More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Many of you know about the hair-pulling and sometimes even heart-wrenching problems that local SMBs,
especially SABs (Service Area Businesses) face with Google Local.

Whether the problem is due to listings that are outright deleted by Google, suspended, rejected or pending review - it can be time-consuming, frustrating and even scary, when it results in significant income loss.

Yes, some of them are blatant spammers, but many are just honest time-strapped business owners that don't read the rules or don't understand them because they are so vague. And often TOTALLY INNOCENT AND COMPLIANT LISTINGS get penalized as false positives or due to bots gone wild.

Once a Google+ Local penalty happens, getting the problem resolved can be extremely complicated, confusing and sometimes almost impossible.

So let me just get to the point of this post and send you over to a VERY long, detailed post over at Search Engine Land by Chris Silver Smith, who really hits the nail on the head and makes numerous good points about Google, SMBs and re-inclusion, or the lack thereof.

How Google’s Lack Of (Re-)Consideration For Local Businesses Makes Life & Listings Difficult

How Can Google Local Be Saved?

For Google Local, though, the reconsideration process went away, and communications are insufficient. Account suspensions create additional problems for businesses, and a lack of communications leaves business owners confused and frustrated. And, the list of outstanding system bugs just seems to grow and grow, proving that Mike Blumenthal’s post declaring it a “train wreck” is anything but hyperbole.

Is anyone at Google Local / Google Maps / Google Places listening?!?

Quite a few of their local product management people have left in the last couple of years — a possible trend that could hint that there’s dissension or a demoralized feeling in the team behind the local products. Whatever the case, the lack of cohesive vision and attention to quality must surely create a significant risk that the leading local search product could decline, allowing competitors to erode its marketshare.

Chris offers some great suggestions for improvement too.
I hope Google is listening...

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