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Nyagoslav

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Jul 19, 2012
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128
Linda, I'm not too sure I'm following. What would be the problem to go to MapMaker (which gives much more complete information about what data is being associated with a cluster/listing, such as all the variations of the name, all phones, all websites, all categories) rather than going to Maps or +Local? I think it would take pretty much the same time. At least it does for me :)

Regarding categories in MapMaker and Local Business Center, they indeed are different (and that's what I was showcasing in my previous comment). I am not too sure, though, why you think that previously the ones that were showing up on GP were the ones that were necessarily coming from the dashboard, because that was not the case. At least not in 100% of the situations. As I said categories are an "additive" element, not a "build-on" one, thus, categories coming from third-parties can always get added to a listing, even if the difference between them and an already existing categories is one symbol (good example in the listing Colan referred to).

I would be interested to see the case with the massage parlor you just referenced. Could you provide a link to it?

Thanks!

Nyagoslav
 

Colan Nielsen

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One thing that is very frustrating with categories is that they are "additive", i.e. unless an incoming category is an exact match of an already existing associated with the listing category, Google will actually add it. Refer to the case of "Renter's Insurance Agency" and "Renters Insurance Agency" above :)

It looks like Google added the default version of "Renter's Insurance Agency", even though we already had the customized version of it in the dashboard. Google seems to be paying less and less attention, if any, to custom categories.
 

Nyagoslav

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Now that's something interesting! I honestly haven't noticed this, but I haven't paid special attention for it either. So judging from your words and the provided examples, it is possible that Google might still be using the categories as an additive information resource, but only adding near matches from their database (which might be dangerous and might result in unwanted "associations"). I truly hope this is not the case.
 

Linda Buquet

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Linda, I'm not too sure I'm following. What would be the problem to go to MapMaker (which gives much more complete information about what data is being associated with a cluster/listing, such as all the variations of the name, all phones, all websites, all categories) rather than going to Maps or +Local? I think it would take pretty much the same time. At least it does for me :)

Well I'm not saying at all it's a problem to check cats in MM and that IS going to show everything associated with the cluster. Which IS good info to see.

I'm just saying MM does not always show you what's IN DASH. And it's only what's IN dash that the owner can get in trouble for. (Like Geo Stuffed cats or other problems.)

Great example - consulting case I'm working on right now.
It's an acting school that lost ranking for all their main keywords like acting school/classes.

Live cats on G+: Event Venue, Movie Theater (totally wrong)
MM Cats: Establishment / Point of Interest, Acting Classes, Movie Theater, Venue (all wrong accept one)

What REALLY is in Dash:
Acting School
Acting School Los Angeles
Acting Classes
Acting Classes Los Angeles
Theatre Rentals Los Angeles


IN DASH - 3 different types of violations/problems - Geo stuffing, too much repetition of main cat keyword and violation of the "is not does" rule.

But you would never know that looking at live listing OR MM.
However 2 months ago all those cats would have been visible on the live listing.


So none of the cats really match up and seeing the live listing OR MM would give you no clue
what's REALLY in the dashboard.

Regarding categories in MapMaker and Local Business Center, they indeed are different (and that's what I was showcasing in my previous comment). I am not too sure, though, why you think that previously the ones that were showing up on GP were the ones that were necessarily coming from the dashboard, because that was not the case. At least not in 100% of the situations. As I said categories are an "additive" element, not a "build-on" one, thus, categories coming from third-parties can always get added to a listing, even if the difference between them and an already existing categories is one symbol (good example in the listing Colan referred to).

Yes and sorry if I was not clear. What I was saying is before you could 'normally' see the cats that WERE in dash. Yes sometimes she would add cats or change cats but you could usually see what was really inside so you could see if keyword stufffing or 10 cats due to a merge or whatever.

So anyway those are some of my thoughts but I get what you are saying too Nyag. :)

Here is a link to the MM forum discussion, but today the massage listing had escorts deleted from cats, so you can't see what I was referring to on the live listing. But the discussion explains it.
Forum discussions - Map Your World Community
 

Colan Nielsen

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Something else that's interesting, and I apologize if this is old news to most of you :)

If there is only 1 live category on a listing, clicking "Edit Business Details" will reveal at least 1 more.

I'm sure there is at least some clues that this can give us when dealing with problems...
 

Linda Buquet

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True and great point Colan. I'm sure there are some that don't know about that little trick (or treat).

