you read these forums carefully you will see he even admits when he is wrong.

I am going to give you two examples of what I have witnessed in Google maps for two of our clients.
  • La Fuente Restaurant in Tucson, AZ: Their Google map listing under local results for Mexican Restaurants Tucson AZ suddenly displayed the wrong domain name (that of a locksmith) and the wrong phone number.
  • Kingsleigh Inn Southwest Harbor, ME: Suddenly their Google map listing under local results for lodging Southwest Harbor ME disappeared; however, the inn next door to them is listed - including 78 reviews of the Kingsleigh and a number of photos of the Kingsleigh Inn!
I can only assume that somewhere worlds have started to collide in Google maps. I don't know why...some talk about duplicate listings, scrapings, mergings, suppressions, conflating listings...the bottom line is this is a "free" service offered by Google. I could offer the old adage "it is worth what you paid for it"...but really if your listing is wrong through no fault of your own how much is this costing your business?

My advice to every business owner is to check your listing. Take the time to review and learn about Google's Local Business Center.

I hope Joel H Google Employee reappears in these forums and that Google can solve the "implosion" mystery. Let's remember these listings are the lifelines for many businesses, this is not a game of "Where's Waldo".

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