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Google Places Changes October 2011

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Google Places Changes October 2011

Big changes for Google place accounts this week.  In a nut shell, Google will be allowing the general public to edit and make changes to your Google places account.  They also will be updated your places information based on what they find on the Internet which may be information they think is more current.

You can read details on Mike Blumenthals blog at http://blumenthals.com/blog/2011/10/14/google-places-now-updating-your-listing-automatically/

Google will send out an email before they make any changes, but that assumes you have a verified listing, and you check your emails. I have already had several emails forwarded to me from clients from Google.

We can all see the good and bad in this.  What concerns me the most is the black hat SEO’s or competitors who submit bad categories or just misleading information on a competitors places account.  I have seen some SEO’s

submit bad reviews in Denver on competitors, so submitting incorrect information on purpose is not only a possibility, but likely!

What a business owner needs to do if their Google places account is important to them.

  • Make sure you claim your business listing with Google places
  • Make sure you read any emails from Google, and respond if the information they have is not correct!
  • Make sure you check your places listing weekly.

I recently had two businesses contact me because they both had bad reviews posted on Google. One had no idea who the person was, and the problem they described was not familiar to them.  Could it have been a case of mistaken identity? Could it have been a real complaint?  Maybe it was a competitor?  With the current system (not likely to change) all you can do is look at the reviewer’s profile, and that rarely will help.

The only solution is to monitor your listed, report incorrect information, respond to Google if someone does try to change your places account, and get great reviews on Google by asking your current customers to review you on your places account.  Provide each customer with your Google places url… !

We do provide on-line reputation monitoring, with a focus on Google places, major review sites, and Search engine results.  With the most recent changes with Google places, it’s more important than ever to know what your on-line reputation is.

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