russofford

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I have a client who is mainly a roofing company.

In his GMM POI, the main category is 'Roofing Contractor' with 6 other categories below it as follows:

  • Roofing Contractors
  • Siding Contractor
  • Window Installation Service
  • Gutter Cleaning Service
  • Replacement Windows
  • Roof Repair

However in his G+ Local listing the two categories 'showing' are:
'Gutter Cleaning Service' and 'Siding Contractor'.

If you click on those G+ category keywords it expands to show the full list of 4 categories:

  • Gutter Cleaning Service
  • Siding Contractor
  • Window Installation Service
  • Roofing Contractor

In the Google Places Dashboard the categories are as follows:
  • Roofing Contractor (main)
  • Siding Contractor
  • Window Installation Service
  • Roof Repair
  • Replacement Windows

Questions:

1. Besides the fact that the visitors are not being shown the 'primary' category, might there be any other down sides to not having the primary category visible without having to click to reveal the other categories (such as rankings affected)?

2. If I want to get the main category 'Roofing Contractor' to show up without having to click on the category names, what procedure might I follow? (eg: re-submit the dashboard info ... or ... delete are re-add categories somewhere?)

I know I'll most likely need to adjust these two categories: 'Roof Repair' & 'Replacement Windows', as they seem outside of best practices. (what they 'are' not what they 'do')... and it seems that G+ ignored those anyways.

3. Are there any tricks to get the proper main category to show up in G+ Local first instead of other misc. categories?

See screen shots below:

G+ Local

G+ Local Categories.jpg

GMM

GMM Categories.jpg

Google Places Dashboard

Google Places Dashboard.jpg

G+ Local Categories.jpg


GMM Categories.jpg


Google Places Dashboard.jpg
 

Linda Buquet

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Hi Russ,

I don't know of a good way to do it and have struggled with the issue myself.
But maybe one of the MM power users has a suggestion.

However as you said 2 of the dash cats violate the "IS not DOES" rule.

Roof Repair
Replacement Windows

1st one is a service and what he DOES. The second is a product he sells NOT what the business IS.

Related and very important category issues:
http://localsearchforum.catalystema...oogle-local-category-kw-spam-conflicting.html
 

Jo Shaer

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I've just noticed that one of my clients is not ranking for his main keyword because the Google+ page is showing his categories in alphabetical order rather than the order in which I entered them. Therefore, two much lesser categories are getting prominence on the G+ page. All the categories listed are Google defaults not custom.

And curiously, he's ranking for a category that I did originally enter in the main dashboard and which shows up second on the G+ page but which has now disappeared from the main dashboard!!!

Anyone else got any experience of this? My gut says leave it alone for a couple of days as there is clearly something going on... but, in the meantime, his phone is not ringing! :(
 

Jo Shaer

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Hi Colan

From memory

Aromatherapist, Hairdresser, Massage Therapist, Sports Massage Therapist and Reiki Therapist
 

russofford

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So, I had the change to create a new G+ Local listing from scratch... and here is what I found:

I entered the categories (none are custom) in Google Places Dashboard in this order (with 'A' being the main category and 'B', 'C' & 'D' being the others):

A*
B
C
D

Google Places Dashboard - Category Order.jpg

When the listing went live in G+ Local, the main category in the Places dashboard did not translate to be the main category showing in G+ Local.

The G+ Local listing showed only category D and excluded the main category A as well as B & C (didn't included them as hidden, either.)

Google Plus Local Listing.jpg

So, I dug deeper to look at the Google Map Maker POI. In GMM, the POI had the main category (aka 'Type of Feature') set to: Establishment / Point of Interest. And the 4 categories that I chose in the Places Dashboard were listed in the history as 'additional categories'. The order of the 'additional' categories in the GMM listing was as follows:

Establishment / Point of Ineterest (main category)
D
C
A*
B

GMM - History Tab.jpg

So, I'm wondering if when creating a new G+ Local listing from scratch, one might be best off to create it using only 1 main category and nothing else.

I feel it has something to do with the fact that the GMM POI was created with the main category being an 'Establishment / POI' rather than having the main category listed as the feature type.

Perhaps using only 1 category when creating a new listing could help to encourage/force GMM to create the POI with the proper category instead of the 'Establishment/POI' type.

In any case... what I'm going to try to do, as I have recently found this effective... is... I am going to delete all the categories from within Google Map Maker and then re-add the main category only... to somewhat 'force' the main category. Once that gets approved I will add in the other categories again.

I might actually 'first' try to re-set the main category only and leave the other 3 categories as-is (to boot out the Establishment/POI thing. But, since, I have experienced in the past where even when a main category is entered, GMM keeps the main category as 'Establishment / Point of Interest', I might need to resort to the other plan.

Has anyone else experienced similar issues or do you have other solutions to the 'main' category problem (or the category order problem)?

GMM seems to be having more of a role in G+ Local and rankings lately... so unfortunately, those who may have been afraid to dive into it in the past may need to start exploring those territories. ;)

Perhaps the same could be accomplished via the Google Places dashboard, but I feel like I might not get to see the POI revision history as well that way.

I'll keep ya'll posted as to progress.

Russ

Google Places Dashboard - Category Order.jpg


Google Plus Local Listing.jpg


GMM - History Tab.jpg
 

Jo Shaer

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Ah Russ, I have no access to Map Maker here in the UK but I look forward to hearing what you find out.

I deleted Aromatherapist and got his Massage listing back - although this change has not been reflected in the G+ dashboard.

But, even though we specifically use the Google category Sports Massage Therapist and always used to show well for that term in our town, we and all the other long-term major players have just been replaced by a newbie as a one pack whose only category is Masseur... Go figure...?

