Local Search

Go Home, Google Mapmaker. You’re Drunk.

By January 22, 2015 20 Comments

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I have to start this by saying that I hate Google Mapmaker. I have not tried to use it for evil purposes, but rarely see any changes take place from reporting real violations and misinformation. Here is a case that is so black-and-white that there shouldn't be any hesitation approving it.

The business name is obviously keyword stuffed: Wisconsin Waukesha Ozaukee Divorce Lawyers-J Casey Family Attorneys. Are there really people at Google Mapmaker to whom that doesn't look suspicious? Are there really algorithms that don't recognize that as spam?

Mapmaker 1

It's obvious on the company website that that is not the business name (Mapmaker's, the URL is in the listing. That's how you verify what I'm reporting!):

Mapmaker2

Mapmaker 3

 

 

 

 

It's obvious in the guidelines that this is not permitted:

Mapmaker 4

Despite this, my edit was rejected because Google couldn't verify the information I provided.

(Photo credit: missha via photopin/cc.)

20 Comments

  • Tony Leary says:

    This is sad. Is it a case of not knowing how to verify? Is it a case of not having processes in place so those operators who don’t feel empowered to say “yes” instead say “no” to avoid repercussions?

  • if they aren’t drunk, they must be on crack. I just tried to have a food truck removed. The pin was on the roof of a University buildingin Canada. The website had a New York City address. I got the exact same reason for denial.

    Since when do mobile vehicles with no fixed location get a spot on the map?

    Coincidentally, I was surveyed when I logged into mapmaker today. There were several questions on this topic trying to gauge satisfaction with denials.

  • Justin Liles says:

    I totally agree with this post Mary. Thank you for putting this out there. I’ve tried to make edits on a business phone number that was total disconnected from the business to the correct number that went to the business and the reviewer said the same crap about they couldn’t verify the information. Then they don’t even respond to a comment when you call them out about it. Happens all the time.

  • Dimitrov says:

    Oh, this happens almost every week here in our office. My personal explanation is that 99% of Google MapMaker Moderators are from India, Pakistan, all low paid on performance scheme – they get money for the number of edits they make/approve/disapprove. And we can all see this scheme is bleeding badly.

  • This has happened so many times for us lately as well. Very, very obvious corrections are simply dismissed out of hand due to Google moderators’ inability to verify the information provided. I had one edit for our clients where we corrected the address 1 field to remove a competitor’s brand name appearing. In the address field! Google was unable to verify the edit. Sorry. Keep on promoting your competitor’s brand; they’re not complaining.

    We ended up having to make the correction 3 times before it was finally approved.

  • Linda Buquet Linda Buquet says:

    Edits usually get denied 1st pass. You need to deny the edit and then post at the Map Maker forum. (That’s the short answer.)

    The detailed answer is below. I asked Joy Hawkins to write up a detailed post and much if is based on tips from Dan Austin, the ultimate Google Spam fighter.

    Tips for Reporting Spam in MapMaker

    Hope this helps ease some frustration and helps get some edits through.

    • Mary Bowling says:

      Linda, that may be what it takes to get edits approved, then something is badly wrong. That’s the point of this post. An easily verifiable improvement to a listing to make it more accurate and to put into compliance with Google’s published guidelines should be approved without me having to go post it in the forum and beg for help. I really appreciate that Joy has figured out a way to work around this broken system, but that doesn’t make it any less broken.

      • Dan Austin says:

        I posted a longish reply on Linda’s local search forum detailing some of my observations of this process:

        http://www.localsearchforum.com/google-map-maker/27292-go-home-google-mapmaker-you%92re-drunk.html#post55747

        I should also point out you’re correct, Mary, in that reporting spam has become too hard, and I think that’s almost by design and more likely, was a deliberate policy decision that was never communicated to the wider community, because, embarrassing.

        Google needs to make reporting problems consistent no matter what platform you’re using (MM, Maps Report a problem, or GMB Dashboard). The record already exists via Atlas/Ground Truth, but the UI for the end user has become too fragmented, with reported data changes treated different ways by different teams with different experience and training and different sets of guidelines and desired outcomes.

  • Andy Kuiper says:

    It is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo frustrating!!! seeking legitimate edits. Largely spam is what I’m reporting. 98% of these wackos lack common sense… the other 2% are dedicated, hard working, and rational.

  • Linda Buquet Linda Buquet says:

    Oh yes, I totally agree Mary. Should not have to jump through hoops on obvious spam edits.

    Was just sharing the info in case it helped anyone that has one they really need to get pushed through.

  • Mark Goho says:

    make sure to fill out the map maker survey if you get the pop up. There are a ton of questions regarding listing editor edits and such things. It can really help give the appropriate feedback to the mapmaker team.

  • This may happen because of all the local spam, If the listings are spammy they shouldn’t be listed at all. Maybe if spammers wouldn’t spam, this wouldn’t be an issue.

  • Joy Hawkins says:

    I don’t have issues getting edits approved on MapMaker anymore but I know I did initially and the biggest thing I have learned is that their rules are different than GMB and they don’t really care about the same things that I do (as someone in Local SEO). If you play by their rules you can have a lot of success getting spam removed.

  • Steve Sager says:

    Thanks to Joy Hawkins for the guide to removing spam in MapMaker. The best collection of MapMaker advice I have seen.

  • Kate Barlow says:

    Getting edits approved for Mapmaker is a massive challenge if you are trying to prove a negative (“The DIY shop in that village closed down 15 years ago but they never removed the sign from the front window because it’s their house and they never had a website”) or if the data is fundamentally wrong. I spent hours trying to persuade them that the British Channel Island of Alderney is not part of the neighbouring island of Guernsey. The result is that the people of both islands create incorrect listings for businesses – sometimes even locating them on the wrong island, street names are transposed between Alderney and Guernsey and Google Maps become useless for everyone. Yet, they still kept on refusing my edits. It was incredibly frustrating and I ended up concluding that Google didn’t actually care about providing a good experience for visitors to Alderney or Guernsey.

    • Mary Bowling says:

      Hi Kate, thanks for stopping by LocalU. Google acts like it wants user input, but, once you provide it, it’s very tough to get it approved. I find these mixed signals discouraging and I’d bet SMBs are having an even harder time with it than we “pros” are.

  • Ryan Freeman says:

    Late to the party, but I’ll join the pile-on. The floral industry is rife with fake listings, online-only affiliates, etc., and it’s getting harder and harder to get corrections approved. I’m not talking about minor adjustments to a legit business, but a fake listing that points to a vacant lot or non-existent address with a website that shows the business is out of state.

    We’ve had just as much trouble with untangling mixed up info for businesses that share an address – even when each has a clear website with their contact info stated. 30 seconds of common sense should clear any of these, but the current system prefers spam, false info, and frustrated consumers.

  • hendra says:

    someone told me that he could make google place instantly. and most of his client from Canada and Uk. According to you is that true about it, or he lies to me that we can make google place instantly?
    thank you

    • Mary Bowling says:

      I’m not sure I understand your question @hendra. Is this someone who is saying he knows ways to beat the Google My Business verification requirements? Does he want to charge you for his “secret”?

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