It has been reported that Google is asking businesses with unclaimed listing on Google Maps if they are still operating. However, they’re not fussy about who confirms the information – it could even be just a Google Maps user.
A simple overlay on the respective place page shows three options: Yes, No or Don’t Know. If you enter an answer, a note above the map appears stating that your answer has been recorded.
The confirmation is only for addresses as Google currently doesn’t have any way of cross checking the authenticity of the phone numbers provided on the listing for businesses.
What could lead Google to request this confirmation?
Here are the likely scenarios:
- If a user used the word former in his/her review about the business
- If a user marked a business with the same address as that listed as permanently closed
- If the listing for the business is unclaimed
- If no website could be associated with the listing
This method of getting information from users was likely encouraged by Google’s new CEO Larry Page, who recently created a forum where users can interact and help one another instead of having to rely on help stations.
I wonder if this will result in businesses sabotaging its competitor’s listings by telling Google the business is closed.
Since Google Maps listings (Places page) is a paid service here’s hoping that Google soon comes up with an effective method of differentiating between an open and closed business. In the mean time this should be a good warning for you to update your listing as soon as possible.
If you don’t have a Google Maps listing, then you are missing out on a vital source of local visitors and our GLocal Business Listing could be the answer.