There seems to be very little logic to anything on Google Places currently, making it virtually impossible to second guess or reverse engineer :(
 

Colan Nielsen

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Hi Russ,

Have you tried manually editing the "Establishment / Point of Ineterest (main category)"?

I have found that when I edit that to the proper main category, it sometimes, but not always transfers over to the G+ Local page. I have read that this should not be the case, but I have seen it work.



So, I had the change to create a new G+ Local listing from scratch... and here is what I found:

I entered the categories (none are custom) in Google Places Dashboard in this order (with 'A' being the main category and 'B', 'C' & 'D' being the others):

A*
B
C
D

chicagolocksmith.jpg

When the listing went live in G+ Local, the main category in the Places dashboard did not translate to be the main category showing in G+ Local.

The G+ Local listing showed only category D and excluded the main category A as well as B & C (didn't included them as hidden, either.)

datahighlighter.png

So, I dug deeper to look at the Google Map Maker POI. In GMM, the POI had the main category (aka 'Type of Feature') set to: Establishment / Point of Interest. And the 4 categories that I chose in the Places Dashboard were listed in the history as 'additional categories'. The order of the 'additional' categories in the GMM listing was as follows:

Establishment / Point of Ineterest (main category)
D
C
A*
B

DirectoryListingsIndyPlumber.jpg

So, I'm wondering if when creating a new G+ Local listing from scratch, one might be best off to create it using only 1 main category and nothing else.

I feel it has something to do with the fact that the GMM POI was created with the main category being an 'Establishment / POI' rather than having the main category listed as the feature type.

Perhaps using only 1 category when creating a new listing could help to encourage/force GMM to create the POI with the proper category instead of the 'Establishment/POI' type.

In any case... what I'm going to try to do, as I have recently found this effective... is... I am going to delete all the categories from within Google Map Maker and then re-add the main category only... to somewhat 'force' the main category. Once that gets approved I will add in the other categories again.

I might actually 'first' try to re-set the main category only and leave the other 3 categories as-is (to boot out the Establishment/POI thing. But, since, I have experienced in the past where even when a main category is entered, GMM keeps the main category as 'Establishment / Point of Interest', I might need to resort to the other plan.

Has anyone else experienced similar issues or do you have other solutions to the 'main' category problem (or the category order problem)?

GMM seems to be having more of a role in G+ Local and rankings lately... so unfortunately, those who may have been afraid to dive into it in the past may need to start exploring those territories. ;)

Perhaps the same could be accomplished via the Google Places dashboard, but I feel like I might not get to see the POI revision history as well that way.

I'll keep ya'll posted as to progress.

Russ
 

russofford

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Have you tried manually editing the "Establishment / Point of Ineterest (main category)"?

I have found that when I edit that to the proper main category, it sometimes, but not always transfers over to the G+ Local page.


Hi Colan, thanks for pitching in here.

In several listings I have tried to edit the 'Establishment / Point of Interest (main category)' ... and, like you, get mixed results.

Sometimes, even after the category edit is approved in GMM, the POI stays with the main category of 'Establishment/POI' instead of using the new main category.

That is why I may try, at times, to delete all extra/other categories... and only leave one main category... to try to force it to take.

Then once the main category takes, I would add more categories.

I guess it is trial and error, then. ;)

Russ
 

russofford

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Welp,

What can I say... since starting this experiment (with the above mentioned company/listing... Google has changed GMM so that SAB POIs are not editable via the GMM system. Google mapmaker gives the message 'Editing of this feature is not allowed'.

GMM-POI-editing-feature-not-allowed.jpg

However, I have found that eventually, (sometimes after 1 or 2 or 3 attempts), the GMM main category will 'stick' with the proper category after editing it a couple times. I believe that once the main category has the desired keyword, it should translate over to the G+ local page fine.

Russ

GMM-POI-editing-feature-not-allowed.jpg
 

Jo Shaer

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Thanks Russ, I knew about the SAB issue for my own business.

But some of my clients have physical locations and incorrect categories so it's good to know that there is a way to correct the missing categories.

I think I will still resist making any changes until those clients are able to use the new Google Places for business dashboard though. We're still stuck in limbo on the old Google Places dashboard :(
 
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Have you guys tried phone support? We're a personal injury firm and our primary category listed on the live place page was legal services, which G added, and personal injury attorney was our second, but first in the dash. I called support told them I didn't want legal services and wanted PI attorney as primary. The changes were pretty much instant and have been this way for about two weeks.
 

Colan Nielsen

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Have you guys tried phone support? We're a personal injury firm and our primary category listed on the live place page was legal services, which G added, and personal injury attorney was our second, but first in the dash. I called support told them I didn't want legal services and wanted PI attorney as primary. The changes were pretty much instant and have been this way for about two weeks.

Great news. Great suggestion!
 

Jo Shaer

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Will I be able to do that or does the client need to make the call since it is his listing?
 

Linda Buquet

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No you can totally make the call Jo. You enter your own # for them to connect with you at and they seem to be fine with agencies acting on behalf of the client. Some changes they just may need to also verify with the business owner or sometimes they'll send an email to them to let them know a change was made.
 

russofford

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Up until the other day, I was not aware of a phone support option... any link to the phone support option page?
 

Colan Nielsen

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russofford

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Interesting... it seems the 'blue call us button' is not visible after hours?

I only see this:

Our call centers are open Monday - Friday, 6 AM - 5 PM PST, to help with your business's local listing. Please try back then or use the contact options below for email support.

(besides the 'other' radial check box choices.)

screen-shot_88 2013-08-21 21.54.59.jpg

screen-shot_88 2013-08-21 21.54.59.jpg
 
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