Google Places information can not be trusted. We write a lot about Google on this blog and most of it is great. We love their search and fast changing service offerings. To be fair, we want to point out how poor Google Places is and how frustrating it can be to work with. For those of you that are unfamiliar, Google Places allows you to claim your business listing so that it appears on Google Maps for industry related search terms. The idea is great, as users can search for things like web designers and see all the businesses in the area on the map. The follow through and reality is that the listings are incredibly outdated at times and businesses seem to get mixed together.
This has been the case for our own business, Crown Point Design, located in San Diego, CA 92109. At CPD we have of course claimed our business on Google Places and optimized our listing with images, videos, descriptions, websites, reviews from Yelp, contact info, etc. We have seen an incredible amount of false information on our listing over the past 8-12 months due to another company located in Encinitas with a similar name. For some reason, their logo appears on our listing along with their services.
The really bizarre thing is that things keep changing… For a while, our actual listing was showing up in our competitor’s space, information was wrong, cell phone numbers listed rather than business lines, etc. We can’t get to the bottom of it.
Google Places Support No Good Either
We have tried numerous methods to have this issue resolved via claiming additional listings, positing error messages, and contacting Google’s support. Each of these have been unsuccessful, including the help from Google. We have received numerous calls from people claiming to work for Google with no power whatsoever to fix our issue. After battling the language barrier with overseas support reps and explaining our issue, they always tell us that they only have the ability to change the marker on the map to a new location. It has been a total nightmare trying to work with them.
To summarize, Google Places has completely confused out listing with another business and does not allow us to make the proper change. We totally expect more out of Google’s services to small businesses, especially ones that go out of their way to promote so many of their services.