Linda Buquet

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Those of us that work in Local Search daily, know what a scrambled mess Google local data can be and Apple maps is even worse. I have to give Google some credit and say managing the world's business data CAN'T be easy and when you look at the big picture and the deeper map structure and everything they do with streetview cars and all - it's a HUGE undertaking and they do a pretty good job. However when you deal with businesses with scrambled data, dupes and merges it can be a pretty big nightmare to deal with.

Damian Rollison, VP of Product and Technology at UBL just penned a really good piece over at StreetFight
I wanted to highlight and share because it has some great suggestions for Google.

Memo to Google: Solve the Local Data Problem With Local Data

As I’ve mentioned before, a significant percentage (probably the majority) of business listing content in online applications still ultimately comes from keyed yellow page books. In an ironic twist, the very outmoded medium that has historically done the best job of reaching out directly to the business to source local content is at the root of a process that treats the local community as something of an afterthought.

Yes, many businesses have claimed their listing on Google Places, now Google+ Local. The percentage of overall businesses who have taken this step, however, remains low — perhaps as many as 10 million globally or 15% of all businesses. I think we can now state definitively that the big upsurge in claimed listings that might have occurred as a result of Google’s choice to embed local listings within its social network, a little over five months ago, will not happen on its own…

As Google is the de facto model for local content today and the most prominent place for a business to be listed, here are a few steps within the search giant’s power to better harness local content from local sources...

So go read the rest over at StreetFight.

One of the solutions Damian mentioned was "Enable Trusted Third Parties to Claim Google Listings on Behalf of Business Owners." Sort of like the Premier SMB Partner program for AdWords.

One of our members Matt Gregory, just started a new post about that specific topic. So head over to discuss it in that thread: Premier SMB Partnership For Local?

What do you think about the rest of this article? Any other ideas about how Google could clean up local data and do it better than they are now?
 
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