Last month Imprezzio Marketing reported on how Google had a new way for users to report issues such as a closed business, or spammy businesses, or if the business had moved locations.
This is great news for people who work within the volunteer world of Map Maker or for those of us who enjoy keeping our local neighbourhood’s business eco-system up to date on Google Maps.
But what does it mean for you, as a local business owner?
Quite a bit actually.
It is not uncommon for businesses (sadly) to shut down, or even perhaps move locations (to bigger premises hopefully!). Thanks to the way Google+ can auto-create Google+ Local pages, there might even be a duplicate of your Google+ Local page in existence.
Reporting these changes in the past often meant a bit of time with Google+ Local support and many business users didn’t even bother (not least because finding contact details for Google+ Local support can be difficult!).
This new way of reporting a problem is much easier and simpler for small business owners who just want to report an issue or change and move on.
So how do I report a problem?
It is very simple.
- Search for the business you want to report using maps.google.com.au (or use google.com.au and then select Maps from the top toolbar).
- Select the “Suggest an edit” link. (This business is being used entirely for demonstration purposes. I definitely do not want to suggest there’s actually a problem with it!)
- In the next screen (which is actually titled ‘Report a Problem’ because in the U.S.A they see ‘report a problem’ instead of ‘suggest an edit’ initially), click on the ‘NO’ button to toggle it to YES and bring up a list of reasons.
- Select the reason you’re reporting this business.
- Click on ‘Add a note’ and provide as much supporting detail as you can. For example, if you’re reporting a business as ‘moved elsewhere’ put in the address of the new location, as well as the website (if that shows the new address). Or if you’re marking it as a ‘duplicate’ paste in the URL of the correct Google+ Local page.
- Many changes are checked and confirmed by humans rather than an algorithm so the more supporting evidence you can provide, the more likely it is that your request will get approved.
- Click “Submit” and you’re done!
You’ll get an email acknowledging your request and then another email when the request is confirmed (or denied) in Google Maps.
But why do it?
Ultimately, keeping a clean database of local results helps us all.
- Consumers know that the businesses are legitimately operating businesses that can help with them.
- Business owners know that their business is more likely to show up if non-operating or spammy businesses are taken out of the display results.
It’s only a couple of minutes, so if you see a problem….report a problem!