Since tomorrow is the big day, had to throw that in! :p
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
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Hmmm great thread everyone. I'm jumping in a little late, but just to clarify for everyone's sake (including my own)

1. Categories Displayed on Google Places

The only situation this would apply in now, is if a business had a claimed Google Places page prior to Google+ Local. This may include categories within Google's system that you've selected, or custom categories you've inputted.

2. Categories Displayed on Google+ Local

The Google+ Local page (merged or not) pulls in Data from Google Places and lists 1-5 (maximum 2 displayed) categories that it deems fit and it seems totally random.

3. Categories Displayed on Map Maker

Lists all categories that have ever existed in Google Places, Google+ or any aggregate data the bots have crawled. This is the best indication of what categories your local/places page will actually rank for.

Questions within Map Maker - Do changes made in Map Maker actually make physical changes to the categories in the Places dashboard?

Possible Answer - Doesn't seem to. I just recently made some edits in Map Maker that were approved, and the categories within Places have remained the same.

I guess what it boils down to, is which information is the most accurate? Map Maker, Places Dashboard or Google + Local. And if we're not supposed to be using Places to make edits anymore, how can you even edit your categories without using Map Maker?! hehe, oh what a fun time it is!
 

Linda Buquet

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Google did a minor update to categories BUT one I'm VERY happy to see.

Just realized my category news won't be that exciting to most consultants - just geeks like me that do lots of support and troubleshooting in the G forum - but it'll come in handy for some of you too!

You all know by now that on the live G+ L page only 1 or 2 cats show. When that change happened, even if you clicked "edit this listing" it would only show you the same 2 cats. So you could not see ALL the cats that were in dashboard.

Starting Monday or so I noticed if you click "edit this listing" it now shows ALL the cats! This has been SUPER helpful for me as I've helped several that said their ranking dropped or they were in pending, etc. and I could instantly see the problem was City in cats or whatever.

Granted you can go dig and find the listing in MM, to see cats, BUT they aren't always the same as what's in dash. Plus it saves me time to just click edit right on the listing.

So YEA! Makes my job a lot easier.
 

Flash

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Joined
Jul 20, 2012
Messages
177
I'm jumping in late, and so might make points that someone else has already made, as I've only had one cup of coffee so far this morning and am still foggy.

@Andrew - Map Maker does not affect the categories in the Places dashboard. Once it is set up, the dashboard is a one way feed into the cluster. Basically, the owner has been given trusted source status for his business. But the final listing is still made up of information from many sources. Map Maker can be used by map editors to fix bad data imports and mistakes by the algorithms, but it doesn't then correct the Yellowpages or the city business license database. Similarly, it does not correct the Places dashboard.

So it boils down to, if two people have category spam (say "Boston Lawyer") and a Map Maker user notices on one and deletes the category, when both get checked by Places Quality the will both be taken down. That's fair, they both did the same spam and neither one "reformed their ways" and did the correction themselves.

With regards to which is the most accurate; in theory it should be Map Maker. Map Maker is supposed to show you the final digestion of the data. However, the data sits on multiple databases, one for Places, one for Map Maker, and then more for other data sources. Syncing then happens between those databases when there are differences. The problem is, when you are trying to sync millions of constantly changing records, the syncs can take some time and can be missed. So Map Maker should be the most accurate of the sources that are visible to you; but it could be out of sync.
 
Joined
Sep 11, 2012
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Yes we noticed this on Wednesday, We're currently re-configuring our Google+ local Wizard tool so that it pulls the full set of categories into reports.

Hurrah - Google released a positive change for once that makes our lives easier... but shhhh..we shouldn't get too excited or they'll roll it back
 

Linda Buquet

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Hurrah - Google released a positive change for once that makes our lives easier... but shhhh..we shouldn't get too excited or they'll roll it back

LOL, so true Myles. I always hesitate posting stuff in case it's something they didn't realize would help us and then they pull it out from under us!

But for me it's an important troubleshooting tool for when I help folks in the G forum. So Jade if you are reading this, it's a good thing for TCs. :p
 
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Messages
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'Though be giveth, shall be taketh, away .. eth?'

They add something, then they take something away :(

A little off topic but Google is no longer offreing free apps for business. Boo-urns.
 

Linda Buquet

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Oh really? Lovely!
More inconsistency. Just what I need to help me troubleshoot stuff! :p
 

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